Law Dropout Debilitated By Asperger Syndrome Gets $339,361 In Student Loans Forgiven

College debt is one of the few debts that can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, unless you have a really, really good reason. You pretty much have to be dead or have a debilitating disability that keeps you from working. So it caught the attention of the National Law Journal when a Maryland woman in her 60s had $339,361 in college debt discharged in bankruptcy court earlier this month.

Her journey into educational borrowing began after receiving her high school diploma at age 39. She started, but did not complete, law school beginning in 1992. Later, she eventually earned a master’s degree from a local university, and a PhD from an unaccredited online school. But none of this meant that she was employable, and she couldn’t even get through her own bankruptcy trial in 2010 without shutting down in fear.

The story here isn’t that a borrower got her student loans discharged in bankruptcy due to disability. It’s that borrowers were happy to lend more than three hundred grand to a student rather closer to retirement than to typical high school graduation, who is too disabled to find relevant employment and had no real chance of paying that amount back.

Asperger Syndrome prompts court to forgive former law student’s debt [National Law Journal]

RELATED:
If For-Profit Colleges Want Federal Student Aid, They Have To Prove Graduates Can Get Jobs
Don’t Sign Your Soul Over To Student Loan Debt

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Clyde Barrow says:

    Good for her. Meanwhile our European counter-parts are going to college for free.

    • zibby says:

      Yup, nobody pays for that.

    • justabunchofwords says:

      How can you say “Good for her”??? There are SO many problems with this, I don’t even know where to start. If her disability is to the point that she can’t work, why was she given $339K worth of student loans to begin with??? Why should she have her student loans forgiven? My partner finished law school about $100K in the hole and has dedicated his career to helping people in poverty by only doing pro bono work through Legal Services/Aid. His students loans are NOT forgiven. He got laid off and is still 100% expected to pay off the loans.

      • EarlNowak says:

        They weren’t “forgiven”. She declared bankruptcy.

        She won’t be able to get loans of any kind likely for the rest of her life, at least for 10-15 years. The standard to prove you can’t pay student loans in bankruptcy is ludicrously high- higher than what you need to be considered permanently disabled by Social Security. (Yes, I know of people on full SSI disability who are still paying student loans because they couldn’t get a discharge).

        If your husband is 66 and has $300k in loans (we’ll capitalize the interest), I bet a court will be likely to entertain his bankruptcy petition.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          What husband? “Partner.” I assume that means business partner.

          /s

        • crispyduck13 says:

          Student loans are not discharged with bankruptcy. Something exceptional happened here for those to be forgiven.

      • Jevia says:

        See, that’s the point. Why was she given these loans in the first place?

        Because banks have been promised that if its a “student loan”, it will never be discharged in bankruptcy, or the chances of such happening are so infinitely low that its a good risk, they’ll get their money back with a nice interest profit (since the bank only has to pay 1/4% interest from the government, but loans it out to students at 8-9%).

        Sure, the bank lost $300,000 plus interest. But they’re getting it back from a lot of other students.

      • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

        “If her disability is to the point that she can’t work, why was she given $339K worth of student loans to begin with???”

        Well, she could function, see: getting an Masters from a real school. So I think ADA could apply here.

        As to your partner, that is a shame. I assume Pro Bono here is not in the truest sense of the phrase. As I understand it, Pro Bono means for free, without expectation of any reimbursement. If they racked up $100k and were devoting their life to pure charity work, how were they planning to repay that, or were they going to depend on the kindness of others to survive?

        If they were getting reimbursed by Legal Services, they were doing important work, but not Pro Bono. It is a shame that Legal Services laid him off. I don’t know where you are located, but there should be openings for lawyers who have passed the bar, particularly if he is willing to work for the rates that Legal Services pays. They may not be in his chosen field, but they will at least be in the legal field. And, he can still do pure Pro Bono work on the side.

        • justabunchofwords says:

          Pro bono meaning the clients paid nothing and had representation. Legal Services pays their employees (a fraction of what they should be paid, but that’s a different conversation) based on funds received from many different sources.

          • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

            That is what I thought you meant. Around here, the Lawyer Capital of the World, Washington, DC, most reports of Pro Bono are the big lawyers or firms donating some billables to causes, and people work for Legal Services.

        • shifuimam says:

          “Well, she could function, see: getting an Masters from a real school. So I think ADA could apply here. “

          But she couldn’t function enough to comprehend the gravity of voluntarily applying for and accepting $340k in loans? She could function enough to attend classes, take tests, answer questions, and get a Masters, but she ostensibly cannot maintain a basic standard of living?

    • Galium says:

      A lot of our talented people are flipping burgers and sweeping floors because they cannot afford college. It seems odd that governments can pass laws against plastic bags, but let talented people go to waste. Europe also has great apprenticeships programs for those that do not wish to go to college. The US, oh well.

      • Here to ruin your groove says:

        Do you honestly believe this?

        It takes little to nothing in effort to get a student loan and put yourself into debt for the rest of your life. If these “talented people” wanted to go to school there is nothing stopping them barring a drug conviction in high school.

        And unless you live somewhere without a large Hispanic immigrant population, these “talented” folks aren’t flipping burgers or pushing a broom either.

        The real problem is everyone being force fed into the idea that they NEED a college education to succeed. So they graduate high school, fill out all the paperwork to put themselves into incredible amounts of debt and many times drop out.

        We have great apprenticeship programs as well. It’s called technical school (where you then can move on to an apprenticeship).

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          I don’t know what you’re supposed to do when jobs that don’t need a college degree for their actual performance now require a Bachelor’s (in anything–doesn’t matter what).

          Also, your username makes me giggle.

        • shifuimam says:

          My partner started at Wachovia bank *removing staples*. That was his job – using a staple remover on stacks and stacks of documents. It didn’t take very long for his supervisor to realize that he “knew computers”, and he moved into something more challenging. He took it upon himself to learn skills, build relationships with managers in other departments, and aggressively pursue better jobs internally. Nine years later and he is at the forefront of Wells Fargo’s initiative to use PIV-I (a federal ID standard that a lot of corps have barely even heard of yet) for IT and physical security.

          He has a GED and no college degree. Dude never even finished high school. He makes more than I do, and I finished high school and went straight into a four-year computer technology program at an accredited university.

          Would he have moved up faster if he had a degree? Maybe. Instead, he realized he needed to work for what he wanted and he made it happen.

          Too many people today think that they can just get any BS liberal arts degree in college and miraculously have a fantastic, six-figure career just fall in their laps as soon as they graduate. Too many people are above taking an entry-level job for five or more years before having the experience and qualifications to find a great job.

          If you took out $300,000 in student loans to get a BA in Subtropical Asian Poetry Studies, you’re a fucking idiot.

          • Peggee has pearls and will clutch them when cashiers ask "YOU GOT A WIC CHECK MA'AM?" says:

            What if he didn’t “know computers”? How would removing staples for five years acquire skills for him if he didn’t already come to the job with those skills?

      • JennQPublic says:

        Out here, the talented people get their degrees, then flip burgers.

        No, seriously. I know an intelligent, hard-working former business owner with a Masters who works part-time at the WalMart because it’s the only thing she can find.

        • Blueskylaw says:

          My friend had a Ph.D. from MIT and he took a job at McDonalds flipping burgers for about 6 months. Of course he “only” put down that his education ended with an Associates Degree.

          I told him he could probably re-formulate the special sauce to make it taste better and he said he probably could.

    • HalOfBorg says:

      “Free”. Yeah, right.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      And I wonder where that money comes from…

    • Jevia says:

      Its not free. Europeans pay higher taxes than us (albiet not that much higher, but they don’t coddle their millionaires either) and spend their tax money on education, healthcare and other social programs instead of defense (leaving that expense to us Americans).

      Plus, the higher learning tuitions (like law school) are partly paid back by the student.

      • Kuri says:

        That actually sounds pretty good.

