Does gender make a difference in your bankruptcy case? A team of academics from FIU recently studied that same issue by examining 900 student loan discharge cases filed in US Bankruptcy Court between 1985 – 2020. The team of researchers looked beyond gender and considered a number of factors including marital status, children, medical bills or conditions, disabilities, and whether or not the consumer was represented by a bankruptcy lawyer. What they found should raise some eyebrows.
As it turns out, single moms were more likely to have bankruptcy courts allow a discharge of their student loan debt then single fathers. But, that outcome changed when the consumer disclosed a medical condition that interfered with their ability to earn a living. When a medical condition was disclosed, men were 93 percent more likely to have their student loans discharged then women who had disclosed similar medical conditions.
The discrepancy between discharge decisions is made worse when you consider that women hold approximately 2/3 of all the student loan debt in the United States. Moreover, women significantly outnumber men in colleges throughout the country and are seeking higher degrees at a much greater pace than men. This means that women's share of student loan debt will likely grow over the coming years. When you factor in the pay gap between men and women, leaving women with less dollars to dedicate to pay back student loans, this is obviously a growing problem. Inequality issues in legal settings must be addressed at all levels across our society or they will ultimately have a negative impact on everyone. If you are struggling with student loan debt and considering bankruptcy then call us today.