‘I have a chance now to have a life’: Navy vet who won watershed student loan ruling tells his story

Arthur Swaminathan:

For nearly 15 years, U.S. Navy veteran Kevin Rosenberg owed six figures in student loans.

But on January 7, 2020, a New York judge ruled that the $221,385.49 in student loan debt owed by Rosenberg as of November 2019 was dischargeable under chapter 7 bankruptcy.

“I have a chance now to have a life,” the 46-year-old Rosenberg told Yahoo Finance in an interview.

A bankruptcy expert told Yahoo Finance that Rosenberg’s case is a watershed in that it dispels the notion that student loans were not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

“What I found most fascinating, and I think heartening, is the very strong language that the judge used to call out on what she calls this quasi-mythic status of student loan non-dischargeability,” Jason Iuliano, an assistant professor of law at Villanova University and an expert on bankruptcy, told Yahoo Finance. “I’ve never seen it put quite so pointedly before in a judicial opinion like that.”

After more than a decade of going through the student loan system — making on-time payments, following up with loan servicers, keeping up with the paperwork —  he was finally free of his student debt.