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Abstract

To remedy supposed abuse, a proposal was made which ultimately was enacted as section 523(a)(8) of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978. Henceforth, such student loans would be dischargeable in bankruptcy only if "such loan first became due before five years. . . before the date of the filing of the petition; or . . . excepting such debt from discharge . . . will impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor's dependents... ' This Article will first examine the legislative history of that provision and then review the case law implementing and interpreting the undue hardship exception. It is the author's thesis that the absence of a single coherent legislative theory for the nondischargeability of student loans has inevitably led to a number of disparate judicial interpretations.

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