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Bankruptcy Law

Irked Judge Discharges Law Grad’s Student Loans, Critiques Senior Jurist

Posted Jan 14, 2010 4:44 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Ordered to reconsider his earlier opinion discharging the $82,000 student loan debt of a 65-year-old unemployed law school graduate, an obviously annoyed bankruptcy judge has granted Denise Bronsdon the same relief a second time.

And, underlining his displeasure with a remand opinion (PDF) issued by the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, he also inserts a condescending "sic" in brackets when quoting from it in his new ruling (PDF), reports the Docket blog of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Joel Rosenthal was in a particularly good position to make his personal opinion on the remand opinion known, the law blog notes, since he recently announced his planned retirement.

Finding that Bronsdon, who has failed the Massachusetts bar exam three times and is living in a room in her father's home, supported by her Social Security benefits, has virtually no chance of ever repaying her student loan debt, Rosenthal discharged her $82,000 balance in his ruling last week.

"But for the ability to live in the den of her father's home, the debtor, without some sort of financial aid, could easily become homeless," Rosenthal writes. "In view of her age and work history, her prospects for a better financial future are dim."

She is a graduate of the Southern New England School of Law, which is not currently accredited by the American Bar Association.

Hat tip: Legal Blog Watch.

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