Posts Tagged ‘no chance’

Behind the curtain of student loans (Law graduate gets a student loan discharge but…)

Behind the curtain of student loans – Generation J.D. (06/14/2012, Maryland Daily Record)

I will sum up this article. You either have to be a parapalegic, suffer under a severely disabling disease or die for a bank/Sallie Mae to CONSIDER fully discharging your student loans.  I’m not sure why the U.S. Department of Education, the Federal Trade Commission (Truth in Lending Act) and other federal departments/agencies take a stand. Oh…Sallie Mae has the money for the lobbyists. That’s how they were able to get Congress to change the bankruptcy laws so discharging student loans is nearly impossible. Welcome to financial indentured servitude. The text of the article is below:

Behind the curtain of student loans By: Dorothy Hae Eun Min Last month, a former law student won a bid in bankruptcy court to discharge nearly $340,000 in education debt because her diagnosis of Asperger syndrome rendered her unable to repay the loans. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland found that Carol Todd, who attended (the University of Baltimore School of Law, met the difficult burden of showing that she would suffer undue hardship if forced to repay her debt. (emphasis mine) Todd received her high school GED during the late ’80s, at age 39. She received an associate degree at Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University) and a bachelor’s degree at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland (now Notre Dame of Maryland University). She began attending law school in 1992 but did not complete the program. She went on to obtain a master’s degree from Towson University and a Ph.D. from an unaccredited online school in 2007. She filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009. Todd pursued success in education “as a stepping stone toward a measure of liberation…to help her achieve something closer to a normal life.” Carol’s case is a rarity. The difficulty of proving undue hardship —the majority of claims are unsuccessful — and of discharging student loans has prompted the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys to call on Congress earlier this year to pass legislation that would allow graduates to discharge loans taken out from private lenders, including for-profit companies such as banks and student loan behemoth Sallie Mae. Similar legislation has been submitted over the past two years by Congressional Democrats without making much progress, but NACBA holds hope that this will change soon. While Todd’s story raises questions about undue hardships to borrowers due to a permanent mental disability, what does this mean for any changes to legislation when it comes to a borrower who suffers a permanent physical disability that ultimately prevents him or her from holding down a stable job to pay off student loans? Will Carol’s court decision cause lenders to increase scrutiny on prospective students with disabilities? What if the borrower is the victim of a tragic accident that leaves him in a coma? What happens when the borrower dies, but has a parent co-sign the loan? That’s Christopher Bryski’s story. Bryski was a college student at Rutgers University when he suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2004 in a fluke accident. He was in a coma for two years before passing away in 2006. To facilitate taking out private student loans for college, his father co-signed on the loans for him. Because his father co-signed on Christopher’s student loan from Key Bank, he was obligated to continue to make payments under the terms of the private loan agreement. He paid more than $20,000 of the $50,000 debt, which forced him to come out of retirement to make the monthly payments. Key Bank finally forgave the loan this past April, but not before the Bryski family struggled for six years after Christopher’s death to make payments and started a Change.org petition to seek help from the public to fight against the bank. What are your thoughts on these issues? In a volatile economy, many individuals seek further education to improve their prospective job opportunities. Should student loan companies provide more transparency to borrowers with regard to accidents and disabilities that could cause them to have trouble making payments?

The court in the first story may have granted the discharge with additional consideration that with all these degrees, one unaccredited and another (law degree) from a TTTT law school, there was no way she would be hired to pay off the debt. Interesting.

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The Undertraining of Lawyers and Its Effects On The Advancement of Women and Minorities in the Legal Profession

locked door

I think this would be a good add-on to the prior post of ‘Rethinking Legal Education’; but with a narrower focus on minorities. Though I must admit, that there seems to be an increase in academic discourse regarding the lack of preparation of law graduates for the practice of law.Interestingly, I would like to dissect the use of “women and minorities” phrase that I’ve seen used before. Years ago many Black Americans (and still) argued that the primary beneficiaries of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act were white women and not blacks in general. Thus, although a white woman in general modern times be deemed a minority she may still be consider a ‘suspect class.’ Yet a black woman is detracted from her worthiness and feminity but being mass categorized in the minority class when referring to blacks in general. This seems to make the black woman invisible in statistical and academic discourse. Which is ironic since for decades black women have outnumbered black men in university matriculation and graduation, as a result I’ll conclude this would also be the case in graduate education as well.  I’ve read in other spaces how in the black community the patriarchal scheme of life and business, black men are accepted more than black women. I first assessed that this was due to the sub-category of the ‘old boys network,’ that if you’re not a white male, a black male will eventually accepted as long as it’s a male first. I don’t have statistical evidence, so someone may show me evidence to the contrary but the hierarchy appears to be: white man, white woman, black man, asian man, asian woman, black woman at the bottom.

This is an interesting quote from the article: “Sharon Jones* , a black woman associate who is working for her third Am Law 200 firm since graduating from Columbia Law School in 2000, is a prime example of the abysmal retention statistics for women of color. “I think the number one reason why women of color leave firms in such overwhelmingly large numbers is that law firms are not meritocracies; the playing field is far from level.”

I’m sure it’s for multiple reasons such as this: Judge called 3 black women lawyers ‘Supremes’; January 31, 2008 [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22924814/]

Although I’ll leave the term “black” out as some people are deemed so who actually are not, this is a travesty. For the past 20 years most college graduates among “blacks” are women, thus those who graduate from graduate and professional schools are from this category. With high attrition of women of color (who have a higher interest in laws addressing racial discrimination and social reform) from the legal field, the representation of these populations will dwindle to nearly non-existent. This will allow certain legislators and politicians to enact, implement or reinterpet laws that will continue to subject the unpopular classes to servitude status once again. I like to think of it as historical reversion.

 From what I have witnessed among black female attorneys they are the biggest back biters and flesh eaters of their own. Most don’t care for personal and career development likely due to a social familiarity, resulting in lack of progress. Society will deem them not worthy and deserving of whatever they get *door slam.*

The author likely expressed the sentiment of most law school graduates by stating: “My alma mater, like most of other law schools in America, did not prepare its students, particularly those from historically underrepresented backgrounds, for navigating their careers in law firms. For today’s law schools to continue stressing the importance of Pennoyer v. Neff, rather than teaching its students about the business of law firms is absolutely criminal.”

There you have it people. Don’t go to law school, especially if you’re a minority. Nothing has changed, smoke and mirrors, why subject yourself to daily abuse all for the privilege of being in a field that financially ruined you (p.s. you can get in ethics trouble if you lost your job, unemployed, suffering from the recession and are unable to pay your personal bills). Don’t you just love it?