From: Steve Mason via Change.org [mail@change.org]
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2014 4:25 PM
To: christian@chezchristian.com
Subject: I'm a pastor, and this isn't right

My daughter Lisa passed away four years ago, but private student loan companies refuse to forgive her debt. Join us in calling on her lenders to forgive debt after a borrower’s death.

 

christian --

Four years ago, our daughter Lisa passed away suddenly from a liver disease. 

Our family was shocked -- how could someone so young and full of life be gone so soon? Lisa was a truly special person. She was the mother of three beautiful children, and she worked hard to support her kids while putting herself through nursing school. 

My wife and I took Lisa's three kids into our home and became their legal guardians. Just as we started to put the pieces back together and move forward, that’s when the heartless calls from student loan lenders began. Even though my daughter had just died, they demanded I take over her loan payments, which over the past four years have ballooned to $200,000. Her death didn’t matter to the banks that controlled her student loans, and I don’t think that’s right.

I started a petition on Change.org asking my daughter’s private student loan lenders to forgive her debt. Will you please sign?

I’m the Senior Pastor at Oasis Church in Redlands, California, and my wife works at the church with me. We helped our daughter take out these loans to cover the cost of nursing school, and to make sure there was some money to provide for her children while she was working toward her degree. She was making timely payments on her student loans up until the day she passed away.

Yet instead of forgiving this debt after her death -- which is what happens with other forms of debt, like federal student loans -- the private student loan companies demanded that our family take on this debt. The lenders all told me that there’s nothing I can do, because private student loans are largely unregulated, and there are no protections for borrowers or their families in the event of unexpected death.

But I know there is something I can do, because petitions on Change.org have convinced private student loan lenders to forgive debt of students who've passed away before. The Federal government, and even large private student loan lenders like Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo, all have policies in place to forgive student loans once the borrower dies. With your help, I know we can convince Lisa's lenders to do the same.

Losing our daughter was painful enough. Please sign our petition to make these lenders forgive her debts.

Lisa wanted to be a nurse so she could help people. Even though she's gone, maybe her story can help stop these banks from preying on families like ours. 

Thank you,

Pastor Steve Mason
Highland, California