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(The Consumerist)   "Sorry to hear your son died. But you owe money for his student loans. We can't tell you how much you owe, but we expect payment on time. Have a wonderful day"   (consumerist.com) divider line 300
    More: Sick, student loans, federal student loans, ProPublica, sons, payments  
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25415 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Jun 2012 at 8:15 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-15 12:25:07 AM  

FizixJunkee: Xcott: BlippityBleep: try 24k a year to include tuition and living expenses while excluding summer. 7k a year for living expenses for a year? 583 bucks a month to live??? your math sucks and shows you obviously don't have a clue.

In much of the country, yes. At my university, for example, students can get a 3 bedroom apartment for something like $600/mo. That's 200 per person, leaving you with 383/mo for your remaining expenses.

If that doesn't convince you, consider that many universities have room-and-board expenses on the order of 10k per academic year. If you don't think you can live 30% cheaper than a typical residence hall, you probably aren't being all that creative.

Near our university, a crappy three bedroom apartment is more like $2,500/month. If you want something nicer (e.g., with A/C and an on-site laundry facility), you'll pay over $1,000 per bedroom.


From http://albany.craigslist.org/search/apa?query=university&srchType=A&mi nAsk=&maxAsk=&bedrooms= a 3 bedroom looks to be in the $1000-$1500 range there.
 
2012-06-15 12:28:33 AM  

BlippityBleep: how did you finance your education?


I took out a moderate federal loan, worked two part-time jobs on campus during the year, and worked at a KMart every summer. I also managed to enter the master's program a year early (AP credit,) and from then on I had the customary tuition waiver and stipend you get when you are accepted into graduate school.

Of course, the standard retort to this is that I should STFU because things are different now, but at SUNY at least you could do the same thing today.
 
2012-06-15 12:32:16 AM  

Xcott: DamnYankees: Xcott: DamnYankees: For someone who speaks like they have all the wisdom in the world, you could at least learn the word 'innumeracy'.

"Someone have wisdom?"

Maybe instead of teaching me big new words you should practice using the short ones correctly.

I used it perfectly correctly, thanks.

I know I'm being baited here, but "someone" is a singular pronoun, "they" is plural and "have" is third person plural.

Is our children learning?


Normally I stay out of the salvos exchanged by the grammar warriors, but as a writer myself I have to point out that "they" and "have" are not always plural.

"they" can be used as a third person gender neutral singular in place of he, she or it. This form is most often used when the gender of the target is not known.
"have" can be used as a third person singular present tense form of had.

By leading with "someone" which you correctly identified as singular, both "they" and "have" assume the singular form. The sentence is correct as written.

/obviously our children are not learning
 
2012-06-15 12:32:48 AM  

Xcott: BlippityBleep: how did you finance your education?

I took out a moderate federal loan, worked two part-time jobs on campus during the year, and worked at a KMart every summer. I also managed to enter the master's program a year early (AP credit,) and from then on I had the customary tuition waiver and stipend you get when you are accepted into graduate school.

Of course, the standard retort to this is that I should STFU because things are different now, but at SUNY at least you could do the same thing today.


1. what year was this? rates have been out of control and have been escalating more quickly recently.
2. not near every university offers free tuition and a stipend for grad school. (seriously you're pretty far out of touch on that)
3. you're being told to STFU because of your turning a blind eye to an obvious problem and you're giving the 'fark you i got mine' answer. things ARE different in most other places.
 
2012-06-15 12:37:29 AM  

Welfare Xmas: swingerofbirches: College should be free

How's that working out for the Greeks?


It's not all or nothing. Sweden has much higher ages for retirement than Greece. It's also a societal attitude. By the way, California provided free college education for some years when it's economy was booming. California is almost bankrupt now but doesn't provide free college education anymore. There's good and bad government intervention and good and bad government agencies. And I think they're largely good or bad by virtue of societal attitudes.
 
2012-06-15 12:37:40 AM  

NickelP:

Near our university, a crappy three bedroom apartment is more like $2,500/month. If you want something nicer (e.g., with A/C and an on-site laundry facility), you'll pay over $1,000 per bedroom.

From http://albany.craigslist.org/search/apa?query=university&srchType=A&mi nAsk=&maxAsk=&bedrooms= a 3 bedroom looks to be in the $1000-$1500 range there.


That's not where I go to school. Nice try, though.
 
2012-06-15 12:41:51 AM  

swingerofbirches: College should be free, as it in Sweden. If medical school were free, we could also change the put-upon mentality of doctors ("I'm going to do what it takes to recoup my $150k investment and then some") and lower healthcare costs.


But if we do that, then all sort of poor riff-raff will be able to attend college...like negroes or hispanics! Plus how will we be able to brag about how bootstrappy we are?
 
