Mother asks bank to forgive dead son's college loan in online petition

BOSTON Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:25pm EST

Jermaine Edwards is pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of change.org. Ella Edwards, the mother of Jermaine a Detroit-area college student who died in 2009, has launched an online petition asking lender First Marblehead Corp to forgive a $10,000 student loan taken on by her son that she says she cannot repay. REUTERS/change.org/Handout

Jermaine Edwards is pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of change.org. Ella Edwards, the mother of Jermaine a Detroit-area college student who died in 2009, has launched an online petition asking lender First Marblehead Corp to forgive a $10,000 student loan taken on by her son that she says she cannot repay.

Credit: Reuters/change.org/Handout

BOSTON (Reuters) - The mother of a Detroit-area college student who died in 2009 has launched an online petition asking lender First Marblehead Corp to forgive a $10,000 student loan taken on by her son that she says she cannot repay.

Ella Edwards, a 61-year-old woman working part-time as a seamstress, has garnered some 191,000 signatures for her online petition on the website Change.org (www.change.org/ella).

"I am trying to pay off Jermaine's loan, but I simply don't have the money - and because of my crushing depression, I am barely able to work at all," Edwards said in her online petition. "Nobody told me when I co-signed the loan that I would be forced to pay them back even if my son died."

Her son, Jermaine, died suddenly in 2009 at the age of 24 after studying music production at colleges in Florida and Michigan, officials with Change.org said. No cause of death was given. Edwards said he left a 2-year-old son.

A spokesman for Boston-based First Marblehead declined to comment specifically on Edwards' case, citing privacy rules.

"We're bound to service that loan in accordance with the original loan contract with the customer," bank spokesman Bill Baumer said.

"If a person has a complaint or a particular request for some sort of relief, we have process in place to assess and evaluate those if we are able to provide that relief."

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Tim Gaynor and Mohammad Zargham)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (4)
_JRScott wrote:
dhrnrcpa – Agree 100%, she is liable, end of story. The problem I have with the bank and generally most banks is the constant quotation of their policies as if they were sacred law. “We’re bound to service that loan in accordance with the original loan contract with the customer”, means “No”. Just say “No”! I really don’t want to hear their Holier Than Thou pronouncements from the mountain. You’re not bound to do squat. If you want to forgive the loan, then do it. If not then don’t. But don’t act like you want to but can’t. I’m not buying it.

Dec 04, 2012 2:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
For about $1 per month she could have gotten insurance on that loan in case of death or other rare event. CO-signing does mean you take responsibility. Of course, Negroes don’t take much responsibility for anything any more. That is how we ended up with a loser like Obama in the White House, all these people think he is going to give them something for nothing. Boy are these people in for a rude awakening. They are dumb as they are lazy.

Dec 04, 2012 10:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheBooban wrote:
So some people think its her fault for not understanding something so simple. True.

But if you loaned money to a dead beat and they didn’t pay, who would you blame? The bank has all the experts in the world to make sound loans to people who can afford it. The risk is theirs.

She can just declare bankrupt and not pay the loan, right?

Dec 05, 2012 5:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.