Get Out of Debt Guy - Steve Rhode

I Need Immediate Help With My Wells Fargo Private Student Loan. – Jenny


“Dear Steve,

I need help IMMEDIATELY PLEASE! My mother had no knowledge of how to apply for a Wells Fargo loan and when they asked who the loan was for, she put my name, which somehow made me a cosigner.

After I graduated they paid on this loan until they had to file for bankruptcy…for reasons not their doing… and this loan was included in the bankruptcy.

When I called Wells Fargo in 2008 to ask about it, some stupid woman there told me I didn’t have to pay while it was in bankruptcy.

I wish I had just been told to make the payments then. My parents are now out of bankruptcy successfully, and both them and I get a letter from Wells Fargo telling us the loan is in default and we are to call to arrange payments.

They put a charge off on my credit score in 2008, but I finally managed to get all 3 credit score companies to take it off.

They want my parents to pay a huge sum of over $4,000 to ‘settle’ this, and I have not paid anything on this loan for over 6 years. The SOL in Louisiana is 3 years. My parents do not have that kind of money coming right out of bankruptcy.

My credit score is near 800, but I have not worked in several months so I can’t pay this either. We have called the bankruptcy attorney who handled this for them but naturally his fee is paid so he says he cannot help us so we need advice and hope not to have to get an attorney since funds are low for both my parents and me. My parents own a home but are on social security only.

I own my own home, too, but I am not making any money right now. None of this is listed as of now on my parents or my credit report. I was told that if we settle for less than the full amount, it would be a bad thing on my credit report, which has no mention of it now at all.

Since I have cleared mine of all traces of Wells Fargo and their reporting me as a charge off. Please please help us. My parents are elderly, and this strain, after the 5 years of worrying and paying the bankruptcy, is taking a terrible toll on their health. They barely have enough money from SS to feed themselves and pay utility bills

What are my options to keep my credit score high and not be affected by this Wells Fargo mess. I am not even sure if the letter is real or the rep who talked to my mother is legit. I have not had any communications with them at all myself.

Should I write them and ask for proof of this loan or tell them the SOL is well past in this state for me. Even if we could magically find the money for the large settlement, should we do this? Thank you so much for any assistance you can give me.


Dear Jenny,

So it seems that your mother originally listed you as a co-applicant for a private student loan through Wells Fargo.

The only way to un-ring that bell would have been for you to file a police report against your mother for identity theft and have her face criminal charges. Yea, that’s not going to happen.

According to this site the statute of limitations for contracts in Louisiana is ten years.

I’m also a bit perplexed why your parents are in an apparent chapter 13 bankruptcy when their income is so low. Do they have assets they are trying to protect? It would seem that a chapter 7 bankruptcy that eliminated their unsecured debt in 90 days or so would be the preferable approach to take to help them survive with their limited income. It is also doubtful the chapter 13 bankruptcy would eliminate their continued liability for the private student loan after the bankruptcy is over.

But maybe they entered the chapter 13 bankruptcy to put the payments on hold since they could not afford them. More information is needed.

Just because you apparently disputed the entry on your credit report does not mean it can’t be listed again and if you are a co-applicant then there is nothing that prevents Wells Fargo from suing you for the current balance due.

Another issue to consider is if the inclusion in bankruptcy will extend the statute of limitations. Bankruptcy can extended the statue of limitations on certain debt. You would need to consult a lawyer licensed in your state for specific advice about this specific debt in your situation. The statute of limitations is not a fixed date and there are a number of issues that can extend it or even restart it, such as making a payment or acknowledging the debt.

Since you’ve removed all traces of the Wells Fargo loan from your credit report we now don’t have any way to check your obligation for the loan without you contacting them directly and inquiring.

You could enter into settlement negotiations but I would suggest you work with a debt settlement professional that has experience in this area and you have cash on hand to settle the debt now. Generally you’d need at least 40 percent of the current balance accessible to settle.

But since they are making a proactive offer to settle for only $4,000, that’s a gift. I’ve seen some other really incredible such offers like this when the private student loan company initiates them.

If you do decide to take them up on the offer you’d want to make damn sure the settlement agreement forgives all parties associated with the loan of any remaining obligation for the loan.

The amount of forgiven debt could be recorded as a bad debt on your credit report if you were a party to the loan.

The charge off is interesting but irrelevant. A charge off is just an accounting function and had nothing to do with the underlying collectibility of the debt. Just because an account is charged off, does not mean collectors can’t come after you and you can’t be sued for the debt.

I realize you are awfully worried about your credit score but we need to put that number into context. A credit score is not a measurement of your savvy personal finance management. It is an indication of your possibility to make a lot of money for the creditors at low risk to them.

The least of your concerns right now would be your credit score. For me the most pressing issue here is to really uncover what kind of potential ticking time bomb we have with this private student loan debt. Are you even really a co-signer?

More data is needed for you to make an educated and informed decision about what to do. You might want to consider hiring a local attorney to contact Wells Fargo and get some answers if you are uncomfortable doing that.

Otherwise, follow the homework above and get back to me with the answers.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Big Hug!
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