The Department of Justice has finally released new regulations to simplify the process of getting federal student loan debts erased in bankruptcy.

Student loan borrowers must still demonstrate that making their payments would put them through “undue hardship,” but the process has been considerably streamlined. Since federal student loan payments are reinstituted at the beginning of the year, this could not have arrived better.

Debtors can submit paperwork to the Department of Justice to assess whether that obligation would pose an undue burden rather than going through the frequently expensive, risky, and time-consuming process of filing an adversary proceeding against a well-staffed student loan lender within a bankruptcy filing. The definition of an unnecessary hardship will also be significantly loosened to a more reasonable level.

To decide whether to recommend that the bankruptcy court discharge the borrower’s student loan debt, the Departments of Justice and Education will examine the data offered by the debtor.

This information represents a huge win for debtors.