2012-06-15 12:42:37 AM  

PsiChick: Xcott: PsiChick: I was on twelve credits last semester. I had exactly one hour Monday and Wednesday mornings to myself. The rest of my time was spent studying. I'm going to be on fifteen credits next semester, so there goes that hour. Your kid will have no time at all for anything, and in the summer he will hopefully still be studying, so this entire plan is based on a fantasy.


I did 18-21 credits per semester. One (1) of those credits was marching band, which required 7 hours of commitment per week.

I was still able to work two part-time jobs through college. With 12 credit hours you certainly can: 12 is often considered the bare minimum time commitment to be considered a full-time student.

How much housework were you doing? I was at the college from 9-5. That was the only time I had for homework because the rest of my time was eaten up by various chores. I assume the original poster wants his son to do his fair share of housework...


Jumping in since I have a similar schedule. 50 hours of work and ~40 hours of school per week for the last six years. On the plus side Mrs iivel is super ... she takes care of the house during the day, goes to school in the evening and we do chores together on the weekend.

//We should both be done in 2015 ... Just in time for our 10th wedding & 15th first date anniversary.
 
2012-06-15 12:42:55 AM  

FizixJunkee: NickelP:

Near our university, a crappy three bedroom apartment is more like $2,500/month. If you want something nicer (e.g., with A/C and an on-site laundry facility), you'll pay over $1,000 per bedroom.

From http://albany.craigslist.org/search/apa?query=university&srchType=A&mi nAsk=&maxAsk=&bedrooms= a 3 bedroom looks to be in the $1000-$1500 range there.

That's not where I go to school. Nice try, though.


I'm not arguing with you I am pointing out that even at the great SUNY university my $700/month for a four bedroom is mystically low and my math that shows it is pretty much impossible to finance your own college holds up even better. Based on that craiglist if you go to SUNY your $500 a month take home pay won't even pay rent. Keep in mind we didn't withhold taxes and the theoretical grocery bill is probably what I pay for lunch every couple of weeks now.
 
2012-06-15 12:47:31 AM  

BlippityBleep: 1. what year was this? rates have been out of control and have been escalating more quickly recently.


As I said, this is the standard retort, but the fact is I can do the same thing today---just look at the SUNY tuition calculator I linked above.

2. not near every university offers free tuition and a stipend for grad school. (seriously you're pretty far out of touch on that)

No, I am not. Waivers and stipends are customary for graduate programs outside of professional schools. I am a professor now, and I have 3 graduate students, and they all have waivers and stipends---like all the others in the program. When I was a PhD student I had a waiver and stipend, which was normal.

If you are a PhD student and were not given a tuition waiver and stipend, it means that you weren't really accepted to the PhD program, but did not understand the letter they sent you when you applied.
 
2012-06-15 12:56:19 AM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: doglover: bdub77: And the kid should be earning money his two years in CC/university on the side, so he can afford tuition/room and board later.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA H HAHA


Oh wow. You're a riot. Good luck with that.

Yeah. Even at a state college, working on the side isn't going to make much of a dent in the 2 years on the community college side. Student would be better off concentrating on their studies.


I went to a state university in CA. Graduated in 2004. CC for 3 years, University for 2.

Worked a ton, got very good grades, did an internship on top of it all. Only required 11K in loans. Seriously - college is not about getting a free ride or devoting all your time to studying.

Learned a great deal about time management, and being responsible for myself.

Doing the CC / work / save thing => 4 year University transfer student is a great model and worked very good for me and a great number of my friends.

That said - I feel very bad for the father for having to deal with this. I've lost immediate family members and cosigner or not - it is enough having to deal with losing your loved one. Having to pay their large debts off must be excruciating... Considering his income I'm surprised the son qualified after cosigning...
 
2012-06-15 12:58:31 AM  

NickelP: I'm not arguing with you I am pointing out that even at the great SUNY university my $700/month for a four bedroom is mystically low and my math that shows it is pretty much impossible to finance your own college holds up even better.


There are in fact 64 SUNY branches, and you chose a fairly overpriced part of the state.

Where I live, $800/mo is a 15-year mortgage payment for a house, and a very nice one at that. You can always find expensive apartments here, because there are students who come up from Long Island and will pay whatever, but rents are depressed by the fact that you can own a decent house for well under $1000/mo. In the student areas, many of these houses are converted to duplexes with 2-3 bedrooms each, so you can buy one to both live and rent to someone else.
 
2012-06-15 12:58:42 AM  

FizixJunkee: That's not where I go to school


Maybe that's the farking problem.
 
2012-06-15 01:02:48 AM  
I do have sympathy for the guy in the article. While I believe cosigning a loan is not one of the wisest moves to make (I can't cite it but I thought I read something like 2/3 of cosigners end up being on the hook for the loan),with college costs these days the majority of folks don't have many other options. Given the onerous terms of student loans we're trying to work things so that our kids who are college material graduate debt-free - a big pain in the short run but these days we believe that is the best gift we can give them. The results haven't been perfect but we can live with them.
 
