46-Year-Old Debtor Who Earned $111,000 Per Year Failed All 3 Prongs of Brunner Test, Even with Expenses Related to Disabled Spouse

46-Year-Old Debtor Who Earned $111,000 Per Year Failed All 3 Prongs of Brunner Test, Even with Expenses Related to Disabled Spouse

The Plaintiff is a 46-year-old married Debtor who incurred several student loans, which she later consolidated into one loan. The Defendant is a state student loan guarantee corporation.  The Plaintiff obtained numerous forbearances and deferments of the loans after she graduated.  However, she does not qualify for any payment reduction under any income-based repayment plan because of her income. Plaintiff’s income is over $100,000 per year.

The Plaintiff’s 60-year-old husband has medical conditions which preclude him from working.

The Plaintiff contends that the significant amounts in certain spending categories are dictated by her husband’s medical needs, which precludes him from gainful employment and from providing any contribution to the support of the household.

She  claims that an expenditure of an additional $1,600 per month in medical expenses is required for her husband because, in addition to meeting deductibles and co-payments, they utilize medical professionals that are not “in-network” with their insurance carrier and that such substantial “out-of-network” charges are incurred even for emergency care.  Plaintiff offered no corroborating evidence to support these expenses. Even if the proposed expenditures are accurate, the expenses incurred by the Plaintiff’s household are still extravagant in certain categories and much of the Plaintiff’s routine spending reflects an elective, discretionary diversion of disposable income.

The stated income and expenses of the Plaintiff’s household reflect a standard of living that cannot be legitimately described as “minimal.”

The Plaintiff has made little effort to control her expenditures or to impose reasonable household budgetary restrictions.

In fact, the evidence demonstrates the lack of reasonable financial controls by the Plaintiff in that her household has been forced to pay more than $9,000.00 in overdraft and return item fees to her bank in the past 2½ years alone.


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