Thursday, September 13, 2012

Huffington Post: 'Adding Insult to Injury:' After Son's Apparent Suicide, Mother Charged $14,000 in Taxes for Parent Plus Loans

Here's a snippet from my latest piece:

Roswell Friend, 22, went for his last run on August 18, 2011. Images of him running were captured by security cameras at Temple University -- where he had been a student. In an e-mail, his mother, Regina Friend, wrote, "my son ran track [at Temple], and was just about to graduate. He'd earned all the credits, but hadn't 'walked.'" He left behind his cell phone, his wallet, and car keys at home. The fall out for his mother has not just been the emotional end. She also recently learned that the IRS is pursuing $14,000 in taxes for Parent Plus Loan. Although the loan of approximately $58,000 was forgiven by the lender -- Sallie Mae -- Ms. Friend is struggling to understand the IRS's motivation.
Read the rest at the Huff Post here.

Ms. Friend with her son at his high school graduation


Nando said...

This country is a trash heap, where the governing moral is this: pull a fast one on your fellow man, before he can pull a fast one on you. Step on your fellow citizen's neck - including that of your brother - in order to climb the ladder. Hustle in order to get ahead.

Strelnikov said...

He's not the only one; the parents of a man who graduated and later died (without finishing the payments - natch) were harassed by the SL company and the collection goons....except in that case the parents were not cosigners.

The collections agencies are out of control; they buy expired debts and wardial everybody with the last same name or call defunct addresses; they demand immediate repayment on the spot; they have sent agents to people's places of work. Whether it's SL debt or other types, they act like some sort of break-ya-fingas loansharks.

Dona Furiosa said...

For years, I was harassed with almost-daily phone calls about an unpaid student loan taken out by someone who had my phone number before it was assigned to me. When I finally threatened them with legal action, they stopped.

The collection agents have been out of control for a long time and are only getting more aggressive. They're like crackheads on steroids.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reporting on this story. The nation and the world need to see how heartless and unethical these bastards are. Good for you, and let's all pray for hope regarding student loan hell!

Cryn Johannsen said...

Thanks for all of your comments - the work continues!


Anonymous said...

It has only been relatively recently in the history of the federal loan program that this type of discharge has even been allowed. As at least one reporter has noted, the parent's commitment and capacity to repay is not impacted by a child's death. Implementing loan discharges for such cases was simply the humane thing to do. Some of the commenters also have a short member regarding the multiple articles about private education loans, where no such discharge exists, and the parents must keep paying. In this case, the parent does not sound high-income, so she will have to reconcile herself to getting ride of 85% of the debt completely. Not bad. If I kept dwelling on the $25,000 in legal fees that my college irrationally cost myself and my family, I would never get out of bed. Regina Friend needs to move on and accept that a piece of each of her pay checks will go to this debt and this will painfully remind her of her child's death.