Please help! My brother took out $20,000 in student loans in my father’s name without his consent. My parents refuse to take action

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Dear Quentin,

Please help! I am very worried for both my parents. I’m pretty sure my brother took out student loans in my parents’ name without his knowledge and I don’t think they understand it They Are responsible for returning the money (not my brother) even if it was done without their consent.

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I don’t know how my brother did it, but we found out a few years ago when my dad got a letter in the mail from the education department. Thinking it had something to do with my brother’s financial support, he opened it to find that “he” had taken out a loan of thousands of dollars to pay for my brother’s college education.

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,‘They’re so close to finally paying off their mortgage, I wouldn’t like to see them prolong their retirement because of debt or, worse, lose the house they worked so hard for.’,

At first he was shocked but when I explained to him, he pretended to know what was happening. Since then he has basically neglected the loans until he received another letter informing him that his loans were being transferred to a new servant (with the new loans, the total amount is now $ more than 20,000).

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My mother keeps ignoring the loans because they were not taken out in her name. When I told him that I wanted to talk to my brother about this, he told me to stay away from it. But I can’t stay out of it. I care about both my parents, and I don’t think it’s right for them to pay off a debt that never belonged to them.

Both my parents are soon going to turn 60 and they are thinking of retirement. They are so close to finally paying off their mortgage, I hate to see them prolong their retirement because of debt or, worse yet, lose the house they worked so hard for.

If my brother could not afford the school expenses by taking a loan in his name, he should never have gone there. Is there any way we can convert the loan in my brother’s name so that he can repay his loan? And can the debts affect my mother since my parents are married?

worried daughter

dear daughter,

If you are sure that your brother has taken these loans without your parent’s consent, and have forged their signatures on the loan documents, you can notice to your brother that if he fails to pay the loan on time. Failure to do so will result in dire consequences. , At least to make sure collection agencies don’t knock on your parent’s door, it may or may not light a fire under him.

Of course, you can’t force your parent to take action unless you’ve reported the alleged loan fraud to the police and – even then – your parent can say they approved the loan. , which would make any future claims difficult. The longer your parents know about the loans taken in their names and continue to do nothing about it, the more complicated the matter of their discharge becomes.

Student-loan debt owed by your father affects both parents: it can become a drain on their combined income/savings; If your father’s credit rating affects your mother’s, should she need to refinance her home due to medical emergencies or other unforeseen events. If they live in community-property status, they can both be responsible for the debt.

If they want to discharge this debt? They will likely need to file an identity-theft claim. Again, this would require a police report and/or a court sentence. But it sounds like they don’t want to put your brother – or themselves – through such a painful process. In that case, they have no choice but to repay the loan if your brother defaults, and take it out of his inheritance.

You can email The Manifest with any financial and ethical questions related to the coronavirus at [email protected], and follow Quentin Fotrell Twitter.

check out The Maniast Private Facebook Group, where we seek answers to life’s most thorny money issues. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you’d like to learn more about, or peruse the latest Manifest column.

Dhani is sorry that he cannot answer the questions personally.

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