Parents of deceased student informed by bank that they will not have to pay remainder of son Christopher’s debt following petition on Change.org started by Christopher’s brother
Just days after launching his petition on Change.org asking KeyBank to forgive the remainder of his deceased brother’s student loans, Ryan Bryski was informed by the bank that they will discharge the debt and review their policy as it relates to families in similar situations.
The Bryski family has been engaged in a six-year-long battle with the bank after Ryan’s brother Christopher passed away in a tragic accident in 2006. They had been unable to get a positive response until Ryan launched his petition.
"My family tried for years to get KeyBank to forgive my brother Christopher's loans after he died, and for years they ignored us,” said Ryan. “Thankfully, they couldn't ignore the 80,000 people who signed our petition on Change.org. It's sad that it took so much to finally get a response, but my family and I are just so grateful that it worked."
In his petition, Ryan wrote that other major private student lenders and KeyBank competitors have implemented policies forgiving the student loan debt of dead beneficiaries. He counts Wells Fargo, Sallie Mae, Discover, and Citi Financial among them. In addition, he notes, loans guaranteed by the federal government are automatically discharged on proof of death.
A statement on Ryan’s family’s case released yesterday by KeyBank indicates that they may soon be joining these companies in putting a policy on the books [bolding added]:
“Although by law, we can’t talk about any client or their information, I can say we are changing our approach to situations like this and will evaluate them on a case by case basis in the future.”
Within days of the campaign’s launch, Bryski had recruited thousands of supporters on Change.org, the world’s fastest growing platform for social change.
"After years of trying to get KeyBank to treat his family humanely, Ryan managed to change his family's future in under a week using Change.org,” said William Winters, Senior Campaigner at Change.org. “His case shows that anyone, anywhere can use Change.org petitions to take on powerful institutions and win."
Live signature totals from Ryan Bryski’s campaign on Change.org:
Huffington Post coverage of the campaign: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/25/christopher-bryski-student-loan-forgiveness-_n_1452996.htm l
2010 Wall Street Journal coverage of the family’s battle:
For more information on Change.org, please visit:
Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by two million new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country