What can we do so that my parents don't have to pay my brother’s debt? 2 Answers as of August 31, 2015

My parents received a letter saying they owe about $24,000 in loans my brother made to go to med school. My brother took out these loans but about a month ago, he stole $7000 from my parents to buy a plane ticket to Bangkok, Thailand and has disappeared. He has cut off all methods of communication with everyone that knew him, and probably won't return. He has left behind his student loan debts, and the school sent a debt statement to my parents.

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Law Offices of Henry Repay
Law Offices of Henry Repay | Henry Repay
Your question does not clearly indicate what has occurred. If your parents are not responsible, then dispute it with a vengeance. If the creditor is simply trying to bully your parents into paying your brother's loans, your parents need to clearly express that they are not responsible and ask to be left alone. If the creditor continues to harass them, then debt collection or other consumer claims can be pursued with legal representation. If they are, on paper, "responsible" because of fraud committed by your brother, they need to assert that and have it investigated by the creditor. They should request copies of the promissory notes or loan guarantee documents containing their signatures. Then, they should deny the validity of those documents. If, however, they did take out loans, co-sign or guarantee for your brother, then they will have a difficult time. Bankruptcy is usually the first thought that is considered, but student loans are difficult to discharge, even when the loan relates to a child. A bankruptcy attorney can take a look, but the expectation would be that your parents' responsibility would not be dischargeable unless their circumstances are extraordinary. If there is any point, such as your brother having left assets behind, your parents could consider a lawsuit against your brother to get to those assets through a judgment.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/31/2015
Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
Have an attorney review the documents. However, if the documents complied with all requirements, your parents may be on the hook.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/31/2015
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