        • dush says:

          Then go there. Competition is good for societies too. Instead of making the US like Europe the people that want to live like Europe should just go to Europe. We’ll see a true free market approach to determining which kind of society is more popular.

          • jamar0303 says:

            A true free-market approach would allow people to change citizenships at the drop of a hat.

          • Peggee has pearls and will clutch them when cashiers ask "YOU GOT A WIC CHECK MA'AM?" says:

            Most European countries are yonks tougher on immigration than the U.S. Which is another reason why they have so much more money to spend on healthcare and education, which is why people want to immigrate there in the first place…

            If a flood of people moved there, suddenly they’re under the same stresses we face trying to take care of everyone.

        • shifuimam says:

          And I’m sure Europe would be quite thrilled to find out that the US military was too weak to assist them with defense in the event of an attack. Nothing’s a win like having to pander to Russia for military support because there’s nobody else left!

    • BorkBorkBork says:

      TINSTAAFL.

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    So a 66 year old woman can rack up $340,000 in debt attending unaccredited schools,
    “earning” a Ph.D. that is worthless and attending a law school but not completing it and which was also most likely a worthless school?

    I’ll take a guess and say that these were for profit schools and are HEAVILY, HEAVILY advertised on television.

    The age of greed now seems to be an appropriate moniker.

    • Laura Northrup says:

      Law school was at a real university. Law degrees, even if you finish them, do not necessarily translate to actual employment.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        Wow, you can say that again. My friend’s son just got his law degree, passed the bar, and is now working in New York scraping by on about $2k per month with $180K in student loans hanging over his head. Yikes.

        • nbs2 says:

          $2k/month? Has he looked at the Posse List? It’s a listserv that used to be temp only (now there is the occasional perm posting). It’s a hard knock life, but he should be able to scrape in a $60k annual equivalent (as an hourly). More if he can get on a project with OT. Since the economy crashed, wages have dropped from $35 to around $30-32/hour for english doc reviews, but money is money. If he speaks a foreign language, he could be looking at $40 (down from $45) for Spanish up to $90-100 for more “exotic” languages.

          I’m using DC wages, but NY should be roughly in line. The only issue is that the NY market is pretty nasty compared to the generally more humane DC market.

        • Lucky225 says:

          hence why I work from home without any fancy titles or degrees making more then $2k/mo and -0- debt.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        What law school would accept a degree from a diploma mill
        as a standard of acceptance to get into their law program?

  3. Hibyeman says:

    Nice you got your degree and did not get a dept nice plan

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      What is a “dept nice plan”?

      • belsonc says:

        Let me know once you find out and I’ll let you know what his comment on the Facebook story means in English once I can figure that one out…

        • Blueskylaw says:

          I put “dept nice plan” through Google Translate. It crashed my computer
          and a minute later, two Men in Black were knocking on my door.

          • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

            Humm – dept might be debt – although in my world, dept is an abbreviation for the word department.

            Sadly, this is what happens when kids are allowed to text message and shortcut their way through public school: lack of punctuation, improper word usage, lack of capital letters, and a mishmash of what passes for English.

            I’m still scratching my head :)

            • Hibyeman says:

              i never text this is the result of being the worst speller in the world please replace Dept with debt in my comments

              • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

                Just make sure if you send a resume to a prospective employer that you have someone proofread it first :)

      • Hibyeman says:

        what i meant is she does not have a dept to pay off

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          You mean….”debt?”

          • Hibyeman says:

            wtf that is what i ment but i am not the best speller and i need spell check but debt showed up as wrong now it dos not but dept did not and it still does not oh of course sorry Loias and the others

        • Hibyeman says:

          wtf that is what i ment but i am not the best speller and i need spell check but debt showed up as wrong now it dos not but dept did not and it still does not oh of course sorry Loias and the others

    • Hibyeman says:

      please just stop it was a poor choice of words and meaning also Blueskylaw how in the world do you make me laugh at my own expense really i am going to become i follower i see you enough in the other post i only recently got aproved to post so you do not see me much and wow sucks for amarican tax dollars good for the collage

      • Blueskylaw says:

        I’m unemployed, I have time to polish my writing skills and sharp wit.

