SEARCH

Entries in Death (7)

Sunday
Jun232013

What Happens to Student Loan Debt After Death?

JupiterImages/Comstock Images(NEW YORK) -- If the borrower of a student loan dies, is the spouse liable for that loan? The answer is: it depends.

With traditional loans, as long as the spouse is not listed as a co-signer or joint account holder, he or she is not legally liable for the debt -- unless you live in a community property state.

If you live in a community property state and your spouse dies, you're typically liable for your spouse's debt, regardless of whether your name was on the original loan or not. Community property states include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. Alaska has an optional community property provision for couples who choose to opt into a community property agreement.

With student loans, however, the rules are a little different and a spouse's liability will depend on the type of student loan, whether or not you live in a community property state and your individual state laws.

If the student loan is a federally backed education loan, a spouse is safe from repayment liability. According to the U.S. Department of Education, if the borrower of a federal student loan dies, the loan is automatically canceled and the debt is discharged by the government. Unfortunately, private student loans do not offer the same liability protections.

With private student loans, on the other hand, liability in the event of a spouse's death will depend on the individual private lender's policies. With a private student loan, it would be a good idea to check with the private lender to find out if they offer any death discharge protections.

Sallie Mae's Smart Option Student Loan, New York HESC's NYHELPs loans, and WellsFargo private student loans all offer death and disability forgiveness policies, but that isn't the norm for most private lenders.

For most other private student loans, the lender will first attempt to collect from the borrower's estate. If there is no estate, it will attempt to collect from a co-signer if one exists, then it would fall to the spouse, but it will depend on the community property laws in your particular state. Many community property states offer exceptions for education debts so that the spouse isn't held liable for the debt unless they co-signed the loan.

If you live in a community property state, it's worth checking into the laws to confirm whether or not your state has an exception. However, if you're not a co-signer, and you do not reside in a community property state, you're off the hook.

As a final word of warning, you should also be aware that there may be tax repercussions on forgiven debts -- even on student loans that are canceled due to death or disability.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun152013

Recliner Linked to Infant Deaths Recalled

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission(NEW YORK) -- Baby Matters, the former maker of the Nap Nanny is recalling all of the company's baby recliners after the products were linked to at least five infant deaths and dozens of babies hanging or falling out of the chairs.

Due to the fact that Baby Matters is out of business, there is no plan to repair the product or refund customers' money, reports USA Today. The recall is part of a settlement after the Consumer Product Safety Commission filed a case against Baby Matters last year.

Approximately 165,000 of the Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill products were sold between 2009 and 2011, says USA Today. The products costs about $130.

Some retailers, including Amazon, Buy Buy Baby and Toys R Us/Babies R Us have agreed to refund the purchase price of recalled Nap Nannies purchased in their stores.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct062011

President Obama, CEOs and Others React to Steve Jobs' Death

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Hailed as a visionary and a technological genius, Steve Jobs' death prompted several Fortune 500 company CEOs, celebrities, politicians, fellow tech-savvy experts and Apple lovers to offer their condolences and praises of Jobs' life accomplishments.

Apple, Inc. also launched a shout-out tribute page on their website, Apple.com, inviting all to share their "thoughts, memories and condolences."

Jobs died on Wednesday. He was 56.

Here are their words:

Statement from President Barack Obama:

"Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators - brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.

By building one of the planet's most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the Internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.

The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve's wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him."

Statement from Bill Gates:

"I'm truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs' death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work. Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives. The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely. "

Statement from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO:

"Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you."

Statement from Jerry Yang, Yahoo!, Inc. co-founder and former CEO:

"Steve was my hero growing up. He not only gave me a lot of personal advice and encouragement, he showed all of us how innovation can change lives. I will miss him dearly, as will the world."

Statement from George Lucas, filmmaker/producer, creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones series who sold Pixar to Jobs:

"The magic of Steve was that while others simply accepted the status quo, he saw the true potential in everything he touched and never compromised on that vision. He leaves behind an incredible family and a legacy that will continue to speak to people for years to come."

Statement from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen:

"My condolences to Steve Jobs family and friends. We've lost a unique tech pioneer and auteur who knew how to make amazingly great products."

Statement from Walt Disney president Bob Iger:

"Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined. Steve was such an "original," with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time."

Statement from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.:

"Steve Jobs was a visionary who changed the way we live, an innovator whose products brought joy to millions, a risktaker who wasn't afraid to challenge the status quo, and an entrepreneur who led one of the most creative companies of our time.

