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Educational Credit Management Corporation v. Jesperson

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
571 F.3d 775 (2009)


Facts

Mark Jesperson (plaintiff) owed one of his creditors, Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC), over $300,000 for student loans. Jesperson also owed over $50,000 in student loans to other creditors. Jesperson had not repaid any part of these loans. Jesperson made approximately $4,000 per month in gross income and estimated that he was likely in an income-tax bracket of 33 percent. Jesperson lived with his brother rent-free, but Jesperson estimated that his rent should have cost $500 per month. Jesperson was eligible for a Department of Education Income Contingent Repayment plan (ICRP) that would allow him to repay these debts in payments that could vary annually based on his income. Jesperson petitioned for chapter 7 bankruptcy, seeking an undue-hardship discharge for his student-loan debts. The bankruptcy court accepted Jesperson’s tax-bracket and future housing cost estimates and concluded that he had no surplus income. The bankruptcy court ruled that Jesperson had an undue hardship and discharged his loans. The district court affirmed. ECMC appealed the final judgment.

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Holding and Reasoning (Loken, C.J.)

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Concurrence (Smith, J.)

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