From the HuffPost:
When Christopher Bryski, a Rutgers University undergraduate student, died from a traumatic brain injury in 2006, his family wasn’t thinking about his student loans. That is, not until KeyBank, a Cleveland-based institution with nearly $90 billion in assets, asked his parents to assume responsibility for his debt.
Last week Bryski’s older brother Ryan launched an online petition in an attempt to pressure KeyBank into forgiving the debt. By Wednesday afternoon, the site had attracted more than 78,000 signatures.
“When Christopher died, my family didn’t just lose a loved one — we inherited debt for an education that will never be used,” wrote Ryan Bryski on the petition titled “Key Bank: Stop forcing my family to pay my dead brother’s student loans.”
Christopher owed KeyBank roughly $50,000 upon his death, Ryan told The Huffington Post. “Since Christopher’s death in 2006, we’ve paid several hundred dollars a month,” said Ryan, declining to provide the specific amount owed. The family is now in negotiations with KeyBank.
The federal government cancelled its $5,000 loan to Christopher, according to the Wall Street Journal, in accordance with federal policy. But Christopher’s private lender, KeyBank, happens to be one of many private institutions without a clear policy about canceling the student loan debt of a deceased individual.