First Marblehead Corporation: Forgive the student loans of my deceased son
  • Petitioned Daniel Meyers

This petition was delivered to:

CEO/Chairmain, First Marblehead Corporation
Daniel Meyers
Managing Director, First Marblehead Corporation
Gary Santo
CEO, American Education Services
James Preston
VP Public Affairs, American Education Services
Nathan Hench

First Marblehead Corporation: Forgive the student loans of my deceased son

    1. Angela Smith
    2. Petition by

      Angela Smith

      Chesapeake, VA

When my son Donte Newsome was murdered on July 5, 2008, it felt like everything I had was taken away from me. Then a company called First Marblehead Corporation showed me how wrong I was.


Donte received two private student loans in college. Before my husband Bruce cosigned his loans, we asked the lender to explain the loan's terms. But they never told us that in the event of my son's death we would be forced to take on his debt. Regular student loans backed by the federal government don't treat families this way, and I didn't know that many private students lenders don't offer the same terms.


Shortly after Donte died, that's when the collection calls started. It was like a punch in the gut -- we didn't know what hit us. All of a sudden we not only had to deal with the police and attorneys investigating his murder, but we also had to deal with collectors constantly calling and reminding us of our son's death in the worst way.


These loans have become a financial hardship for my family, and our lives have been changed forever.  We have pleaded with American Education Services, the servicer for First Marblehead, to forgive the loans. But First Marblehead has refused to forgive Donte's student debt. The student loan debt, which is now showing on Bruce's credit report, can seriously affect his job and career. 


This issue doesn't just impact me -- it affects countless families who lose a son or a daughter too soon. This is why I'm calling on First Marblehead Corporation to forgive my son's debt, and to adopt a policy of debt forgiveness when a loan's primary borrower dies. Thank you for your support.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 150,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Debbie Babington CHARLOTTE, NC
      • 2 months ago

      Because we have student loans for my son.

    • Audrey Kelly-Martin JAMAICA, NY
      • 3 months ago

      that is very important Parents may have financial hardships, or death Should have debt forgiveness. Why they do with credit cards are allowed to go bankrupt!

    • Michelle Porosky WILDOMAR, CA
      • 3 months ago

      I am shocked that student loan forgiveness isn't automatic for those poor families that have lost their loved ones and are now required to pay back their student loans. What is wrong with this country?

    • Ian Peck PITTSBURGH, PA
      • 3 months ago

      These parents shouldn't pay this -- they lost their son.

    • Athena Adams UPPER MARLBORO, MD
      • 3 months ago

      Why subject the family to more hardship? As if losing their son wasn't enough.....Ughhh


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