How and When to Discharge Private Student Loans in Bankruptcy

November 7, 2019, 2:00 p.m. ET–3:00 p.m. ET
Filed under: 
| Skill areas: 
Conducting Negotiations and Settlement
Trial Skills

Why You Should Attend

With over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt nationwide, borrowers are seeking solutions to put an end to their high-interest private student loan debt. Consumer bankruptcy attorneys would benefit the most from this webinar, but these arguments can also be used in settlement negotiations outside of bankruptcy.

What You Will Learn

  • How to find and recognize good potential dischargeability cases.
  • What tools you will need in order to identify and litigate issues like the cost of education, ineligible institution, ineligible student and educational benefit.
  • Discharge, settlement, and payment of attorney’s fees.


Christie Arkovich has been an AV rated Florida licensed attorney for more than 25 years since graduation from Stetson College of Law in 1992. Christie was former trial counsel for Sallie Mae, ECMC and other student loan servicers and guarantors in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  She "switched sides" and now represents student loan borrowers and other debtors both inside and outside of bankruptcy. She recently served on the Student Loan Committee for the new (and first in the nation) Student Loan Management Program in the Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Austin Smith is a litigator who focuses on discharging student loans in bankruptcy. Mr. Smith's article, The Misinterpretation of 11 USC 523(a)(8), was foundational in articulating the proper scope and application of the student loan non-dischargeability provision of the Bankruptcy Code, and its arguments and reasoning have been adopted by bankruptcy courts all across the country. Mr. Smith received his J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law in 2014, and is admitted to practice in the State of New York, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, the District of Colorado, and the Eastern District of Michigan.