$5 billion in student loan debt could be forgiven. Is your debt part of it?

At least $5 billion in private troubled student loans may be dismissed because paperwork that proves loan ownership is missing.

Explore>> Read more trending news

A group of creditors may not be able to collect on the loans even after taking student borrowers to court because of the missing paperwork, The New York Times reported.

Judges have already dismissed dozens of lawsuits against former students, essentially eliminating their debts because of the paperwork problem, according to the Times. The missing documentation may mean tens of thousands could be off the hook for paying back loans.

In a review of court records, the newspaper found several similar cases contain incomplete ownership records, as well.

The National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts, one of the country's biggest owners of private student loans, is reportedly at the center of the lawsuits.

Explore>>Related: Student loan debt default rates ranked by Ohio colleges

The ongoing student loan debt crisis is causing comparisons to the sub-prime mortgage crisis 10 years ago when billions of dollars in loans were wiped away because of missing or false documentation.

About the Author