        • Hibyeman says:

          you talking to me you talking to me huh huh you are funny and when i am laughing so hard i am not able to cough when i have i cold it hurts and makes it so i can’t make witty comebacks

      • belsonc says:

        col·lage
        noun kə-ˈläzh, kȯ-, kō-
        Definition of COLLAGE
        1
        a : an artistic composition made of various materials (as paper, cloth, or wood) glued on a surface b : a creative work that resembles such a composition in incorporating various materials or elements
        2
        : the art of making collages
        3
        : hodgepodge
        4
        : a work (as a film) having disparate scenes in rapid succession without transitions

        They’re not even pronounced the same…

        • Lucky225 says:

          Sigh, he ‘recently got approved to post’. Which consumerist editor passed the buck on that one? My guess the same ones that publish articles without first proofreading.

      • rmorin says:

        I nominate Hibyeman for Worst Company in America

  4. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    So no one along the way saw that she was so disabled by autism that it’s doubtful she would never actually go to court or function as an attorney, but someone kept shelling out the money to the tune of over $300K so she could continue school? Didn’t she have an adviser, someone, who could have intervened? And the fact that she had been going to school for what – 15-20 years, and she was pushing retirement age?

    I’m sure there’s a lot more to this story.

    • RandomHookup says:

      While I can’t comment on the rest, there are plenty of people who go to law school and don’t end up practicing law (and plenty of law is simply research).

    • valkyrievf2x says:

      That’s my biggest issue there. If she was so disabled, how come no one on either side (whether the lenders or her family) say “Yo, stop it!! She barely functions!! Quit giving her money!!”. And again, it is in the article, stating that “Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism that prevented her from getting a job and maintaining a minimal standard of living”, so it’s not just jumping to conclusions, either.

      • Not Given says:

        Not all people with autism are incapable of working.
        http://www.templegrandin.com/

        • sponica says:

          most people with Aspergers do work…my friend is a computer engineer and jokes his whole dept is filled with people with Aspergers…

          • Snowblind says:

            My son has Asperger’s and it is definitely one of the more mild and treatable classifications on the Autism spectrum.

        • valkyrievf2x says:

          Oh, I totally understand. But this particular one apparently can’t work, though. I guess that’s what I am getting at. I wonder when she was diagnosed, though. Was this a recent thing, or was it known all her life? Otherwise she might have been trying to game the system. Seems like there is more to the story…

    • Jane_Gage says:

      Really? Do you want to be the low level admissions rep who says to her “you look too disabled to come here”? None of these people can dx a medical condition, they’d be sued into oblivion and fired. If her boards were good enough to get her into a “real” university and she has the mens rea to fill out the forms and do the work, maybe she should be accountable to pay. If she can’t hack working in a law firm, get a job at Safeway cleaning at night and pay a little bit each month. She can’t have it both ways, accommodation and no responsibility.

  5. ferozadh says:

    Lawyers, banks and for-profit schools…I really have nothing nice to say about all this except I admire her life-long dedication to learning.

  6. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    If nothing else, at least any loans taken out for the unaccredited school didn’t come from the government – that is unless the school had federal accreditation but not regional accreditation. (For anyone who doesn’t know, federal accreditation is a joke, regional accreditation is the gold standard and the one that actually matters. If a school only has federal accreditation only, it is likely a for-profit legalized scam that overcharges the “students” who will never pay the loans back and sucks up government money in exchange for worthless diplomas).

  7. ovalseven says:

    Brilliant!

    *purrs*

    *hops*

  8. valkyrievf2x says:

    Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but this story just makes no sense for me….
    1)if she had asperger’s, why would she continually be getting money for school? Doesn’t say when the diagnosis was made. But if you were a lender, would you be giving money to someone who could potentially not pay it back due to a disability? Hell, were the lenders even aware of her condition? If it was not known, then the only issue would have been her age, but that is a different issue.