2012-06-15 01:05:23 AM  
Ok I opened IE for your calculator. Based on instate tuition at Albany, with parents making 50-60k (median NY family income is $55k http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/36000.html) and the student making 5-10k with 1 student in college I get the following:


Total four year cost will be $70,108 (- the 24k you'll make we can call it $45,000). Keep in mind you are also going to a school that is 2300 a year less than average for annual tuition so if we say you are an average student that become about $55k in debt. They give you $9750 for room and board, I guess this includes food? That seems low but I'll leave it alone. So based on your calculator the best case scenario if you self finance is $55k in debt. This also assumes you'll get 7k in grants and scholarships.
 
2012-06-15 01:07:44 AM  
This makes me so glad that Canada never got into the whole credit swap thing. Sure I know there are those who say Sweatervest would have, Maybe that's how it would have gone down but it didn't.

ALSO, who doesn't spend the extra $3 a month on the life insurance on a loan? Or is it not that cheap there?
 
2012-06-15 01:08:49 AM  
He could just move back to Mexico.

C'mon... FTFA, he's a gardener... in California.... making $21,000 a year.

Of course he's from Mexico.

The family he's supporting is there anyway. At this point he's just blowing his money on Western Union fees and calling cards.

/What?
//Why's everyone looking at me?
 
2012-06-15 01:17:55 AM  
 
2012-06-15 01:41:26 AM  

bdub77: Maybe you shouldn't have cosigned the loan.


Thanks for explaining that. I really didn't want to click on the Consumerist.
 
2012-06-15 02:02:46 AM  
FTFA: But even with the help of a lawyer, the father hasn't been able to get a handle on just how large the loan is, or even who currently holds the loan.

This is a big part of the problem.
 
2012-06-15 02:47:08 AM  

DamnYankees: bdub77: Maybe you shouldn't have cosigned the loan.

Yes, it's this guy's fault for cosigning. Still, the loan servicer, ACS, should have this information.

Plans for my kid: IF you want to go to college, here's the deal. I'll put SOME (not all) money down for you. Rest is up to you. First two years, community college (I'll pay 100%), then transfer to a real university for 2 years - I'll pay about half of that. And if you so choose, you can take the next 2-3 years for masters, same or different university - you work it out, on your dime. Now you've got your 'college' experience of living alone for 4-5 years, and a degree that should hopefully earn you money.

Be very careful about who you cosign your loan to.

Ah. So you're an ass. That makes sense.


This!
 
2012-06-15 02:49:13 AM  

DamnYankees: bdub77: DamnYankees: bdub77: If you think it abusive in any way to suggest that your kid partially earn his way through school you are entitled to your opinion

I never once used the word "abusve". Don't put words in my mouth.

No you simply imply it. I'm sorry, what's the correct term? Wrong? So sorry I'll try to use smaller words next time.

Callous is probably a word I would use,


This, too
 
2012-06-15 03:20:19 AM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: bdub77: downstairs: bdub77: Maybe you shouldn't have cosigned the loan.

Yes, it's this guy's fault for cosigning. Still, the loan servicer, ACS, should have this information.

Plans for my kid: IF you want to go to college, here's the deal. I'll put SOME (not all) money down for you. Rest is up to you. First two years, community college (I'll pay 100%), then transfer to a real university for 2 years - I'll pay about half of that. And if you so choose, you can take the next 2-3 years for masters, same or different university - you work it out, on your dime. Now you've got your 'college' experience of living alone for 4-5 years, and a degree that should hopefully earn you money.

Be very careful about who you cosign your loan to.

But he's going to need a loan at some point, and they're not going to give him one unless you co-sign. So your plan will fail to get him into anything beyond community college.

Federal student loans don't require a cosigner, just private ones. With any luck, they'll still be around. :) And the kid should be earning money his two years in CC/university on the side, so he can afford tuition/room and board later.

Correct. Federal student loans, which are pretty easy to get, do not require a parental co-signer.

If you don't want to be on the hook for a loan if worse comes to worst, then don't co-sign.


Really? This is what you people got out of this situation?

The article I read didnt mention that he didnt understand he owed the money. He needs to know how much is owed and who owns the debt. Would *YOU* pay a debt if the person couldnt tell you how much it was, only that they were authorized to collect it?

/If so, um, you owe me money from YOUR college loans you thought you had paid off. I cant say how much or why you still owe them or why I am entitled to collect it even though you have never heard of me, but send me money today or I will ruin your credit. No, I wont talk to you lawyer, send me money today or I ruin your credit.
 
2012-06-15 05:46:56 AM  

FizixJunkee: fanbladesaresharp: rengav:
Retirement funds are NOT considered in the calculation of financial need. The poorer you look, the more "free" financial aid you get (grants, needs based scholarships, etc.). The parents are considered contributing to the offspring's education EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT, so you might as well make it easier for you to get some aid and then pick up the rest through other means.

