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Posted 11/15/2012 by BergdorfBlonde in NSBR Board
 

BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 11/15/2012 2:53:41 PM
DH has a 22 year old son. DH had primary custody of his son when his wife left them (the son was 16 at the time). DH agreed to co-sign IRS tax returns with the soon-to-be-ex because she made it sound like they'd get more money back from the State. DH hasn't worked in years due to a disability and he's under the limits for having to even file tax returns. He stopped doing joint tax returns the following year with her. (Taxes are a whole other story because we found out that she was still filing as being married for years after she moved out!)

DS went to college in 2008. He was still living with DH at the time. He was the custodial parent. The ex-wife told DH that he should be the one to fill out the FASFA form for him because DS was living with him. DH filled it out again in 2009 and 2010. In 2011 we didn't do it because DH lost contact with him (long story). The ex-wife urged us to fill it out but at that point we didn't even want either of them to have our address due to her pulling fraudulent acts on us and DS being unstable.

The ex-wife contacted me, begging DH to fill out the FASFA form again, and saying that DH is still the custodial parent. DS is 22 at this point. Why he needs a parent to fill it out is beyond me, but I know nothing about FASFA.

So, Peas, my questions:

*Is DH responsible if DS doesn't pay back on the FASFA loans?????? We are both on limited income (disability).

*If DH claims he's still the custodial parent (which is a lie--he hasn't seen his son in 2 years now), could he get in trouble?

*The ex-wife claims she can't be listed on the FASFA forms because she makes too much money. Is that true? Would DS get more money if DH is the one who claims him on the forms????????

The ex-wife gave me the link to the FASFA site and the info to get in so we could give our info listing DH as the custodial parent (as a favor--which in itself is a JOKE, since she's basically asking for gov't assistance when she's a staunch Republican!). The site had last year's form on there, and guess what?? It had DH listed as the custodial parent WITHOUT HIS PERMISSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She went ahead and used his info anyway and had him listed on the FASFA form as DS' custodial parent. I'm fuming mad.

So, what's the low-down on FASFA??? Any advice is appreciated. I don't want to do anything fradulent and I'm trying to cover our asses and find out what our past liability is. I don't know what to do. She's begging us to give FASFA our info and pretend DS still resides with us during the summer, etc., and that we give him $100/mo (which is a joke!). HELP! DH doesn't want to anger or disappoint his son as it's already a very strained/strange relationship. TIA for reading this far!









Simply_Lovely
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Posted: 11/15/2012 3:14:13 PM
It's FAFSA, not FASFA =P
FAFSA is an application for federal aid, not for a loan. It is often used to qualify the student for loans, but it is not a loan.

Your DH is not the custodial parent by FAFSA's definition. (see link below)

The DS would get more money if your DH fills it out.

Here is the link for FAFSA faq's http://www.fafsa.com/understanding-fafsa/fafsa-questions
I think it will help you a lot. Also, do some googling, there is plenty of info out there.

Personally, I don't think your DH should fill it as it would be fraudulent at this point, since he is not the custodial parent for the purposes of the form. Tell this to his Ex IN WRITING by email, and threaten her that if she put his info on there again without his permission he'll report her.




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BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 11/15/2012 3:19:14 PM
Thank you, SL! That was the ex' contention--that DS22 could get more $$ if my DH filled out the form. It's not worth it to me, to lie. I don't know how she got away with it last year, but they're cracking down this year............ This is gonna be tough, to say "no".

Thank you for that link!









ilovecookies
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Posted: 11/15/2012 3:24:25 PM
It's FAFSA. FAFSA does not do loans. The FAFSA is just a form full of information that you provide to see if you qualify for government grants and loans. It's what colleges and universities use to calculate and award financial aid (grants and loans).

With all the drama you seem to have, it might be prudent to get an attorney. Unless you have some highly unusual divorce decree, a 22 year old is way past the point of having a custodial parent.



BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 11/15/2012 3:29:24 PM
Thanks, Ilovecookies. I agree. He's 22 and decided to totally change his major and won't be done with school for at least 2 more years. I'll have to find DH's divorce agreement and just double-check about being a custodial parent. There should be an age limit on it!!!

And, I agree--with all of the shenanigins his ex has pulled, we need an attorney full-time, on retainer!









Polly91
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Posted: 11/15/2012 3:30:19 PM
I work in the Financial Aid office at our local community college.

