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Debt forgiven after 2006 death

May 09, 2012 Philip Burgess

Debt collection agents may have faced a situation where they are unable to collect money from a deceased person. Sometimes when people pass on unexpectedly, their estate or immediate family must incur the debts not yet rectified by the individual. Should these debts not be paid, companies could go under, prices could rise for innocent consumers and the economy would be adversely affected. Recently, a New Jersey family was able to successfully petition to a bank to forgive the debt of former Rutgers student Christopher Bryski, who passed on in 2006, according to When Bryski died, his $50,000 debt was transferred to his parents Diane and Joseph, because his father co-signed for him when Bryski applied. reported after Bryski passed on due to a traumatic brain injury after falling form a tree in 2004, his $5,000 federal loan and two credit cards were canceled. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2010 that Bryski's situation resulted in the passing of the Christopher Bryski Student Loan Protection Act, which will require private lenders to explain cosigning terms and rights to students when they apply for loans. The source also reported that once the loan was transferred to his father, the debt had to be paid back in one lump sum. According to The Wall Street Journal, lenders called the family to inquire about the payment plans Bryski was required to pay. As a recent college graduate, however, he did not have any money in his estate. Lenders worked with the family, reported, letting Bryski's parents defer the loan for six months while they tried to create a payment plan. However, regulations were in place that would not allow for a suspension of interest charges during this time. Ryan Bryski, the brother of the deceased, began a petition asking the lending company, KeyBank, to fully dissolve the debt so their parents would not have to face the crippling charges. While this may not be the outcome for all cases involving the debts of a person who is no longer alive, especially if that person had money to their name in the form of an estate, the situation worked out in the favor of the Bryski family. This provides a prime example of how despite the opinion of many dealing with large student loan debts, most lenders are willing to work with an individual to ensure payment and create a situation that results in a good deal for all involved. "Going forward, we will evaluate any similar situation involving a deceased student with outstanding loans - and we sincerely hope there are none - on a case-by-case basis," KeyBank spokesman David Reavis told the Star-Ledger.