Oddly though, they still consider EFC or Estimated Family Contributions when crunching all the numbers. Even if your parents are gone (mine aren't happily) or on any form of public or retirement assistance it's on the forms to get grant and scholarship money. It takes a little off the top even if contributions don't, or can't exist. Found that out about a year ago

I managed to convince my university that I was independent of my parents when I was 18 years old (this was in 1996). It wasn't the easiest process---schools really, really doubt any student is truly, 100% self-supporting. I had to provide a copy of apartment lease, bank records, copies of tax returns, pay stubs, etc. In short, I had to prove that I earned enough money to cover all my expenses and that there was no source of unaccounted for income. Since I was, in fact, 100% self-supporting, I was successful.

\dad was unemployed and homeless at the time
\\my mom was dead


You had an apartment but let your dad live on the street?
 
2012-06-15 06:35:14 AM  
www.global-air.com

The myth: college graduates earn $1 million during their lifetime. The reality: they only earn about $7,500 a year more, and they'll need it to pay back all those loans. (new window)
 
2012-06-15 07:24:43 AM  
I can't feel sorry for someone who doesn't understand what cosigning a loan means. Apparently doesn't know how to make a few phone calls either.
 
2012-06-15 07:26:39 AM  
What if you get your doddering grandparent to be a co-signer. And you default and gramps is in a ALZ unit. What happens then?

Serious question.
 
2012-06-15 07:43:09 AM  
They were shocked to learn that they signed a contract saying if their son didn't pay the loan, the parents would have to pay?
 
2012-06-15 07:49:17 AM  
Submitted by Rex van Schalkwyk of Casey Research

Compassion - Killer Of Society?

In politics, it is the idea that counts. So also in philosophy, pop music, pedantry and philanthropy. The idea is everything. And between the idea and the reality, there lies that vast uncharted terrain of promises unfulfilled, of lies and deceit and of naked hypocrisy, all of which account for the failure of the public discourse and of public life. In short, this self-inflicted deception accounts for the failure of society.

Bertrand Russell, who is said by some to have been the greatest philosopher of the 20th century, and a notable socialist, proposed that in the one-world society he envisaged, the supply of food should be used as a lever to ensure social compliance. This is what he wrote on the need to prevent the increase of the world's population: "If this is to be done otherwise than by wars, pestilence and famines, it will demand a powerful international authority. This authority should deal out the world's food to the various nations in proportion to their population at the time of the establishment of the authority. If any nation should subsequently increase its population, it should not on that account receive more food..."

In this way, the philosopher would have contrived a one-world totalitarian dictatorship in a perpetual state of starvation. Russell did not even consider where the world's food, without which people were to be starved into submission, would realistically be produced. The most extraordinary thing of all is that he could suggest such an idea in pursuit of his ideal of the utopian life. Were it not for the fact that his work, The Impact of Science on Society, is no laughing matter, it might have been read as a malicious satire.

There is a conundrum here: why is it that so many of those who enthusiastically embrace a benign cause conduct themselves with such malevolent intent? The answer in Russell's case and many others besides is that the real object of their concern is not the welfare of the individual, or of the collective, or the world, as the case may be. The real preoccupation is the idea, and close by the idea is the individual who will see self-interest as synonymous with the public good.

And so it is easy for Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, George Soros, and others who have made their billions to adopt neo-socialist causes and to plead the morality of higher taxation because, having made their pile, they can with impunity identify with the perceived interests of the disadvantaged. They can adopt the mantle of compassion because there is no real cost involved.

The worst crimes in human history were committed in the name of the communist ideology, whose central premise was the brotherhood of men. Everyone was a comrade, except when they were not, which was practically all the time. Never included in the common definition were the rulers, although they were routinely referred to by the same fraternal denomination.

George Bernard Shaw actually visited Russia in the company of a clutch of like-minded intellectuals after the commencement of Stalin's infamous purges. When he returned to the safety of London, he proclaimed to have been well-pleased by the progressive nature of Russian society.

How did this man of letters come to a conclusion so perverse? The answer is that he traded his integrity in exchange for the acknowledgement of the intellectual establishment of the time. It was believed then, particularly among the intellectual classes of Oxford and Cambridge, that communism was the way of the future. In Major Barbara, Shaw had excoriated the wealth derived from machines of death and destruction. What better trade for a playwright of his inclinations than to feign ignorance of the depravity of Stalin's Russia. In this way he would find favor with the masters of the intellectual universe.

In a letter written to The Manchester Guardian on March 2, 1933, Shaw and 20 other fellow travelers made this observation: "We desire to record that we saw nowhere evidence of such economic slavery, privation, unemployment and cynical despair of betterment as are accepted as inevitable and ignored by the [British] press... Everywhere we saw the hopeful and enthusiastic working-class, self-respecting and free up to the limits imposed on them by nature and a terrible inheritance from tyranny..."

