An individual can file a Chapter 13 case if they have noncontingent, liquidated unsecured debts LESS than $336,900 and noncontingent, liquidate secured debts of LESS than $1,010,650. (these amounts are adjusted every few years)
Student loan debt, as with ANY debt, factors into the debt limits for Chapter 13 under 11 USC 109(e).
A client asked me this question thinking that because student loans were non-dischargeable perhaps that affected whether the debt applies to the Chapter 13 debt limits.
The only way the student loan (or any) debt would not count towards the unsecured debt limit in a Chapter 13 is if one of the following occurred:
- They already had a judgment against you (in the event of a default in payments) and created a lien against assets sufficient to cover the amount of the student loan. In this case, that amount would count towards the SECURED debt limit (which as stated above is just over $1 million);
- The debt is contingent, meaning that you don’t owe it unless some pre-condition occurs; or
- The debt is unliquidated, meaning that there is no way to readily determine the amount owed.