Friday, April 6, 2012

President of NACBA, Billy Brewer, on Fox Business' Tom Sullivan Regarding Student Loan Bankruptcy Discharge

The following is a letter disseminated to the membership of NACBA from Ike Shulma, the Chair of the NACBA Legislative Committee, regarding ongoing efforts towards allowing for the discharge of student loans.

As you may know, NACBA held a major news event drawing attention to the emerging student loan “Debt Bomb” during our annual Capitol Hill Meeting in February. The centerpiece of the news event was the NACBA survey of our members, which revealed that 4 out 5 NACBA attorneys reported a major jump in student loan debtors seeking bankruptcy assistance.

This important issue has, as you have probably seen, generated an enormous amount of media coverage in the time since we held the news event.

This week, NACBA President Billy Brewer was interviewed on Fox Business’ Tom Sullivan show. If you’d like to tune in, we have been told that the segment will air this weekend during the Tom Sullivan Show at the following times:

Saturday, April 7:  7 and 10pm (eastern)
Sunday, April 8:  8am and 8pm (eastern)

This effort to draw attention to the effect that significant student loan debt has on those seeking bankruptcy protection is just one of many legislative efforts that NACBA is taking the lead on. We welcome your participation in our legislative and advocacy efforts. If you would like more information and to be involved, feel free to contact NACBA’s Field Director, Angie Thies-Huber or Field Coordinator, Zach Manifold.
NACBA has undertaken this campaign to change the bankruptcy laws with respect to student loans at the suggestion of our legislative team in Washington, DC.  Legislative Director Maureen Thompson reported to NACBA’s Legislative Committee and Board that she had heard from a good number of NACBA members about the need to seek these changes.  Maureen and her colleagues at The Hastings Group took the primary responsibility for researching and writing the report and media materials and for the media promotion of the event.  The Hastings Group, whose role recently was expanded to include media outreach, reports that we likely will have more than 500 media hits from this event.

And, while the media coverage is important, it is only a means to an end.  Our goal is to create an opinion environment that will help convince lawmakers in Washington that changes to the bankruptcy code with respect to student loans is necessary and desirable.  The good news is that in response to the media coverage, the Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing on the topic, during which NACBA’s report and survey were prominently featured.  Senator Durbin (D, IL) cited NACBA and its work in a speech on the Senate floor on this topic.  We know this will take time and the release of the report and survey is only the first step in what will be a broader campaign.  But, with the active involvement of NACBA members in the campaign, I have no doubt we will be successful.

Finally, we wanted to share with you some of the over 300 stories published about the student loan debt bomb issue:

We appreciate all the support for these efforts that we are getting from our members!

Ike Shulman
Chair, NACBA Legislative Committee

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