If Shaw were to be believed, he was well aware of the tyranny of the tsar but blissfully ignorant of the savagery of Joseph Stalin, of the ubiquitous secret police, the extermination of the kulaks and the mass deportation and starvation of vast swaths of the Russian population. On his visit, he did not even notice the ever-present apparatus of Stalin's propaganda machine.

Joseph Schumpeter, who was both a sociologist and an economist, had the measure of human nature. In every democracy, votes are exchanged for favors. As the democracy matures and as the prize of political office becomes ever more seductive, the promises become ever more extravagant. By this process the democratic bribe must, according to Schumpeter, result in government that becomes increasingly socialist. If practical proof of Schumpeter's thesis is required, it is to be found in the inexorable rise of socialism in Europe, Canada, Australia and in the United States.

Add to this the requirement of the bankers and of the lesser financial institutions to secure political advantage, and it becomes easy to follow the money. This also explains the paradox of capital making common cause with socialism. If there is hypocrisy in those who choose to ignore the contradictions of their actions, this hypocrisy is multiplied in those who regard such conduct as a promotion of the public good.

When, as Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson went down on his knees in his abject supplication before Nancy Pelosi, the high priestess of Congress, was it for the survival of the economy or his share-option scheme that he most fervently prayed? Whose interests was he guarding when he provided his banker friends and colleagues with insider information about the imminent collapse of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae - a possibility that only weeks before he had publicly and emphatically dismissed?

The "liberated" South Africa is governed by the African National Congress (ANC), which comprises an assortment of socialists, communists, trades unionists and a sprinkling of pragmatists. The one thing that this unruly crowd has in common is its conspicuous consumption. In the process, billions of rand are misspent, unaccounted for or simply stolen. The chief in the office of former president Thabo Mbeki, Smuts Ngonyama, once proclaimed that he had not engaged in the liberation struggle to be poor. Candor of this kind is, however, rare; far more likely, a critic of government corruption will be met with the accusation of racialism.

The poor and the dispossessed are routinely exploited for the social and political ambitions of their rulers. Winnie Mandela, the former wife of the idealized former president, was convicted of the common-law crimes of kidnapping and assault. Were it not for an opportunistic appeal-court judgment, she might have spent many years in jail. Although she no longer goes by the moniker "Mother of the Nation," she still cuts a prominent and elegant figure on the many occasions she appears in public. Her kidnap victim was found dead, but her compassion is always on display: she never misses a photo shoot opportunity in the immediate presence of misery.

If the politicians and intellectuals are masters at the art of hypocrisy, Hollywood actors and pop stars have a sublime skill in the promotion of humbug. One such practitioner is Paul David Hewson, also known simply as Bono, the lead singer and lyricist of the accomplished Irish rock group U2.

Bono has turned his talents and his genius for publicity to the international populist causes of the day. He has organized many benefit concerts, eagerly supported by the "me-too brigade" who make up much of the entertainment industry. The most woebegone victims invariably attract the greatest artistic support, which is always provided for free.

For his efforts, Bono has consorted with presidents and kings and accumulated an assortment of titles and awards. Formally granted an honorary knighthood in March 2007 and thrice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, the former Time Person of the Year has been described by Paul Theroux as a "mythomaniac"; a person who wishes "...to convince the world of (his) worth." The sociologist and political commentator Muhammad Idrees Ahmad has condemned Bono's conduct as "...a grand orgy of narcissistic philanthropy." So we have it on good authority: narcissism and philanthropy can coexist.

If the hypocrisy of the pop stars is nauseating, the grandiloquent but meaningless oratory of the aspirant political "leaders," of which much will be seen and heard in the coming months, is almost certain to produce results, the very opposite of what is pledged.

Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and others besides have fallen into the trap of bribing their electorates with promises that become ever more unsustainable. In each of these states, expectations have been created that cannot be met and that cannot now be undone. This is surely a recipe for social unrest.

These will not be the only countries to succumb to failure. The national debt, the unaffordable long-term cost of social security, health care and a myriad other entitlements and the mounting evidence of the insolvent state point to the same outcome for the UK and the US. Failure is ensured; the more pressing question is, what happens next?
 
2012-06-15 08:23:12 AM  
Wow that's a tl;dr if I ever saw one.
 
2012-06-15 09:10:15 AM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: I think you need to go back and read exactly what it was that I was replying to, because you're clearly very confused.


The very first two lines of the short string of posts that culminated in your "it's not assholish" comment:

Maybe you shouldn't have cosigned the loan.

Yes, it's this guy's fault for cosigning


So, yea, my response to you stands.
 
2012-06-15 09:27:12 AM  
Put myself through college, getting a kick out of the comments

//Parents didn't give me a dime
///Stupid me went to a private school
////Up to my eyeballs in student loan debt
//American Dream!
 
2012-06-15 09:27:13 AM  

timujin: Isn't there something that you can send a collection agency stating, basically, "only contact me via mail and only do that if you can send me proof that you actually own this loan"?



