Woman With Asperger’s Dodges Bullet on Nearly $340,000 in Student Loans
A bankruptcy judge has ruled in favor of a Maryland resident who claimed she could not repay her student loans because her Asperger’s syndrome prevents her from holding a job.
Carol Todd, who attended the University of Baltimore School of Law in the 1990s before dropping out, successfully made the case that her disability prevented her from repaying the nearly $340,000 she owed in student loans.
In order to relinquish the debt, Todd had to prove she would suffer “undue hardship” if forced to repay her student loans—a condition that is extremely difficult to demonstrate. In deciding in Todd’s favor, Judge Robert Gordon, a bankruptcy judge for the District of Maryland, acknowledged Asperger’s—an autistic spectrum disorder that is typified by problems with social interaction—as a disability that could prevent Todd from repaying her loans.
“To expect Ms. Todd to ever break the grip of autism and meaningfully channel her energies toward tasks that are not in some way either dictated, or circumscribed, by the demands of her disorder would be to dream the impossible dream,” Gordon wrote in his judgment.