Key Bank: Stop forcing my family to pay my dead brother's student loans
  • Petitioned Beth Mooney

This petition was delivered to:

President and CEO, Key Bank
Beth Mooney
Key Bank
David Reavis
Key Bank
Marylee Gotch
Key Bank
Lynn Woodman

Key Bank: Stop forcing my family to pay my dead brother's student loans

    1. Ryan Bryski
    2. Petition by

      Ryan Bryski

      Southern, NJ

April 2012



After Christopher Bryski died in 2006, his student lender, Key Bank, started going after his dad for loan payments. Christopher's brother Ryan and his family tried for nearly 6 years to have the loans forgiven -- and for nearly 6 years, Key Bank said no. That's when Ryan started a petition on calling on Key Bank to forgive Christopher's loans. In less than a week, more than 80,000 people joined his campaign and Key Bank finally forgave Christopher Bryski's student loans. In addition, Ryan's campaign pushed Key Bank to change its approach to student borrowers who die, exploring loan forgiveness on a case by case basis instead of routinely denying forgiveness requests.


On June 17, 2004, my brother Christopher Bryski sustained a severe traumatic brain injury in a tragic accident. He remained in a persistent vegetative state for two years before passing away on July 16, 2006. That's when the calls began.

You see, our dad cosigned Christopher's private student loans with Key Bank. When Christopher died, Key Bank came after my dad to get their money back. Our dad has had to come out of retirement to make the monthly payments. When Christopher died, my family didn't just lose a loved one -- we inherited debt for an education that will never be used.

Key Bank's action's are dramatically out of step with the status quo. The federal government and even large private student lenders like Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo all forgive student loans once the borrower dies. But over the years, Key Bank has ignored our calls to take this humane step.

In the years since Christopher's death, my family has tried to keep others from facing what we have. We've worked with members of Congress to pass "Christopher's Law," which would make sure student borrowers and their families know exactly what could happen if they die or become disabled, and we've started a website about our efforts to get Christopher's Law passed (

This work has been meaningful and important. But it doesn't change the fact that every month we're reminded of my brother's death in the worst way every time dad puts a check in the mail to a heartless bank. That's why I'm asking Key Bank to relieve my family of this terrible burden and discharge my brother Christopher's student loan debt.

Thank you,
Ryan Bryski and Family
U.S. Air Force Veteran

Recent signatures


    1. ABC News: Bank Forgives Dead Student's Loan; Family Fights to Change Law

      Michael Whitney
      Petition Organizer

      VICTORY! "Six years after the death of Christopher Bryski, a 23-year-old student at Rutgers University, Key Bank has agreed to forgive his student loan. But Bryski's family is not stopping there: It's now fighting to change the laws in the hope of sparing others the trauma it endured as lenders continued to hound it for payment on its dead son's debts."

    2. Reached 75,000 signatures
    3. Please help Ryan get to 75,000 signatures by sharing this petition!

      William Winters
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks so much for signing Ryan Bryski's petition! The petition now has 71,000 signatures -- a great total, but we're just a hair away from 75,000 signatures. You can help him get there by sharing the link to this petition on Twitter and Facebook, as well as promoting the petition on Digg ( or Reddit.

    4. Reached 50,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Tayo Odukoya WESTMINSTER, CO
      • over 2 years ago

      In my opinion, the school needs to shell out some of this money back to the bank. The bank paid for this education, that's why they don't want to lose. However, since this money was paid to a school usually charging outrageous fees, the school should settle this with the bank and meet them somewhere halfway.

      Education is overrated. Schools need to charge less and if the holder of the degree dies, the school should refund the money to the bank that paid them in the first place

    • Sharon Voirin CARBONDALE, IL
      • over 2 years ago

      I am SO grateful for the power of the internet finally resulting in something worthwhile. Thank God for you and your family tonight and onward. Let the healing begin.

    • Sandi Gibson STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO
      • over 2 years ago

      I'm in the same boat with Citibank for my dead niece's student loan! Can't believe that the banks won't forgive the loans

    • Charlie Richards RUSSELLVILLE, AR
      • over 2 years ago


    • Judy Wheeler OXFORD, GA
      • over 2 years ago

      Greedy banks suck.


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