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Judge Cancels Debt Due To Asperger’s

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In a highly unusual move, a judge has relieved one Maryland woman of $340,000 worth of student loan debt. The reason: the court found that her Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis is preventing her from keeping a job.

Bankruptcy Judge Robert A. Gordon said in his decision that he believed that Carol Todd met the criteria for “undue hardship,” a high standard designed to assess whether or not student loan debt should be forgiven.

Gordon said that Todd pursued higher education to “achieve something closer to a normal life” but ended up strapped by debt. Todd could not repay her loans because her Asperger’s diagnosis left her unable to keep a job, the judge determined.

Todd, who completed a GED at age 39, went on to earn a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees. She also enrolled in law school, reports The Baltimore Sun. To read more click here.

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Comments (4 Responses)

  1. vmgillen says:

    IMO, this is bogus. . . how about people with disabilities who can’t get jobs because the economy has tanked? or people with disabilities who can’t get jobs period? Or people without disabilities? With all due respect, this falls in the realm of patronizing “pity the crip” behaviour.

  2. Tissue says:

    This is absurd. How did she acquire so much in student loans? She probably was either at a private univ. & living on student loans. She can’t cut it in the real world but managed to get 2 Master’s degrees and get in to law school? This is a slap in the face for those who went to school and are working. I guess no one checked to see if maybe she needed some limited guardianship or conservatorship. They just kept giving her$$$ to go to school. Also who needs to get 2 Master’s degrees. She sounds like she is a professional student and she couldn’t take working. Also she got her GED when she was 39??? Was she working prior to that time? Could she hold a job then? If not, who allowed her to go out and obtain that much in loans? It’s just wrong

  3. Kristy says:

    Makes me worried that loan companies just might be more strict towards borrowers who have disabilities, maybe even outright deny them. Plus, if a judge was able to cancel school loans all worth over $300K, sounds like Todd took out private loans sintead of federal loans, which are more easily accessible (also can’t be included in a bankruptcy). Sounds more like a scam to me–obtain all those degrees and go to law school for free! In another article that this one linked, Todd is 63 years old. Perhaps she wasn’t denied jobs because of Asberger, but because of her age. In the last 5 years or so, the economy sucked and employers hired fewer middle aged and older people. She probably also turned down jobs with low salaries as people with advanced degrees tend to do. Plus at 63, how much longer can she work? Her retirement checks will be paltry due to the lack of work history. Also, didn’t she look into jobs that involve research? Research doesn’t include that much interaction, so this should be up her alley. She probably could be a paralegal, and that type of job does pay well.

  4. Mark Wynn says:

    This is so wrong. No one, health issues or no health issues, should have been allowed to run up $340,000 in student loans to persue a bachelor’s and two masters’ degrees. Now the taxpayers will pay the default. This is a huge fiscal problem that reaches far beyond this person.

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