Burge, Elmer Secure Class Certification Across Eighth Circuit in Navient Student Loan Case, Nebraska Bankruptcy Court Grants Motion

On Mar. 8, 2023, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska granted a class certification motion argued by attorneys Jason Burge and Kaja Elmer to certify a class of bankrupt student loan debtors across the entire U.S. Eighth Circuit. The matter (Case 21-08023-TLS Woodard v. Navient Solutions, LLC) relates to claims by consumer education loan borrowers who, though they allegedly discharged their private student loans via bankruptcy, continued to be subject to collection activity on those loans by student loan servicer Navient. Click here to read the opinion.

According to the plaintiffs, Navient and its agents refused to recognize the discharges of their private student loans to non-Title IV schools, and continued to collect on loans even after borrowers obtained bankruptcy discharges. Navient allegedly called borrowers’ relatives and employers, sometimes multiple times a day.

In his ruling, Chief Judge Thomas L. Saladino stated that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 had been met, approving a class action as an “…efficient and equitable method of resolving the issue of whether Navient has violated the discharge injunction, and, if so, what remedies are responsive to that violation.” Judge Saladino’s ruling represents the first time that a contested motion for class certification has been granted in a student loan debtor case.

Special counsel Lara Richards also assisted on the case.

Fishman Haygood represents both plaintiffs and defendants in class action and mass action litigation, both in Louisiana and across the nation. Click here for more information.