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Can My Son File Bankruptcy on His Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy Loans?

By on February 9, 2016

Question:

Dear Steve,

My son graduated from Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy in Chicago, IL. He has $59,000 in loans through Sallie Mae with interest rates that range from 8.25% to 10.375%. I believe you call these private or unsubsidized loans.

Sallie Mae won’t issue us a 1098E so he can claim the interest paid each year for taxes. We couldn’t get subsidized loans at the time my son was there because they were not accredited but I noticed today on http://ope.ed.gov/ that they are listed as accredited. I am a cosigner on the loans.

Can my son file bankruptcy and eliminate these loans?

John

Answer:

Dear John,

First off, I’m not an attorney. I would urge you to meet with a bankruptcy attorney who is licensed in your state for some specific answers regarding your exact situation.

According to the IRS a 1098E should be issued to the borrower, your son, when “an educational institution) receives interest payments of $600 or more during the year on one or more qualified student loans.” – Source

I reached out to Navient, in case this was one of the loans they now service, to ask what there position was on issuing the 1098E. They responded and said the 1098E is available online. More information is available here.

If the school was not accredited at the time he attended and graduated I would think you would have a good argument for discharging the private student loans.

This is something your bankruptcy attorney could look into.

Even if your son filed bankruptcy and successfully discharged his responsibility for the loans, they may still come after you as the cosigner.

As a cosigner you are 100 percent responsible for the loans and get none of the benefit. I know you love your son but if he ever asks you to cosign for him again, please don’t. It’s a trap.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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