EDFund and GRC have no limits, limitations nor even Statutes they must abide by in how they collect defaulted student loans. It is singularly the most draconian thing America has seen since debtor's prisons and slavery. Students have no Consumer Rights in these instances, no protections ... collection agencies for these loans have powers that make the IRS drool with envy, since, for the Agencies there are literally no-holds barred. They can fark with anything, anytime, anywhere including taking your paycheck or bank account without notice.
 
2012-06-15 09:47:56 AM  
Seeing some of the responses here shock me. The father isn't asking to be let off the hook (although given his income, he cannot possibly repay it). He's asking for information. Which, given the scam of student lending, is unsurprising. There's a reason why many schools offer an expert financial aid officer: the lending process is intentionally complicated. So, to have this attitude that you do not feel compassion for a father, having lost his son, now being required to pay it back through shady practices is absurd. Grow a farking heart. The father cosigned because he was investing in his son's future. Unfortunately, he signed over his soul to the devil. The process is intentionally confusing so that they can best take advantage of people.

Yes, his lawyer is incompotent. When you cannot afford adequate legal representation, this is what happens. By the way, the Supreme Court has said that while everyone is entitled to representation, the representation isn't requied to be compotent.

Finally, contracts are required to be fair for both parties. If I recall correctly, student lending is exempt from this requirement. Traditionally, if a contract is found to be one-sided by the court, the court adds favor to the side being taken advantage of. Again, not applicable to student lending.

So really: fark off. It's an exceptionally shady practice that are becoming increasingly common in order to fund even awful public colleges.
 
2012-06-15 10:00:45 AM  
What would happen if you wrote them a check and put "undefined" in the amount field?

Could you argue that you attempted to pay them what they asked for?
 
2012-06-15 10:51:22 AM  
I am not following why this is news the father cosigned his son's loan his son died and now the father is liable for the loan as a cosigner the father should have been insuring that he received a copy of every letter regarding the loan. A loan can not be sold to another company without a letter being dispatched to the borrower informing them of the new lender. So what I see here is a failure on the part of the father and now he wants to try to blame the system for his lack of responsibility.
 
2012-06-15 11:09:26 AM  

bdub77: Plans for my kid: IF you want to go to college, here's the deal. I'll put SOME (not all) money down for you. Rest is up to you. First two years, community college (I'll pay 100%), then transfer to a real university for 2 years - I'll pay about half of that.


I'm surprised that you're getting crap for this, when it's actually a very generous amount of money, probably more than the expected family contribution for your income level and certainly a lot more than a lot of students get from their parents.

A common refrain among students today is, "my parents don't have money for college but the government says we're too rich for any real financial aid." It never occurs to them that maybe the government was right, and their parents are indeed able to fork over money but would rather not take the lifestyle hit.

After all, if your parents fed and clothed you and otherwise took care of you as a teenager, then they obviously had the money to do so; thus they can't really claim to have zero dollars to pitch in when you move out. But I suppose kids are used to believing what their parents tell them.
 
2012-06-15 11:22:11 AM  

Profedius: So what I see here is a failure on the part of the father and now he wants to try to blame the system for his lack of responsibility.


I suppose the dude's lack of responsibility is pretty shocking, now that I think about it.

I can't fault a parent for co-signing his kid's loan, but letting your kid borrow $160,000 for a college degree? At the national average, that's like 20 years of in-state tuiton. Even if you throw in room and board, books etc, it's enough money for two full rides. It's an absurd amount of money to borrow for a college education.

This guy clearly didn't pay any attention to what his kid was doing, and certainly didn't give him any father-son advice about money. And it certainly shows that this sort of behavior isn't just a thing of young people because their "brains are still developing."
 
2012-06-15 11:37:37 AM  

planes: The myth: college graduates earn $1 million during their lifetime. The reality: they only earn about $7,500 a year more, and they'll need it to pay back all those loans. (new window)


From the article:

Joel Kellum says he's living proof that the claim is a lie. A 40-year-old Los Angeles resident, Kellum did everything he was supposed to do to get ahead in life.

These horror stories always start this way---oh I did everything I was supposed to do---and end with someone taking out a mathematically illiterate loan that he or she can never pay back even with a great job.

Wouldn't it be fairer to say that this guy did one big thing he was not supposed to do? Nobody ever tells you to borrow so much money for school that you need two six-figure jobs to pay it back over 30 years. That's not something you're supposed to do.
 
2012-06-15 01:18:08 PM  
I took student loans from 3 sources: federal, a small Perkins loan directly from the school, and a private loan from Sallie Mae. I never had to get a cosigner, and I was never over 21.

You people claiming that private lending institutions won't lend without a cosigner are talking out of your asses. Now according to the article this guys principle loan amounts were over 140k, it makes sense to require a cosigner at some point, even for medical students.

What I don't get is why this guy was allowed to cosign. Today he makes 21k/year and he was allowed to assure debt that topped 100k? Unless he got laid off from some high paying manufacturing job and mowing lawns or whatever (no shame, just doesn't pay much) is the best he can do, that makes no sense at all. Don't these banks do credit checks on cosigners too?

