“If you are trying to find out if there are things that Ms. Todd cannot do, if that is your question…then I can tell you for one thing I don’t expect Ms. Todd to be able to
work and pursue a job, pursue a profession and pursue financial income through
employment as we customarily know what employment is. She’s not able to do that.” –
Dr. Ramana Gopalan
, Carol Todd’s
Primary Care Physician
“Curiouser and curiouser
, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and
Through the Looking-Glass
11 (Puffin Books 1998) (1865).11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8) expressly permits the discharge of a student loan if excepting the
loan from a debtor‟s discharge would cause
an „undue hardship‟.
Webster‟s ThirdInternational Dictionary defines „undue‟ as being, “unsuited to the time, place or occasion,” and“exceeding or violating propriety or fitness.”
Webster’s Third New International Dictionary,
, 2492 (3rd ed., 2002).
ardship‟ is defined as, “something that causes or entails
suffering or priv
at 1033. These definitions do not suggest an infinitely elusivestandard, an objective that
no debtor can ever meet. Such aninterpretation would result in the erasure of the statute
words and defy plain Congressionalintent in the bargain. Stated another way, and notwithstanding the heightened level of scrutinyemphasized in the case law, it must be possible for some combination of factors to exist that justify the discharge of a student loan. After considering the virtually undisputed facts of thiscase regarding
Ms. Todd‟s p
eculiar set of circumstances this Court concludes that it would causesuffering or privation unsuited to the time and occasion for her to depart bankruptcy withcontinuing liability for these student loans in light of the statutory mandate and therefore anorder declining to except them from her discharge
─ and thus discharging them ─
will beentered. The reasons underlying that conclusion are as follows.
Unless otherwise noted, all statutory citations are to the Bankruptcy Code (Code), found at Title 11 of the UnitedStates Code.
Case 10-00091 Doc 102 Filed 05/17/12 Page 2 of 29