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a real threat or just a bluff?

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  • a real threat or just a bluff?

    Yesterday my husband received an email from his father saying that he will be suing him concerning a private student loan.

    Here's the background: My husband has a consolidated private student loan from Discover (was Sallie Mae) in the amount of $52k. The monthly payment is almost $500 a month so a long time ago, the father started paying half and he pays half. The father has recently decided to retire at 58 and doesn't want to pay anymore. He said in the email that he found an attorney that is going to sue him for all the money he has paid towards this loan over the last several years and also have his name removed as cosigner on the loan.

    He does know that if it comes to my husband simply paying the entire amount, it is impossible for us to do and it will default in 60 or so days due to non-full monthly payment.

    My question is: does a judge have the ability to take someone off a loan as cosigner? Does the father have a case to sue for the amount he's paid so far?

    Me and my husband had a chap 7 discharge 3 years ago and have since not really acquired anything of value or gained a substantial increase in income. We have been trying to buy a small house to build equity in order to refinance this stupid loan sometime in the future, but it appears that homes that will pass FHA guidelines are just out of our price range and saving up 20% for a down payment almost happens and then gets reappropriated to repair a car or we have a colder than normal winter and have to buy extra fuel oil.

    My husband has applied with the loan company to remove the dad as cosigner to avoid "bad blood", but has been declined due to the bankruptcy and no assets to borrow against and they also refuse to modify the monthly payment in any way.

    I'm really saddened and terrified about all of this. I fear that this loan and a judgement will never allow our family to get a house and our son to go to a decent school district - where we rent now is appalling but he's only 3 and I hope we have enough time to move.
    Last edited by AngelinaCat; 06-20-2013, 09:37 AM. Reason: makes the post easier to read

  • #2
    Hi gml120. I broke your long post into paragraphs to make it easier to read.

    I have no suggestions to make on this as I have no student loan experience at all. I will say that I feel sad for you and your family. As far as trying to avoid 'bad blood' with the dad, I think that horse has already escaped the barn a long time ago! The 'bad blood' is already there, and has been there for some time.

    Good luck to you;
    "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

    "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."


    • #3
      Hmm, I don't know what to think. I am attaching a link to a recent cosigner addendum for Discover Student Loans. I don't see how dad will have any legal standing here. But, I am not an attorney.

      If you open the link and view the pdf you can read the contract signed by dad. Scroll down to the cosigner pdf application.

      Again, this is recent, so it may not represent what dad signed with discover.
      Last edited by treehugger1; 06-24-2013, 08:03 PM. Reason: added information


      • #4
        Thanks for your responses. Reading the link you sent treehugger1, it seems to me like cosigner/borrower basically have the same responsibility. The promissory note he actually signed was a little different than that one because it was from 2006 and the loan was originally with Citibank but I don't think it changes anything about the legality.

        It's been about a week and he hasn't been served or contacted in any way by his dad - phone calls and emails were not returned so I really don't know what's going on there. The father did mention in his email about this (he didn't even try to call about something this important) that his lawyer thinks he has such a good case that she is going to take it pro bono which read to me like maybe he called one of those late night "Did anything happen to you? We'll get you money for it" scam - type infomercials.

        I guess it's just wait-and-see. I feel saddened that the father is just so unwilling to talk about other options and resorting to getting an attorney instead. The real problem with this loan is that it's adjustable rate, over $50k (starting loan value was about $35k but with forbearances, high interest, etc... even paying $495 a month for the last several years has not reduced the principal - it's something like $490 is interest and $5 is going to principal.) I've even tried to talk to him about possibly refinancing it or taking out a home equity line of credit but he is totally against any of these ideas, saying something like, "You took out the loan, you pay the loan, that's how it works." Yeah, maybe in 1970 when things were reasonable but not now with private student loans. We've also tried to send him what we could as a partial monthly payment when we could, a couple hundred some months sometimes only $75 depending on how bad out luck was that month but he just never cashed the checks and said if he's not paying the whole bill for the month, forget about it.

        I will post if anything comes out of this or what happens. At this point I wish someone could talk some sense into the dad about how this loan works, I know his son or I can't get through.

        Thanks for reading


        • #5
          gml120, I was in the same spot as your father in law. Not judging your husband by telling you this but I had tried to sever my responsiblility as a co-signer on my nephew's student loan but my lawyer explained it wasn't legally possible. Of course I couldn't discharge my responsibility with my bankruptcy. Luckily, my sister took on my nephew's responsibility as she had asked me to co-sign in the beginning. That I feel bad about but.... my nephew has time to recover both financially and with his credit, however my sister and I don't have that(time) luxury. I hope your husband and his father can work through this.


          • #6
            They don't seem to be working anything out. I am extremely frustrated with both of them. No one has showed up at the door with a summons to court so I guess the father is still paying the bill? I fear I have married poorly.


            • #7
              Originally posted by gml120 View Post
              They don't seem to be working anything out. I am extremely frustrated with both of them. No one has showed up at the door with a summons to court so I guess the father is still paying the bill? I fear I have married poorly.
              wow, family dynamics are a strange thing indeed, i guess we all marry for different reasons, guess i am rather old fashioned, since it was solely for love, and certainly not my mates family. since, had that been the case i would have ran the other way immediately.

              if you fear you married poorly maybe it's time to have a bit of marriage counseling. i understand, and please no disrespect meant here, but more some changing mates is like changing their underwear. after 46 years we have been through it all and i would say the bad times certainly helped us understand and appreciate the good times far more. running is the easy way out. fear not if you married for love, it will withstand this if you want it to.

              best of luck to you.
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