All told, these debt collection agencies are asshats and the farking feds really need to fix this problem. But they won't, they're in their pockets.
 
2012-06-15 01:36:16 PM  

aharown: What I don't get is why this guy was allowed to cosign. Today he makes 21k/year and he was allowed to assure debt that topped 100k?


A better question might be: why was the kid allowed to borrow such a large amount of money, especially considering that college doesn't cost anywhere near that much money?
 
2012-06-15 01:58:30 PM  

Xcott: NickelP: I guess we clearly can't have a car. I hope that job is within walking distance.

But this is a silly objection. I've never needed a car to get to a McJob while I was a student, because most of the stores/bars/restaurants are close to campus (obviously, because they cater to students, many of whom don't have cars.)

On top of that, the university where I went to school and the university where I work both have a bus system paid with student fees, so if I really wanted to work on the other side of town I could. Not to mention that a cheapo bike gave me as much mobility as the bus, at least until some choad stole it in my last year.


You do realize that the USA is a very big country and not every college town or state is like yours right? Do you really think because you had an experience one way, everyone can have that same experience?

I really don't undertand why you are being so bull headed about this. Open your farking mind and realize just because you had certain circumstances doesn't mean everyone else can have those circumstances.

I have graduated but my "college town" was a city with really crappy public transit, almost zero on campus housing for in state students and even really cheap housing was more than $600 a month for a 3 bedroom. I was lucky in my circumstances in that my dad allowed me to live at home for free, helped with tuition, I worked and still came out with $14,000 in loans. This was 2004 so I was able to get a job a few months after graduating and then finally get my own apt. I also know that just because I had one experience does not mean I think everyone does/can/should have the same.

Times have changed since I graduated but I realize that. You should too.
 
2012-06-15 02:25:38 PM  

what_now: The loan's current servicer - ACS Education Services - is obligated to reveal this amount, but the father is having trouble getting the truth out of the company, a subsidiary of Xerox.

Bullshiat. There are some servicers that are shady. This isn't one of them. The father probably doesn't have the students account number, SSN, ID number etc.

There's an awful lot missing out of this story.


You're missing a very important fact: The collectors are coming after him. Not the other way around. If you demand money from me, then you sure as hell better be able to lay down some paperwork.
 
2012-06-15 02:57:54 PM  

jackieeeee: You do realize that the USA is a very big country and not every college town or state is like yours right?


No, I don't realize that. I cannot fathom a university that is not within walking distance, much less biking distance, of a McJob.

I have never seen a college campus anywhere in the country where you can't find a fast food place, bar, restaurant or store near the boundary of campus. If you know of such a place, tell me and we'll look it up on Google maps.

I suppose there might be some very remote parts of the country where one cannot walk to a McJob from the dorms, but I'd argue that's a rare exception rather than the rule.
 
2012-06-15 04:05:22 PM  

bdub77: Maybe you shouldn't have cosigned the loan.

Yes, it's this guy's fault for cosigning. Still, the loan servicer, ACS, should have this information.

Plans for my kid: IF you want to go to college, here's the deal. I'll put SOME (not all) money down for you. Rest is up to you. First two years, community college (I'll pay 100%), then transfer to a real university for 2 years - I'll pay about half of that. And if you so choose, you can take the next 2-3 years for masters, same or different university - you work it out, on your dime. Now you've got your 'college' experience of living alone for 4-5 years, and a degree that should hopefully earn you money.

Be very careful about who you cosign your loan to.


That's either a decent troll or you're a moron/shiatty parent.
 
2012-06-15 04:29:41 PM  

Red_Fox: bdub77: Plans for my kid: IF you want to go to college, here's the deal. I'll put SOME (not all) money down for you. Rest is up to you. First two years, community college (I'll pay 100%), then transfer to a real university for 2 years - I'll pay about half of that. And if you so choose, you can take the next 2-3 years for masters, same or different university - you work it out, on your dime. Now you've got your 'college' experience of living alone for 4-5 years, and a degree that should hopefully earn you money.

That's either a decent troll or you're a moron/shiatty parent.


Can someone explain how this guy is a shiatty parent for promising to pay more than half of his kid's college education? If my parents paid more than half of my education I wouldn't have had any debt.

Is this like a millennial thing, where someone who gives you tens of thousands of dollars is a dickbag because you deserve to be given twice as much?
 
2012-06-15 05:29:29 PM  

Xcott: Profedius: So what I see here is a failure on the part of the father and now he wants to try to blame the system for his lack of responsibility.

I suppose the dude's lack of responsibility is pretty shocking, now that I think about it.

I can't fault a parent for co-signing his kid's loan, but letting your kid borrow $160,000 for a college degree? At the national average, that's like 20 years of in-state tuiton. Even if you throw in room and board, books etc, it's enough money for two full rides. It's an absurd amount of money to borrow for a college education.

