In re Zena M. Dodson

On October 17, 2022, Student Defense and Latife Neu of Neu Law, PLLC filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education seeking a student loan discharge on behalf of Zena Dodson, a financially distressed public school employee in Washington State. The lawsuit calls on the Department of Education to discharge the borrower’s $78,715 of student loan debt, which originated from an $18,955 student loan the borrower took out in the late 1980’s. Dodson’s case is the most recent among a litany of cases that underscore the need to reform student debt bankruptcy policies.

Ms. Dodson has made a good faith effort to pay back her loans since entering repayment in the early 1990s, and she was granted Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 2014. However, under federal bankruptcy law, discharging student loans requires a separate legal proceeding such as this adversary case. Dodson currently supports both of her adult daughters and a granddaughter and has no significant financial assets.