    2)Was she gaming the system? In this day and age of the “me” mentality, I’m just suspicious. Why was she getting a degree (and racking up a HUGE debt) that would not serve her? As the original article suggested, she had a hard time just dealing with the judge in the bankruptcy case. Assuming she had her own practice, it would be close to impossible to perform her duties due to her condition. So, again, what was the point of the degree? I’d be like a quadraplegic getting a degree in physical education…

    Personally, I am seeing BOTH parties at fault here: one for enabling her to get all the $$, and the other for essentially wasting the money…

    • Jane_Gage says:

      It is not the lender’s place to discriminate on the basis of age or disability. My guess is she was shined by some admissions rep and had her shit together for the good news, then reality hit her upside the head and she cratered for the trial (maybe “encouraged” by her own lawyer). The real issue is the cost of education and the blank check everyone gets with these government loans. College would be more discriminating with everyone if they bore some culpability when someone defaults.

      • valkyrievf2x says:

        On the contrary, they should be allowed (within reason, of course). It would be in their best interests to do so. In this case, for example. Not being more discriminating cost them $300K. That’s why I think they should have been more strict. They are in the business of earning money (helping us out with school/home renovation/etc is secondary to them). IT would be prudent for them to be more selective on whom they give the cash to. In this case, the lady had two big strikes against her: apparently quite disabled, and advanced in age. I’m not saying older people shouldn’t get help (my mother in law is almost 60 and getting her bachelors in accounting). But in the lady’s case, the combination of BOTH situations would strongly hint at a lack of reimbursement of the loans. Whether due to the judgement or flat out non payment since she wouldn’t be able to work in her field (or other fields for that matter), the clues were there that they very likely wouldn’t get paid.

        That’s why I think the way I do. Same with her camp. At what point did she think that going into that much debt would be beneficial, especially if she is so disabled she can’t perform the duties of her chosen career? I wouldn’t doubt it if someone got in her head and rattled off all kinds of nice promises and whatnot. But in the end, either she (or whomever cares for her) should have evaluated the needs versus the wants. Granted, in this situation, she wins, since she got the loans discharged…. but that was never a guarantee.

        • huadpe says:

          Student loans are for the most part federally insured, so it didn’t cost the lenders, it cost taxpayers.

    • Budala says:

      I’d say she was scaming the system. She was probably living off the school loans all these years.
      This is after all a woman who at age 39 got her GED. The story then breaks that she got accepted into law school. Strange for a law school to accept a person at that age, especially one that just got a GED. But let’s forget that and ask ourself what other degree did she get before the masters and the failed law school. Couldn’t get a job with that either, or just wouldn’t? After that the person who got a masters degree, one thinks that this person must be smart at that point, enrolls into an unaccredited online school, really?

      There is a nice story in this for a journalist who really wants to show everybody how people are using and abusing the student loans.

  9. rugman11 says:

    Why should the lenders care what her age is? The loans are (typically) non-dischargable and most were probably backed by the government.

    What’s happening in student loans is the exact same thing that happened in mortgage lending in the last decade. There is close to zero risk to the banks making these loans and a strong demand from consumers being told they need to go to college in order to get a job.

    • kenj0418 says:

      I certainly don’t blame the schools or banks for not singling her out to not get a loan. Most likely they would have been sued if they had for discriminating against her due to age and/or disability. And I doubt the admissions officer at some degree mill is qualified to determine her level of disability anyway.

      I do blame schools for being unaccredited (or some nonsense accreditation) and worthless – but the bigger problem is that our government props up these places with grant and loan money and then saddles people with undischargable loans.

  10. BelleSade says:

    People with Asperger’s are functional enough to know how to count. This is just her relying on her “disability” to look like a victim. And before you all attack me, my sister and most of my cousins have Asperger’s. None of them are financially irresponsible like this.

    I’m against for profit schools and the fact that tuition in the US has become insane, but there’s something called “being responsible” that people often forget.