The ex is correct that your DS would be eligible for more money, but it is fraud since DS doesn't live with you.

Where does DS live? With his mother?



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BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 11/15/2012 3:34:43 PM
Polly91: Ahh, quick questions then, if you don't mind: Will my DH be in any way responsible if his son doesn't pay back the grants/loans/whatever????????? Could they attach DH's SS??????

DH and I live in FL. DS is going to school in NC. DS doesn't even know where we live, nor have we seen him in 2 years. We don't claim him on taxes, as we don't even file taxes (under the limit).

ETA: DS22 (this is my husband's son, just to be clear!!!) lives in NC, full year round, in an apartment with a few other people.









Simply_Lovely
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Posted: 11/15/2012 3:47:57 PM

a 22 year old is way past the point of having a custodial parent.


It's a different definition of "custodial parent" in this case. It has nothing to do with the divorce, it has to do with the DS being a student and not living on his own. I filled it out every year even in law school so I could qualify for the schools' financial aid and scholarships and my parents were listed on there. And I was 23+ years old.


Polly91: Ahh, quick questions then, if you don't mind: Will my DH be in any way responsible if his son doesn't pay back the grants/loans/whatever????????? Could they attach DH's SS??????


Not Polly, but there is no way your DH would be responsible unless he actually co-signs a loan. If DS gets government money it is NOT a loan. It is free money! If he gets a loan, he has to sign it himself and will be solely responsible. All FAFSA does is summarize DS's financial situation. I repeat - it is NOT a loan! Your DH will NOT be responsible!




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MichyM
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Posted: 11/15/2012 3:50:33 PM
Parents are not responsible for the repayment of their children's federal student loans. If a parent did borrow for a PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) loan, then yes they are responsible for the repayment.


Lauren




BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 11/15/2012 3:52:17 PM
But DS *has* been living on his own for well over 2 years! He hasn't resided with us or with the ex. He does go see her every once in a while, but not us. So, could he still put his dad on his financial aid forms? And should my DH cooperate? My gut is telling me "no" because he doesn't live with us, at all.









BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 11/15/2012 3:54:39 PM

I repeat - it is NOT a loan! Your DH will NOT be responsible!
THANKS, Simply!!! That's a load off of my mind!!! I'm sorry, my brain is quite scrambled. Dealing with a lot right now. DH was recently diagnosed with cancer and we're dealing with a lot, so I can't think straight. Thank you so much for explaining.









Gsquaredmom

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Posted: 11/15/2012 4:20:34 PM
DS *has* been living on his own for well over 2 years! He hasn't resided with us or with the ex.

==========================================

Then he should be filing as an independent student if he meets the criteria.



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Posted: 11/15/2012 4:24:52 PM
Is he being claimed on a parents taxes as a dependent? That's what matters for student loans. If you or his mother claim him then he needs your tax info for the forms.


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BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 11/15/2012 4:25:16 PM
Gsquared: I'm so confused. I went to the website and it said that there are strict enforcements to being declared as independent; one of them being that you had to be born before January 1, 1989. He was born on May of 1990. It makes no sense to be on his form if he hasn't lived with us in years.









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AncestralPea

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Posted: 11/15/2012 4:47:29 PM
If your DH fills out FAFSA and his DS is awarded a loan, your DH will be required to sign the master promissory note and be liable if the loan is defaulted on, in this case I am talking about Stafford loan program.

The FAFSA process is used to determine financial eligibility. Based on information the parents provide an economic financial contribution (EFC) is assigned.

Based on that number it will be determined if he is eligible for grant money and for student loans (subsidized and unsubsidized).

The EFC is a joke. I was out of work , no unemployment, living on DH's salary (I would say we are middle income) and our EFC was around $30,000. Yeah, I wish I had an extra $30k a year.

We did save for his college but with the downturn in the market in '08 it eroded the funds and what was left paid for first year only.

If she filed taxesmasmmarried then having your DH file too would certainly raise a red flag. I believe there are penalties for fraud/lying.

guzismom
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Posted: 11/15/2012 5:01:34 PM

Is he being claimed on a parents taxes as a dependent? That's what matters for student loans. If you or his mother claim him then he needs your tax info for the forms.


This is the ONLY thing you need to know to determine whether or not you should fill out the form. If the DS is not claimed as your husband's dependent for tax purposes, then you have no legal or moral obligation to fill out the form and in fact may be committing fraud if you do.

Also, unless your husband put his John Hancock to the loan papers, he cannot be held legally responsible for them should the son default.


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peamac
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Posted: 11/15/2012 5:50:22 PM
Since the ex has lied to the govt on her taxes for a few years, I wouldn't trust her or DSS to be honest on anything else. Frankly, I'd be concerned that she or he would somehow fake DH's signature on something bigger- like a loan.

Contact FAFSA on the phone and tell them that DH is not the custodial parent anymore, hasn't claimed DSS for a while, etc, etc.

I'd also change the password on the FAFSA site so the ex and DS can't do something without alerting you first.


PeaMac


BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 11/15/2012 5:59:45 PM
WE DO NOT FILE TAXES, NOR CLAIM HIM AS OUR DEPENDENT. So I guess that means we shouldn't be taking part in doing the FAFSA form (like she wants DH to do)???

We have no idea if she claims him as a dependent (or if she's even filed her taxes lately!!!!!!!), so I'm at a loss with that one.

DH is going to call FAFSA again and give them the honest truth. We'll see what happens. We won't offer info as to the mother making over $150k a year, but we won't lie about his DS living here or being our dependent either.

Thank you, everyone, for your words. I was totally unfamiliar with FAFSA and loans/grants, etc........









PlanningPea
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Posted: 11/15/2012 6:08:08 PM
Another way to look at it is "could" you claim him as a dependent on your taxes if you were to file. Some people file tax returns merely to be able to complete FAFSA. There are rules for when a person is or is not a dependent. It is not something you get to pick or choose.


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Posted: 11/15/2012 6:12:16 PM
The only reason you should touch his fafsa if IF you claimed him as a dependent on YOUR taxes.

Since you did not you have nothing to contribute to the situation. Other than, if you think she is the kind who might commit fraud on your behalf you might write a letter to the financial aid office at his school stating you do not claim him as a dependent nor provide any kind of support to him.

I would find out who to contact at his school. Not give the letter to her or him but send it directly to the school's financial aid office.


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Posted: 11/15/2012 7:42:03 PM

f your DH fills out FAFSA and his DS is awarded a loan, your DH will be required to sign the master promissory note and be liable if the loan is defaulted on, in this case I am talking about Stafford loan program.


This is absolutely untrue, stafford loans are not cosigned, they are the sole responsibility of the student.

If the parent fills out and applies for a PLUS loan, they are responsible for that loan.

If the student is awarded a private loan, depending on the agreement there might be a cosigner, however these loans have nothing to do with FAFSA or the federal government.

OP: Your husband would be smart to pull his credit report and check to make sure there are no loans that he is unaware of (any loans that he is responsible for will show up on the report). And he might want to check this periodically to make sure no loans were applied for under his SSN that he wasn't aware of.

BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 11/15/2012 7:58:03 PM
Thanks Peas. All good advice. We both routinely check with the credit bureaus because of past attempted fraud on the part of our exes. We're both on alert if anyone tries to use our SS #'s or applies for credit. Even if we apply for anything, we have to jump thru hoops to prove who we are. Maybe he should check his credit score just to be sure...

DH only remembers helping his son with the FAFSA form every year, but hasn't signed anything else. Geez, I hope he didn't because I know we'll be stuck paying his son's bills. His son is 22, changed his major so he could stay in school longer, and won't be done for at least 2 more years and he's already announced that he'll probably stay in school after that and go for his Master's (at least one).









PeawithChemistry
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Posted: 11/15/2012 8:25:13 PM
Some schools have policies where they require a parent's information even if they are no longer the custodial parent and haven't claimed the student as a dependent for years. My law school, for instance, required my parent's financial information if I wanted to be considered for financial aid even though I was in my late 20s, married, and hadn't been claimed by my parents as a dependent for more than five years.

Just because you don't claim him on your taxes and he doesn't live with you does not mean that the college will consider him "independent" for the purpose of financial aid. There is a lot of very bad information on this thread.

This bit from the website sounds right to me:

Gsquared: I'm so confused. I went to the website and it said that there are strict enforcements to being declared as independent; one of them being that you had to be born before January 1, 1989. He was born on May of 1990. It makes no sense to be on his form if he hasn't lived with us in years.

My guess is that the school still requires that his parents complete a FAFSA unless he can prove that he "independent" by their rules. If my memory serves, the easiest way to be "independent" when I was in undergrad was to have a kid.... It's not as simple as just not being claimed on your parents' taxes.

BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 11/15/2012 8:48:16 PM
PeaWithChemistry: Wow... I never would have thought any of that made sense until I read it on the link here for FAFSA!! It's almost invasive to submit your parents' information if you've severed ties with them. Not only that, but DH's son is saying that DH, himself,has to contact FAFSA, to verify the information. It's all odd to me. Thanks, though, for verifying what I read.









PeawithChemistry
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Posted: 11/15/2012 9:30:26 PM
Its so people can't cheat the system by pretending they don't have money. With the exception of kids with trust funds, 18-22 year olds have very little personal wealth so they all look the same on financial aid forms. The schools take the parent's income into account to identify those with actual need. They don't let students avoid reporting a parent's info by pretending to be "independent" which would distort the whole system.

Mewcat
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Posted: 11/15/2012 9:53:53 PM
Have you DH call the people at FAFSA or go online and chat with them. There is an age where a student is considered "independent" so if he was born in 1990, he has one year before he is considered to be a independent student.
FAFSA independent student
I would be careful about giving any of your info to either of them but you already know that.

FAFSA Link
From the "Who is considered a parent info" from the link above.
If your parents have divorced or separated, provide information about the parent that you lived with most during the last 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, provide information about the parent who provided most of your financial support during the last 12 months.
Because your DH isn't the parent he has been living with and he has been on his own, it makes things tricky. As others said the financial aid offices are another matter as well.


~*Melissa*~

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Posted: 11/16/2012 7:24:31 AM
Thanks, PeaswithChemistry. Kinda pisses me off that they don't as the background of both parents.

Thanks, Mewcat. She expects us to lie about him living here (geez, he didn't even know our address nor did we know his!!!!!) during summers, etc, and she wanted DH to LIE and day we give him $100/mo for his expenses, which is also not true. Makes me feel very uneasy!!!!!!!

She doesn't believe in any gov't aid and she's so staunchly Republican, but can't she see that what she's doing here is LYING and cheating the govertment just so that her son might get more $$??????????? I have a feeling it'll all be on us if we lie. Typical.

We're gonna call FAFSA again today and we'll tell the truth. Hopefully they won't relay it to his son or his ex! We'll see what happens.........

Thank you very much for your advice. It has helped!









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Posted: 11/16/2012 9:17:00 AM

DH agreed to co-sign IRS tax returns with the soon-to-be-ex because she made it sound like they'd get more money back from the State. DH hasn't worked in years due to a disability and he's under the limits for having to even file tax returns. He stopped doing joint tax returns the following year with her. (Taxes are a whole other story because we found out that she was still filing as being married for years after she moved out!)

Um, he must have known she was still filing as married if he was signing them! If she was filing single or head of household, he would not have needed to sign.



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BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 11/16/2012 9:50:39 AM
ShihTzu: Well, at that time, they WERE still legally married, just separated. After that, she had NO right to use his name, but she did anyway. It's a mess..............









Mewcat
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Posted: 11/16/2012 1:17:03 PM
Thanks, Mewcat. She expects us to lie about him living here (geez, he didn't even know our address nor did we know his!!!!!) during summers, etc, and she wanted DH to LIE and day we give him $100/mo for his expenses, which is also not true. Makes me feel very uneasy!!!!!!!



I don't blame you. I wouldn't want to lie period. But doing that on a gov't application especially with FAFSA could equal out to all kinds of bad!


~*Melissa*~

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Posted: 11/16/2012 6:56:38 PM
I agree, Mewcat. Lying on gov't issues is such a big no-no, but his ex has NO qualms about doing so. Not to badmouth her, but she had 2 driver's licenses with 2 personas, she lied about so, so much, forever! She was supposed to give DH support (he became disabled and she went on to work and become "successful", leaving him to watch their baby for his whole life) when they divorced, but she did everything to cost her the least. She LIED and told her job they were still married, just to keep him on her health insurance, meanwhile she was supposed to provide him with health insurance for 5 years after the divorce. She renegedded on their Mexico timeshare, claiming she could no longer "afford it", so she lost it. Meanwhile she vacations in Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, etc............. It's all a scam. And he was nice enough to sign a car loan for HER right before the divorce because she messed up her credit. Bleh. Still, he won't speak too badly about her. I guess I'm the same way with my ex. Maybe we should hook the 2 of them up together!! LOL!









Mewcat
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Posted: 11/16/2012 7:39:53 PM
LOL. I feel for his DS but this is not the way for him to get $ for school.


