Senator Dick Durbin has sponsored S.114: Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2013 in the Senate.  The bill is an attempt to allow debtors to discharge certain student loans in bankruptcy.  The bill would amend 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8) to allow debtors to discharge student loans issued by private lenders, and would not apply to federal education loans.  At the present time, the bill is currently in committee (Senate Judiciary Committee).  On the other side of the aisle, Representative Steve Cohen has introduced a similar bill in the House of Representatives.  H.R. 532: Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2013 would also amend 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8) to allow a debtor to discharge loans issued by private lenders, but the language appears to may have a greater effect.  This is because it eliminates subsection (B) of § 523(a)(8) which applies to private lenders AND would qualify section (A) by replacing it as follows: “an educational benefit, overpayment or loan made, insured, or guaranteed by a governmental unit, or any program for which substantially all of the funds are provided by a governmental unit or nonprofit institution.”  In doing so, the proposed amendment would eliminate the current language that says “any program funded in whole or in part by a governmental unit or nonprofit institution.”   Of course, the issue with the House Bill as it is written now would be over the meaning of “substantially all of the funds.”  The bill is currently in the House Committee on the Judiciary and has been referred to the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial And Antitrust Law as of February 28, 2013.  Of course, these bills, if passed, would not affect the vast majority of student loans.  It is estimated that this change would only affect approximately 15% or less of the currently outstanding student loans.