    • runswithscissors says:

      You are correct – my 10 year old son has Asperger’s (professionally diagnosed, not “internet diagnosed) and he is a wiz with money. That kid runs an accounting firm in his head when it comes to his allowance and gift money vs his expenditures on video games!

  11. ash says:

    Huh. My mom is probably in the hole at least $55,000 and she’s 61 years old (she decided to do get a bachelor’s and masters in “Oriental medicine at about age 55). I doubt this will be discharged–I’m guessing that it’ll be deducted from her estate when she dies.

  12. Kat says:

    My first reaction was to get mad at the schools for loaning an elderly person with Aspergers that much money, but there are lots of high functioning people with Aspergers. So in the future, how should loan companies determine how much to loan someone with Aspergers? Use the probability of a college grad with Aspergers finding a job? Evaluate each applicants social skills? And what about her age? If my math holds, she was 46 when she went back to school. Depending on the degree and the cost, it’s not too old to start start school. Again though, how should loan companies determine how old is too old?

    In the end, I don’t think she should have had all of her loans dismissed because its hard to blame the loan companies for loaning to her without expecting them, in the future, to discriminate against those two groups (people with Aspergers/elderly). Maybe she could have worked with someone to determine a manageable monthly payment?

    I received a birthday card from my loan servicer today: “Happy Birthday! Remember. we know where you live! :D! “

  13. JimmyKumbaya says:

    “The story here isn’t that a borrower got her student loans discharged in bankruptcy due to disability. It’s that borrowers were happy to lend more than three hundred grand to a student rather closer to retirement than to typical high school graduation, who had no real chance of paying that amount back.”

    Really? Is that “the story”? So, if the lender(s) had discriminated against the borrower based upon her age, as you suggest (“… rather closer to retirement than to graduation”) you’d’ve been okay with that?

    That’s what you’re saying, right? Google “age discrimination” and “student loan” and you’ll see lottsa words about how age discrimination is prohibited.

    Again, are Consumerist’s editors just automatically contrary? Could you try for just a little bit of consistency?

  14. absherlock says:

    I hope the lenders are able to turn around and sue the schools for a portion of the discharged debt. It seems to me that they’re at least somewhat responsible as they’re the ones that 1) enrolled her, 2) graduated her and 3) were the ones to interact with her on some type of regular basis (unlike the lender).

    BTW – it’s been a while since I filled out student loan paperwork, but are the lenders allowed to ask about disabilities, etc. that may preclude someone from paying back their loans? If not, this seems unfair to the lenders (and I can’t believe I just said that).

  15. TerpBE says:

    And how badly would the PC police yell and scream if she was denied student loans because of her age and/or Aspergers?

  16. TuxMan says:

    Who ever that bankruptcy court judge was, is a complete idiot for approving her bankruptcy.

    It’s not even my money but I feel cheated in a way.

  17. HoJu says:
  18. lastingsmilledge says:

    for anyone age 62 or above who’s interested, you can get a free JD in connecticut!

    http://www.law.uconn.edu/bursars-office/tuition-and-fees/tuition-waivers

  19. shifuimam says:

    “He said that Todd had Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism that prevented her from getting a job and maintaining a minimal standard of living.”

    Really? Her disorder is so severe that she can’t maintain a minimal standard of living, yet she was able to earn a master’s degree from an accredited university?

    This doesn’t really add up. Why would someone with a serious and debilitating psychological disability even be able to pass the GRE required to get into a master’s program to begin with?

    It’s impossible to make any real conclusions based on one article on the Internet about this, but this seems like it could be a case of someone falling back on a relatively unverifiable disorder as an excuse whenever it’s convenient.

  20. Blitzgal says:

    So what’s the solution? Should banks require people to have psychological examinations before they’re willing to lend tuition money? Get a note from a doctor saying that they’re physically fit to work after graduation? That would just lead to discrimination against people with disabilities.

