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February 19, 2013 > Bill would prohibit wage garnishment for student debt

Bill would prohibit wage garnishment for student debt

Submitted By Jeff Barbosa

With national, student loan debt exceeding $1 trillion and a greater burden than credit card debt, California Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) has introduced legislation to prohibit wage garnishment orders on student loans not made, insured or guaranteed by the United States government.

Assembly Bill 233 is part of Wieckowski's Student Bill of Rights legislative package, which will also include a Know Before You Owe bill to require entrance and exit loan counseling for students receiving private loans. On February 6, 2013, Wieckowski also introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 11 urging Congress to change federal bankruptcy laws to allow private loan debt to be discharged through bankruptcy. Since 2005, students have not been able to discharge their debt through bankruptcy.

Education should be a pathway out of poverty, not into it, said Wieckowski, a practicing bankruptcy attorney. Today's student loan debt crisis is becoming a nightmare for families, nationwide. The sharp rise in student fees, the unemployment or under-employment of graduates and the inability to discharge these debts through bankruptcy have led to situations where debts can exceed $100,000 on rare occasions and approximately $26,000 on average. Having graduates leave school this deep in a financial hole damages our economy and the financial future of young families.

To help educate students and the parents who co-sign on their loans, Wieckowski will also introduce legislation for a Know Before You Owe entrance and exit loan counseling requirement on all private student loans.

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