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Richard Gaudreau
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Richard Gaudreau is an attorney located in Salem, New Hampshire. In addition to his law degree, he holds a Masters of Law from Boston University. His solo practice of 24 years focuses on bankruptcy and student loans. He is board certified in consumer bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification, and New Hampshire chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA).

Attorney Gaudreau’s blog at The Consumer Advocate is focused on the topics of bankruptcy, personal finance and the law.

Rich is a dedicated supporter of and volunteer at the Upper Room in Derry, New Hampshire, which is a non-profit family resource center. He is married with one son, and he is an avid golfer, chess player, and music lover.

Attorney Gaudreau can be reached at or through his website at:

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Entries by Richard Gaudreau

Some Private Student Loans Eligible for Automatic Discharge in Bankruptcy

(1) Comments | Posted June 21, 2016 | 5:59 PM

What's in a name? Just because your private student loan uses the term "student loan" doesn't mean it is one. At least for purposes of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, a student loan must be from an "eligible educational institution" to be considered nondischargeable. If it's not, getting rid...

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In Spate of National Collegiate Student Loan Trust Lawsuits One Defense Stands Out

(2) Comments | Posted April 22, 2016 | 1:21 PM

In my opinion, private student loans are the worst debt in America, bar none. I didn't come to this conclusion lightly, but only after comparing the legal options available to clients facing foreclosures, tax liens, etc. and speaking to borrowers who tell me they have their federal loans under control,...

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Discharging Student Loans -- the Unicorn of the Bankruptcy World?

(13) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 12:01 PM

I attended a free student loan webinar in March of 2014 entitled "Student Loans: The Next Big Thing for the Collection Industry." I'm not a collection lawyer but I wanted to see what collection companies were saying about my student loan clients. I submitted a written question during...

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Perception Trumps Reality in National Mortgage Settlement

(0) Comments | Posted September 6, 2015 | 5:25 PM

In the past couple of months several of my bankruptcy clients received letters from Bank of America releasing them from all liability on second mortgages. What was strange is their mortgages were already scheduled to be discharged in a bankruptcy anyway, and the court had sent notice to Bank of...

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The Fresh Start of a Bankruptcy May Restore Credit Faster

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 5:05 PM

People consider filing bankruptcy when the alternative has become worse. Figuring out if you are at that point though can be difficult. One misconception that makes people hesitate to file bankruptcy is the impact on their credit. An in depth study by the Federal Reserve Bank comparing the...

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Private Student Loan Business Declares War on Borrowers

(39) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 1:40 PM

The ombudsman of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has accused the private student loan industry of failing to do enough to help borrowers in financial distress. While lawsuits are uncommon in the collection of federal student loans, one private student loan business, ...

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Zimmerman Prosecutors Overreached and Paid the Price

(3) Comments | Posted July 15, 2013 | 4:43 PM

A not guilty verdict was not surprising to anyone paying attention to this case. Some of the best witnesses for Zimmerman were called by the prosecution. Charging Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder was a political decision -- pure and simple -- and the verdict was a direct result. The State...

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Court Decision Spells Trouble for Short Sales

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 6:07 PM

In an Alice Through the Looking Glass decision, where everything appears backwards, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a 1099-C meant nothing, and did not forgive a debt despite being labeled "Cancellation of Debt," FDIC v. Cashion, No. 12-1588 (4th Cir. June 19, 2013). The court held...

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Student Loans -- Do Criminals Have More Rights?

(5) Comments | Posted May 29, 2013 | 1:25 PM

Student lenders have collection powers denied most creditors. Credit card companies can't garnish your wages without a court order. A federal student loan collector can garnish your wages just by sending a notice in the mail to your employer. Credit card companies...

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Age Is No Excuse, But Soccer Camp Is No Picnic

(1) Comments | Posted July 20, 2012 | 8:21 PM

One summer I made the mistake of mentioning to my wife that I wished I could go to an adult soccer camp. The next thing I knew, she'd found a goalie camp on the internet in Maine sponsored by Tony Decicco, the former U.S. Women's World Cup team coach. As...

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Dreams: Weathervane of the Soul

(5) Comments | Posted July 10, 2012 | 2:15 PM

Carl Jung once said that "a dream unexamined is like a letter unopened." As a college student chomping at the bit for wisdom, this prompted me to begin paying more attention to my dreams. While my dream recall became better, the messages remained as indecipherable as a foreign language. It...

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Aggressive Debt Collection -- Who's In Your Wallet?

(2) Comments | Posted June 11, 2012 | 4:04 PM

Given the bailout the banks enjoyed at taxpayer expense, it's ironic how difficult it has become for the 'little guy' to take advantage of the only bailout he's ever going to see -- the fresh start promised by filing a bankruptcy. Bank of America received $15...

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Freedom Through Commitment

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2011 | 9:54 AM

When you can wait,
And do anything you want,
When you can wait,
And not do anything,
Then the days are
thin and burdensome.

But if you're just doing nothing,
Then you shouldn't be waiting,
And you're not free.

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Bankruptcy Is the Cost of the Way the Credit Card Industry Does Business

(10) Comments | Posted July 13, 2011 | 3:58 PM

One newspaper article in 1997 told me all I needed to know about the business model for the credit card industry. Beneficial National Bank, the credit card lender for BJ's Warehouse, notified 12,000 of its customers that it was revoking their credit card privileges. A logical guess would...

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Foreclosure Sale -- Buyer Beware!

(22) Comments | Posted February 8, 2011 | 4:16 PM

Buyers of property at foreclosure are looking for a bargain, but that risk now must include the possibility that the title will be defective. One unsuspecting family purchased a home at foreclosure, intending to sell it to their daughter, only to have a title company question whether they acquired good...

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How to Get Rid of a Second Mortgage Without a Loan Modification

(5) Comments | Posted January 3, 2011 | 5:08 PM

Following the maxim that drastic times call for tepid measures, the banking industry continues to pay "lip service" to loan modifications while doing little. On Dec. 15, the Congressional Oversight Committee admitted the government's HAMP loan modification program has failed to help enough homeowners to stem the tide of foreclosures....

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Are Loan Modifications Causing Foreclosures?

(79) Comments | Posted August 20, 2010 | 10:58 AM

When the economy crumbled in 2008 as real estate values plummeted, Congress was under pressure to appease the public's demand for action to stem the tide of foreclosures. Congress considered repealing the prohibition in the law against bankruptcy judges modifying the terms of predatory mortgages, but rejected that option, inexplicably...

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