    This doesn’t mean I’m against this particular woman getting her debts discharged. If she proved to the court that she was incapable of repaying these loans, then it was right for them to be discharged. I just worry about the insinuation that lenders should be requiring psychological diagnoses of their potential borrowers. That just can’t end well.

    • shifuimam says:

      It would just be more legislation in favor of holding everyone’s metaphorical hand through life.

      We can’t expect people to think for themselves or take responsibility for their decisions, amirite? It’s up to the BANK to determine that you’re mentally unfit to go to law school. If she got into an accredited law school (that part is not disclosed in the original article), then one would guess that she had the mental capacity to understand she was taking on a buttload of debt to pay for it.

    • Jane_Gage says:

      The judgement just rubs me the wrong way. Leave it hanging over her head, if she never works again and her family works you can’t get blood from a stone. If she winds up on her own she can get SSI and pay a little bit that way.

  21. Gizmosmonster says:

    I have a friend with 80k (started as 25k) in student loans from attending an accredited Law School back in 1992. She struggles with serious depression and ADD. Although she passed the Bar, holding a job has been close to impossible. When she is employed, she pays as much of the loans off as she can, but I doubt she will get all of it paid back.

    I am not sure how the woman written about in this article got the loans erased. I did some research for my friend and found that there is almost no way to get rid of student loan debt.

  22. Gizmosmonster says:

    I have a friend with 80k (started as 25k) in student loans from attending an accredited Law School back in 1992. She struggles with serious depression and ADD. Although she passed the Bar, holding a job has been close to impossible. When she is employed, she pays as much of the loans off as she can, but I doubt she will get all of it paid back.

    I am not sure how the woman written about in this article got the loans erased. I did some research for my friend and found that there is almost no way to get rid of student loan debt, even in bankruptcy.

  23. eturowski says:

    Ummmm, it is quite possible to have Asperger syndrome and be functional, if not exceptional. You don’t believe me? Spend a day at MIT.

    https://alum.mit.edu/news/WhatMatters/Archive/200308/

    I think this lady is gaming the system.

  24. Charmander says:

    I would think having Aspbergers’ would actually be a boon to the study of law.

  25. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

    The more important question here is what was she doing out of her hugbox in the first place?

  26. frodolives35 says:

    lol I just told my wife today I was quitting my job and putting 800 plus credit score to work by getting enough student loans to finish paying off the house and spending the next 18 years in school. I want my ss early I am not real confident it will be there for me. Awe to dream. I want to runnoft

  27. Carlee says:

    I’m confused – does she have a bachelor’s degree? But I did a quick check of the law school and it looks like a bachelor’s degree is required. So how did she get admitted without one? (Or did they just omit it in the article?).

    I don’t know about this ruling. If she was able to get a four-year degree (presumably), and then a master’s degree from Towson, I would assume that her disability isn’t as severe as her lawyer makes it seem. Maybe she wouldn’t do well in a courtroom (many of us wouldn’t), but it wouldn’t preclude her from having a job and making payments on those student loans.

    Unless she majored in humanities or something… (just kidding).

    Also, I don’t know about free college tuition for everyone. Don’t we have a high number of unemployed college graduates? So we offer free college to everyone who wants it, won’t we just have more unemployed college graduates? What’s the point in that?

  28. LawyerontheDL says:

    I have law school loans, and I don’t recall any questions regarding my employability being asked. Lenders shouldn’t have to delve into whether a student is employable. That’s the school’s job during the admissions process. If a lender asked on an application whether someone was disabled, the Consumerist community would be up in arms about that. Heck, why not have people send in a picture, because homely people may have a harder time finding jobs. I blame the school and, yes, the student. She was intelligent and with it enough to GRADUATE from law school. She should be responsible for the debt that that accomplishment incurred.

  29. DragonThermo says:

    Wait, what? A predatory borrower scammed banks of hundreds of thousands of dollars and somehow it is the bank’s fault for lending them the money?!?

    Why is it that nothing is their own fault? Why is it when people make bad choices it is always someone else’s fault?