This guy clearly didn't pay any attention to what his kid was doing, and certainly didn't give him any father-son advice about money. And it certainly shows that this sort of behavior isn't just a thing of young people because their "brains are still developing."


Yes that is correct it might be easy to blame the system and the system does have faults, but if you borrow money or cosign for someone you really need to stay on top of that. I would never cosign for someone on a loan, but if I did I would have it setup so that all matters related to the loan are sent to both the borrower and the cosigner and that any modifications to the loan have to be made by both parties. I know you can setup a loan that way, because I used to work in the area of loans. Sometimes you can even get a stipulation that in the event of the death of the borrower the cosigner is not responsible for the remaining debt.

Also people remember that if a family member dies and they have credit card debt that is not in your name and they leave you their estate you can tell the credit card company to piss up a rope because you are not responsible for the remaining debt.
 
2012-06-15 06:35:22 PM  

Profedius: Xcott: Profedius: So what I see here is a failure on the part of the father and now he wants to try to blame the system for his lack of responsibility.

I suppose the dude's lack of responsibility is pretty shocking, now that I think about it.

I can't fault a parent for co-signing his kid's loan, but letting your kid borrow $160,000 for a college degree? At the national average, that's like 20 years of in-state tuiton. Even if you throw in room and board, books etc, it's enough money for two full rides. It's an absurd amount of money to borrow for a college education.

This guy clearly didn't pay any attention to what his kid was doing, and certainly didn't give him any father-son advice about money. And it certainly shows that this sort of behavior isn't just a thing of young people because their "brains are still developing."

Yes that is correct it might be easy to blame the system and the system does have faults, but if you borrow money or cosign for someone you really need to stay on top of that. I would never cosign for someone on a loan, but if I did I would have it setup so that all matters related to the loan are sent to both the borrower and the cosigner and that any modifications to the loan have to be made by both parties. I know you can setup a loan that way, because I used to work in the area of loans. Sometimes you can even get a stipulation that in the event of the death of the borrower the cosigner is not responsible for the remaining debt.

Also people remember that if a family member dies and they have credit card debt that is not in your name and they leave you their estate you can tell the credit card company to piss up a rope because you are not responsible for the remaining debt.


Kinda right and kinda wrong here. Let say your dad dies, in his will he leaves everything to you. Before you can take ownership of anything, the estate of your dad has a duty and is required by law to pay off all debts that your father owed. So if your dad had 10k in cc debt while they can't sue you for it they can sue your fathers estate to get their stuff. Which means the estate has to sell off enough stuff to pay the debt then you get what ever is left over. Now if there is not enough after selling everything in the estate to cover the debt then yes the cc companies are sol. but they can't come after you for it. The only thing they can't come after is life insurance.
 
2012-06-15 09:33:09 PM  
We helped our kids in college as much as possible, no way would we cosign any loans.

This story automatically generates sympathy for the debtors, because it seems like they didn't really get the benefit of the loan. But this is one of those occasions where Calvin Coolidge's quote applies: "They hired the money, didn't they?"
 
2012-06-15 09:38:30 PM  

Profedius: Xcott: Profedius: So what I see here is a failure on the part of the father and now he wants to try to blame the system for his lack of responsibility.

I suppose the dude's lack of responsibility is pretty shocking, now that I think about it.

I can't fault a parent for co-signing his kid's loan, but letting your kid borrow $160,000 for a college degree? At the national average, that's like 20 years of in-state tuiton. Even if you throw in room and board, books etc, it's enough money for two full rides. It's an absurd amount of money to borrow for a college education.

This guy clearly didn't pay any attention to what his kid was doing, and certainly didn't give him any father-son advice about money. And it certainly shows that this sort of behavior isn't just a thing of young people because their "brains are still developing."

Yes that is correct it might be easy to blame the system and the system does have faults, but if you borrow money or cosign for someone you really need to stay on top of that. I would never cosign for someone on a loan, but if I did I would have it setup so that all matters related to the loan are sent to both the borrower and the cosigner and that any modifications to the loan have to be made by both parties. I know you can setup a loan that way, because I used to work in the area of loans. Sometimes you can even get a stipulation that in the event of the death of the borrower the cosigner is not responsible for the remaining debt.

Also people remember that if a family member dies and they have credit card debt that is not in your name and they leave you their estate you can tell the credit card company to piss up a rope because you are not responsible for the remaining debt.


Not in California. I had to go to CA and settle my uncle's estate (of which I was co-beneficiary). I went over each of the debts with the attorney, and one was a credit card balance of $600 or so- and it absolutely did have to be paid as a legitimate debt of the estate under CA law. The big debt was one from the hospital where he died, about $22K that wasn't covered by Medicare. However, the hospital failed to send in a claim within the 90 days specified by the court, and therefore they were paid zero. The hospital wasn't very pleased about it, but that was also the law.
 
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