Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Our daughter died--her student loans didn't

Below is an email from Keith and Michelle Norris, MoveOn members who created a petition on, the nonprofit site that allows anyone to start their own online petition. If you have concerns or feedback about this petition, click here.

Dear MoveOn member,

Our daughter Brittani was killed in a tragic and brutal car accident three days before her twenty-third birthday—just a week before her college graduation.

Brittani had dedicated her life to serving people and making people's lives better. She had her whole life ahead of her.

When Brittani died, she still had student loans to pay off, and for more than three years Citibank demanded repayment from our family. While we grieved, Citibank continued to demand payment, and we struggled to pay these bills monthly.

Tell Citibank to stop trying to collect student debt from grieving families after their child dies.

Our family is lucky. After more than three years of pleading with Citibank, we started an online petition on With the help of friends, MoveOn, and so many others, our petition spread fast. And once Citibank started to feel public pressure, they called us and agreed to forgive Brittani's student debt.

But what about all the other families in this situation? No one should have to go through this kind of ordeal. And we know we're not the only ones who have had this experience with Citibank and other big banks.

Citibank received a taxpayer bailout, while most families get no help when they need it most. Citibank should institute a policy of student loan forgiveness when a student dies and stop going after family members.

Click here to tell Citibank to forgive student debts of young people when they die.

–Keith and Michelle Norris

This petition was created on, the progressive, nonprofit petition site. is sponsored by MoveOn Civic Action, which is not responsible for the contents of this or other petitions posted on the site. The Norris family didn't pay us to send this email—we never rent or sell the list.

Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 7 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

This email was sent to eddie alfaro on September 12, 2012. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.


  1. I agree that any loan made by someone who died is no longer payable. But this story doesn't indicate who signed the loan papers. If it was the student, the parents are not responsible for her debts.

  2. While I am truly sorry for your loss I know you co signed the Citi Bank loan for you daughter just as I did for my son.
    You knew there was no loan forgiveness upon death just like I did.
    Bite the bullet and honor the debt. The schools where she received the education were paid. It's an honorable debt and you co signed. You can take 30 years to pay it off. Honor the education she received and would have used. Don't use a forum like this to get out of a debt. Think of every dollar you pay as a joy becuase you know how much your daughter wanted her education and you are paying for her dream.

  3. This petition sits badly with me because there is no mention of who signed the loan initially. If the parents had NOT co-signed the loan, I would assume they could have filed a lawsuit when Citibank attempted to collect. However, they have instead filed a petition...

    Personally I don't feel I can support this petition simply because I don't feel I have enough information.

  4. I did not sign because of the co-signing question.

    I'm no fan of big banks. Quite the opposite, but before I start crying foul, I need to know that this is not endangering the concept of co-signing on principle. Banks charge based on risk. If co-signing is no longer a method of mitigation, student loan costs could rise appreciably.

    Maybe we STILL want to modify loans this way, but let's have all the facts on the table first.

  5. Thank you for sharing such great information. It has help me in finding out more detail about Education Loan For Students!

  6. Thank you sharing the information would like to more about Education Loan For Mba