This July 4th, I appreciate our country, the freedom it offers and opportunities it affords. I am concerned, however, about America’s millennial generation and the challenges they face in attaining their American Dream.
A majority millennials are saddled with tremendous student loan debt, totaling $78.9 billion in the state of Florida and $1.52 trillion nationwide. The weight of student loan debt combines with a dearth of affordable housing resulting in a lower net worth previous generations — 35 percent less than the generation just 20 years ago. This untenable combination puts many millennials in the position of potentially never getting ahead, never having their own home and never realizing their American Dream.
Solutions aren’t easy, but they’re out there. With regard to student loan debt, a fairly simple, 15-word addition to the bankruptcy code would make Chapter 13 bankruptcy a viable option for many buried in student-loan debt. Solving the affordable housing issue must start with strong, ethical leadership of government and elected officials who hold developers accountable for their commitment to building affordable housing.
It’s time we stare down these tough issues and begin working toward practical solutions to address the staggering financial barriers facing America’s millennial generation, who now outnumber everyone else in our country. This generation is the future of our country – it’s incumbent on us to protect their opportunity to attain the American Dream.
Chad Van Horn, Esq., is the founder and managing partner of Van Horn Law Group, the largest bankruptcy firm in Broward County based on cases filed in the last 12 months. He is the author of Everything You Need to Know About Bankruptcy in Florida.
Chad Van Horn, Esq., Board Certified Attorney – Business Bankruptcy Law
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