Grieving Dad Is Hounded for Repayment of Dead Son’s Student Loans

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Francisco Reynoso has been in a world of hurt since the death of his son. Not only has Reynoso grieved the loss of Freddy Reynoso, but he’s also suffered an onslaught of bill collectors seeking repayment of the son’s college loans.
When Freddy Reynoso got into Berklee College of Music in Boston, his father agreed to co-sign his son’s substantial private loans. Freddy graduated in May 2008 and was returning from a job interview when he lost control of his car and died in an accident. Francisco Reynoso became responsible for paying the debts, which would appear to be worth more than $200,000.
Freddy had multiple loans. Following well-established practice, his loan from the federal government was cancelled. However, he also had private loans, one from Bank of America and others with Education Finance Partners. Bank of America sold their loan to First Marblehead, which probably bundled it into a larger security investment, although neither Francisco Reynoso nor his lawyer have been able to figure out exactly what happened to it or how much is owed.  
Education Finance Partners went bankrupt after it paid $2.5 million to settle charges that it paid colleges—including Berklee College of Music—to steer students to higher-interest loans. It is unclear who now owns this set of Freddy Reynosa’s loans, but they are serviced by ACS Education Services, a subsidiary of Xerox. When both Francisco Reynosa and ProPublica asked ACS for details of the loans, they did not respond.
All the father knows for sure is that he can’t afford to repay the loans, not on his $21,000 a year gardener’s salary, while supporting his wife and teenage daughter.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
Discharge/Cancellation (U.S. Department of Education)
Who’s Profiting from Student Loans? (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
Student Loan Debt Reaches $1 Trillion (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Student Loan Default Rate Highest in 14 Years (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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