Please help! My brother took out $ 20,000 in student loans on behalf of my father without his consent. My parents refuse to act



Dear Quentin,

Please help! I am very worried about both my parents. I’m pretty sure my brother took out student loans on behalf of my parents without their knowledge and I don’t think they understand that they or they are responsible for refunding the money (not my brother) even if it was done without their consent.

I don’t know how my brother did this, but we found out a few years ago when my father received a letter in the mail from the Ministry of Education. Thinking it had to do with my brother’s financial aid, he opened it up to find that “he” had taken out thousands of dollars in loans to pay for my brother’s college education.

“They are also so close to finally paying off their mortgage, I would hate to see them extend their retirement because of the loans or, worse yet, lose the house they worked so hard for.”

At first he was shocked, but when I explained it to him he pretended to know what was going on. Since then, he basically ignored loans until recently, when he received another letter advising him that his loans were being transferred to a new manager (with new loans added, the total sum now exceeding $ 20,000). .

My mother continues to ignore loans because they were not taken out under her name. When I told them that I was planning to confront my brother about this, they told me to stay out of it. But I can’t stay out of this. I care about both of my parents, and I don’t think it’s fair for them to pay off a debt that was never theirs.

Both my parents will soon turn 60 and they are starting to think about retirement. They are also so close to finally paying off their mortgage that I would hate to see them extend their retirement because of the loans or, worse yet, lose the home they worked so hard for.

If my brother hadn’t been able to pay for school with loans in his name, he never should have gone. Is there a way to change the loans on behalf of my brother to pay off his debt? And can loans affect my mother since my parents are married?

Worried girl

Dear daughter,

If you are sure that your brother took out these loans without your parents’ consent and forged their signatures on the loan documents, you can warn your brother that he faces serious consequences if he does not repay the loan within the time limit. time limit. . That may or may not start a fire under him to at least make sure collection agencies don’t knock on your parents’ door.

You can’t force your parents to take action, of course, unless you’ve reported the suspected loan fraud to the police – and even then your parents could say they approved the loan, which makes any future claims difficult. The more your parents know about the loans taken out in their name and continue to do nothing, the more complicated the case of their release becomes.

Unpaid student loan debt could become a drain on your parents’ joint income and savings; the government could seize tax refunds for a federal loan; and if your dad’s credit rating suffers, it affects your mom if she has to refinance her home due to medical emergencies or other unforeseen events. If they live in a community property state, they can both be responsible for the loan.

If they wanted to pay off this debt? They should probably file a claim for identity theft. Again, this would require a police report and / or a court conviction. But it seems they don’t want to subject your brother – or themselves – to such a traumatic process. In this case, they have no choice but to pay off the debt if your brother defaults and remove it from his inheritance.

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