A new case that the Supreme Court may consider could upend the Brunner test. A petition for a writ of certiorari, or review by the high court, has been filed in the case of McCoy v. United States, which centers around Texas resident Thelma McCoy.
McCoy pursued higher education in her forties, taking out student loans to do so. However, after severe accidents left her disabled with diminished job prospects, she found herself unable to pay her debt. Now in her sixties, she owes about $350,000.
In 2016, McCoy filed for bankruptcy protections, and filed a separate lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education to discharge her loans. The courts found that McCoy had failed to meet the second prong of the Brunner test.
In support of McCoy’s legal efforts, the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court calling for a rejection of Brunner in favor of a less common and more lenient standard, called the totality of the circumstances test, which, as the name suggests, weighs real-world circumstances — the debtor’s past, present, and future financial resources, living expenses; and anything else that’s relevant.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction