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Benefit from the Experience of Attorneys Bill and Valerie Sherman Former Assistant Attorney General, Assistant County Attorneys and Magistrate Judge

Are There Any Nobel Prize Winners That Filed For Bankruptcy?

Question: I just graduated from a large university in Georgia with a ton of student loan debt that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to pay back. I have many friends from college in the same situation. We have huge student loans that we can't get rid of in bankruptcy, I understand that. It really does not make me feel that much better but I heard that a lot of Nobel Prize winners have used bankruptcy. Is that true? Just shows it can happen to anyone, right? I know this isn't a typical bankruptcy question but I'm curious.

Answer: Student loan debt is a financial "bomb" waiting to explode. Americans from all walks of life have amassed over one trillion dollars in student loan debt and that number just keeps increasing. Major media outlets, from The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Yahoo, Google, CNN, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal and Fox News have all run recent, very scary stories on the horrible impact student loan debt is having on people. Even suicides have been linked to student loan debt. Student loan debt is, as you correctly point out, not dischargeable in bankruptcy. So, unlike credit card debt, medical bills, loans, repossessions and money owed to landlords, you will always have your student loan debt. And if that debt is not paid, the student loan companies will sue you, garnish your wages and federal tax return refund, or seize your bank accounts. Having the law ability to garnish a federal tax refund is something, obviously, that VISA, MasterCard, American Express, landlords, hospitals and doctors do not have.

As for Nobel Prize winners, it is not uncommon for them to utilize the bankruptcy laws and the protection they afford. Nobel Prize winners understand that bankruptcy is a valuable option providing a "fresh start" from financial distress. Dr. Alan Heeger, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, used bankruptcy for his company, Konarka Technologies, Inc., a solar panel company. Two Nobel Memorial Prize winners in Economic Sciences, Myron S. Scholes and Robert C. Merton, utilized the bankruptcy statute for their company, Long Term Capital Management. Jean Henri Dunant, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, filed bankruptcy because he suffered financial misfortunes. These are just a few of the super-smart men and women who have won the prestigious Nobel Prize that have filed for bankruptcy protection, a right that is guaranteed to every American by our Constitution in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4.

Please call The Sherman Law Group at 678-215-4106 so that we can answer any questions you may have about a Georgia bankruptcy.

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