~*Melissa*~

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Posted: 11/16/2012 7:54:24 PM
Thanks, Mew. If you knew DS, you wouldn't even feel for him. The only thing you feel is to feel badly for him. He's been a snotty, nasty, mean young man who expects the world to be handed to him on a silver platter, thanks to his mother. Sad thing is, when I met him, I immediately got the vibe that all he needed was real LOVE--to be hugged and spoken to lovingly and taken care of a little, while giving him some realistic goals. He never got all of that. He still doesn't! It's a sick little relationship his mother has with him.

Anyway, we're trying to do the right thing and I don't want DH to end up in jail or have our SS be taken away from us when we're livin' down to the penny!! DH hasn't wanted to speak to DH because he's "poor". Nice, eh? He's pretty shallow and it's not too hard to figure out where that comes from. Still, we want to do our best to make sure he stays in school and finally finishes with some degree!! BUT, we won't lie........... So, someone's gonna be mad. Typical!









Mewcat
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Posted: 11/16/2012 9:33:11 PM
In this life you can't always make other people happy. Perhaps he should look into applying for some scholarships.


~*Melissa*~

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Posted: 11/16/2012 11:19:33 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some schools have policies where they require a parent's information even if they are no longer the custodial parent and haven't claimed the student as a dependent for years. My law school, for instance, required my parent's financial information if I wanted to be considered for financial aid even though I was in my late 20s, married, and hadn't been claimed by my parents as a dependent for more than five years.

Just because you don't claim him on your taxes and he doesn't live with you does not mean that the college will consider him "independent" for the purpose of financial aid. There is a lot of very bad information on this thread.

This bit from the website sounds right to me:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gsquared: I'm so confused. I went to the website and it said that there are strict enforcements to being declared as independent; one of them being that you had to be born before January 1, 1989. He was born on May of 1990. It makes no sense to be on his form if he hasn't lived with us in years.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My guess is that the school still requires that his parents complete a FAFSA unless he can prove that he "independent" by their rules. If my memory serves, the easiest way to be "independent" when I was in undergrad was to have a kid.... It's not as simple as just not being claimed on your parents' taxes.


Agree with all of this...I moved out of my mom's house the day I turned 18. There was no getting around having to give my mother's information on the FAFSA, and it sucked because her husband had a pretty sweet job at the time--but she did not have anywhere near the $$ to give me that they said she should have been able to. It ruined my chances of getting any financial aid other than private scholarships from the school. I wasn't able to get out of that until I had a child when I was 22. I actually took a couple years off school to work full-time because I was so sick of being poor.

I was filing my own taxes and living on my own and taking care of myself for years before they considered me independent and it would have been even longer had I not had a baby.

It doesn't really matter whether he lives there or not or whether his dad has "custody" (no one has custody of a 22 year old). If he doesn't want to fill it out, fine, but I sure would do it for my kid.

BergdorfBlonde
Getting blonder every day

PeaNut 162,956
August 2004
Posts: 10,715
Layouts: 0
Loc: LI girl, livin' in the gulf

Posted: 11/17/2012 10:37:06 PM
Zombie: Thanks. As long as he's not tied to his son and his son doesn't try to pull some fradulent crap on him (like his mother has). DH is more than willing to help, even tho he's been stepped on and stepped over at this point! I just want him to be a little cautious.

BM: What's with the faces?? Who's that for? I don't get it.......









llnutswife
PeaAddict

PeaNut 266,242
June 2006
Posts: 1,106
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Loc: Hershey PA

Posted: 11/17/2012 10:53:09 PM
Your husband needs to call the Department of Education Information office or needs to go to www.nslds.ed.gov and make sure there are no loans in his name and ssn.

I work for a company that services federal student loans and I can not tell you how many parents I have spoken with who said their estranged child took out the Parent Plus loan without their knowledge. He can get the address to sent a written statement that he does not consent to any loans being taken out in his name.

I am at home so don't have the phone numbers to call but I can get them on Monday if you would like them. I would not let this go cause there could be loans out there already and if there are he will have to file fraud on his son and ex-wife. That will be the only way to get the loans discharged.

BergdorfBlonde
Getting blonder every day

PeaNut 162,956
August 2004
Posts: 10,715
Layouts: 0
Loc: LI girl, livin' in the gulf

Posted: 11/17/2012 10:57:57 PM
Thank you SO much, llnut. I'll check that out asap!








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