Let's Talk Student Loans (but Not Undue Hardship): Other Solutions to Help Your Clients and Get You Paid

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 62 minutes
Recorded Date: April 13, 2019
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  • Partial Discharge of Student Loans
  • Establishment of "undue hardship" and the Brunner Test
  • Application of Partial Discharge Remedy
  • Remedies Other Than Partial Discharge
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: April 13, 2019


Bankruptcy and student loans do not mix because of Brunner, but as outstanding student loan debt nationwide has risen to $1.5 trillion and climbing, there is a huge need for a solution to the student loan debt crisis. During this session, you will learn the different options student loan debtors have, and identify ways to be compensated for your services. Also, you will receive an inside look from a chapter 7 trustee on how to identify (and hopefully avoid) the pain that could come with a dreaded tuition clawback.

This program was recorded as part of ABI's 2019 Annual Spring Meeting on April 13th, 2019.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute


Chad Van Horn

Managing Partner
Van Horn Law Group, P.A.

Chad Van Horn, Esq. is a South Florida business leader and founding partner attorney of Van Horn Law Group, P.A. He and his strong team of attorneys, paralegals and staff have built Van Horn Law Group into the largest bankruptcy firm in Broward County, Florida, based on the number of cases filed in the last 12 months.*

The firm’s success rests on the legal expertise of its staff as well as its client-oriented mission: to restore peace of mind to individuals in financial distress by providing first rate, affordable legal services with compassion, understanding and respect. This philosophy filters down into all practice areas, including student loan consolidation and litigation, estate planning/asset protection, LGBT estate planning/asset protection, foreclosure defense, corporate representation, debt consolidation, civil litigation, debt relief and consumer law, in addition to personal and corporate bankruptcy. He also is well known for his proficiency in business and real estate transactions, commercial and real estate litigation, loan modifications and landlord-tenant disputes.

Helping people, especially those facing hardship, is a way of life for Van Horn that extends far beyond his law practice into all of his community and civic efforts. He applies his resources and network to helping others through a combination of spirited entrepreneurship, dedicated philanthropy and legal expertise.

He gives generously to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County serving as a board member since 2013, sponsoring and participating in the organization’s events and as a Big Brother mentor to Desmond since 2012, a life-changing experience for both Big and Little Brother. In addition, he provides significant volunteer pro bono services to veterans through Mission United and helps children in need by consistently supporting the OJ McDuffy Foundation.

Van Horn was recognized for his efforts by being named 2017 Florida Big of the Year out of 15,000 mentors statewide and 2017Attorney of the Year by Legal Aid Service of Broward County. In 2017, he also received the prestigious 40 Under 40 award by the South Florida Business Journal and was selected for Leadership Broward Class XXXVII.

Van Horn’s journey to success began as a business major at Robert Morris University, in Pittsburgh, PA. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a focus on Entrepreneurship and International Business in 2005, including a semester abroad at American University of Rome in Rome, Italy. This experience broadened his horizons by opening his eyes to global economic and social perspectives.

In 2005, Van Horn moved to South Florida and started working as a bankruptcy law clerk while attending law school at night. He earned his juris doctor from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law School in 2009 and was elected graduating class speaker, a vocation which he still avidly enjoys. Van Horn, a Fort Lauderdale resident, received his certification by the Florida State Bar in 2009 and from the Supreme Court of the United States in 2014. He is accredited in both consumer and business bankruptcy by the ABA.

Scott S. Markowitz

Partner, Co-Chair of Bankruptcy and Corporate Restructuring Practice
Tarter Krinsky & Drogin LLP

Scott S. Markowitz co-chairs the Bankruptcy and Corporate Restructuring practice. His practice focuses on debtor and creditors’ rights, bankruptcy and out-of-court workouts.

He has a diverse portfolio of clients, including public and private middle-market companies, as well as creditors’ committees. He was lead bankruptcy counsel to the Christian Brothers, a Catholic religious order, which filed a Chapter 11 case before the Honorable Robert D. Drain to deal with an avalanche of sexual abuse litigation filed in numerous states around the country.

Scott represented the Martinique Hotel, a famous landmark hotel in New York City, in a contested Chapter 11 case that resulted in a confirmed plan and payment of 100%, plus interest, to unsecured creditors. He was also retained by the creditors’ committee in the HRH Construction, LLC Chapter 11 case, one of the preeminent general contractors in New York, which built the Empire State Building, as well as by an operator of numerous well-known national franchise restaurants.

Prior to joining Tarter Krinsky & Drogin, Scott was a partner for 10 years at the bankruptcy law firm of Todtman, Nachamie, Spizz & Johns, P.C.

Mark G. DeGiacomo

Murtha Cullina LLP

Mark DeGiacomo’s practice focuses on his work as a Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee as well as his representation of clients in bankruptcy cases and representation of clients involved in commercial litigation.

Since 1995, Mark has been a trustee of the 8 member Boston trustee panel from which the Department of Justice selects bankruptcy trustees. He has served as a bankruptcy trustee in thousands of cases and in that capacity has operated, sold and liquidated numerous businesses. Mark also serves as counsel to the bankruptcy estate in all cases for which he has been appointed trustee. This valuable experience provides a unique advantage to Mark’s private clients in the bankruptcy system.

In addition to representing the bankruptcy estates, Mark also represents other trustees, Creditor Committees in Chapter 11 cases, business debtors in Chapter 7 and 11 cases, secured and unsecured creditors in chapter 7, 11 and 13 cases, defendants in bankruptcy preference and/or fraudulent conveyance adversary proceedings and commercial landlords. Mark has litigated dozens of cases in the Massachusetts bankruptcy courts and represented numerous clients in appeals brought before the U.S. District Court, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Mark’s litigation experience includes representation of clients in all types of commercial litigation including director and officer cases, attorney malpractice, accountant malpractice and contract & construction matters.

Alane A. Becket

Becket & Lee LLP

Ms. Becket joined Becket & Lee in 1991. She is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest distinction available. In addition to being a Managing Partner at Becket & Lee, focusing on client and industry relations, she specializes in litigation strategy and has been lead counsel in some of the most successful and influential decisions on claim litigation in consumer cases over the last 15 years.

In 2009, Alane was elected to the Board of Directors of the ABI, where she served as Co-Chair of its Consumer Bankruptcy Committee from 2009 through 2011. In 2014, she was elected to serve on ABI's Executive Committee as Vice President of Publications. In April 2018, Alane was elected President-Elect of ABI, until she assumes the role of President in April 2019. In 2015, Alane was appointed to NCBA's Board of Directors. She was reelected to the NCBA Board in 2016, where she serves as Co-Chair of the Bankruptcy Section, and of the Professional Standards and Grievance Committee.

Alane has lectured extensively on consumer bankruptcy issues for a variety of professional organizations, including the ABI, the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the Federal Judicial Conference the NACTT, the Commercial Law League of America, NCBA, and a host of local and regional creditor organizations. She has authored articles for many of the same organizations, as well as the Norton Institute on Bankruptcy Law. Alane co-authored the revised edition of the ABI treatise Consumer Bankruptcy: Fundamentals of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code (Third Edition) and served as Editor of the Fourth Edition published in 2017. Alane also served as Editor for 2011, 2012 and 2013 editions of The Best of ABI – The Year in Consumer Bankruptcy. In 2016, Collection Advisor magazine named her as one of the “25 Most Influential Women in Collections” in its September/October cover story. In 2018, Collection Advisor once again recognized Alane among her peers, this time in its September/October cover story on the “20 Most Powerful Women in Collections”.

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