Government Student Loans, Government Debts and Bankruptcy: A Comparative Studyby Stephanie Ben-Ishai
"This research considers the treatment in bankruptcy of loans funded by the government for a post-secondary education, in a comparative context. In addition to Canada, each of Australia, England, the United States, and New Zealand, which have all experienced a rapid increase in the number of overcommitted debtors, bankruptcies and reform to existing consumer bankruptcy legislation and policy over the last two decades, are considered. While the bankruptcy system and funding structure of post–secondary education in these jurisdictions differ in certain important respects, each share some historical, institutional or procedural features with the Canadian bankruptcy regime and each jurisdiction has some form of government–funded or guaranteed student loan program. In each jurisdiction, the last two decades have seen increasing numbers of students pursuing post–secondary education, increasing tuition fees and a move from government grants to government–funded student loans as the primary mechanism employed to assist lower and middle income students to fund their post–secondary education."
"The goals of this research are two–fold. First, given that a series of significant reforms with respect to the treatment of government–funded or guaranteed student loans in the bankruptcy systems under review have taken place over the last decade, this research serves as a taking stock exercise. Second, given the options for dealing with student loans in bankruptcy presented by these other jurisdictions, and Canada's willingness to reassess its own choices, a number of recommendations and issues for further exploration are put forward."