"His sage advice was respected by policymakers on both sides of the aisle. His courageous fight against cancer brought strength to many.

"I hope it is a comfort to those who loved him, especially his family, that so many grieve his loss and are praying for them at this sad time."

Statement from California Gov. Edmund Brown:

"Steve Jobs was a great California innovator who demonstrated what a totally independent and creative mind can accomplish. Few people have made such a powerful and elegant imprint on our lives. Anne and I wish to express our deepest sympathy to Steve's wife, Laurene, and their entire family."

Statement from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

"Tonight, America lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein, and whose ideas will shape the world for generations to come. Again and again over the last four decades, Steve Jobs saw the future and brought it to life long before most people could even see the horizon. And Steve's passionate belief in the power of technology to transform the way we live brought us more than smart phones and iPads: it brought knowledge and power that is reshaping the face of civilization. In New York City's government, everyone from street construction inspectors to NYPD detectives have harnessed Apple's products to do their jobs more efficiently and intuitively. Tonight our City - a city that has always had such respect and admiration for creative genius - joins with people around the planet in remembering a great man and keeping Laurene and the rest of the Jobs family in our thoughts and prayers."

Celebrities and other politicians also took to Twitter to offer condolences.

Ashton Kutcher, Actor on Two and a Half Men:

"@apluck: RIP Steve Jobs #DontCallMeIf #ThankYouSteve #iSad"

"@aplusk: We have all surfed on the wake of Steve Jobs ship. Now we must learn to sail, but we will never forget our skipper."

Lance Armstrong, professional cyclist/cancer research foundation founder:


"@lancearmstrong: 'A computer is the most remarkable tool that we've ever come up with. It's a bicycle for our minds' - Steve Jobs"

Jon Huntsman, Republican presidential candidate:

"@JonHuntsman: Sad to hear about the passing of Steve Jobs, a true inspiration and a great American innovator."

Jimmy Fallon, host of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

@jimmyfallon: Thank you, Steve Jobs, for all of the fun and amazing ways you made our lives better....Sent from my iPhone.

Will.i.am, rapper/musician/actor:

"@#youchangetheworld we lost a great innovator...steve jobs designed a whole new world...he will be missed..."

Ryan Seacrest, American Idol host/radio talk show personality/producer:

"@RyanSeacrest: 'Have the courage to follow ur heart & intuition. They already know what u truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.' - Steve Jobs"

Nancy Grace, TV host, Dancing With the Stars contestent:

"@NancyGraceHLN: About to go to air & discovered news about Steve Jobs - My heart goes out to his family tonight. #RIP Steve Jobs"

LeBron James, Miami Heat forward:

"@KingJames: R.I.P Steve Jobs. Someone who definitely left his mark on this world! Innovations that will live and last forever!!"

Neil Patrick Harris, Actor on How I Met Your Mother:

"@ActuallyNPH: Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. Your genius will live on for generations to come..."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul252011

Amy Winehouse's Fortune: Who Gets It Now?

Samir Hussein/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Candles, heartfelt notes and even bottles of wine and liquor lie outside the home where Amy Winehouse lived. As crowds of fans pay their tribute to a British music sensation gone too soon, the death of the 27-year-old continues to perplex those closest to her.

"We're devastated, and I'm speechless," said Mitch Winehouse, Amy's father, to the group of media and fans that had gathered outside the house Monday morning. "Amy was about one thing, and that was love. Her whole life was devoted to her family and friends, and to you guys as well."

As questions abound regarding the cause of the troubled singer's death, there is also a big question about where Winehouse's vast fortune will go. Winehouse was estimated to be worth between $15 million to $30 million, and many are wondering whether she left anything to her ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, or if anything is owed to him.

The tumultuous relationship between Winehouse and Fielder-Civil was made known through the singer's lyrics, their public displays of affection and their frequent drug use. The "Rehab" singer once reportedly carved the words "I love Blake" onto her stomach using a shard of glass.

Though the two were legally married in 2007, their 2009 divorce could be the reason Blake may not get anything at all. Solicitor Julius Brookman, a partner at U.K. firm Brookman Solicitors, said that according to U.K. law, even if Winehouse left something to her husband in a will, it would be rendered null and void after a divorce. "So unless the will indicates that Blake Fielder-Civil was to inherit anything despite the divorce, he gets nothing," Brookman wrote in an email to ABC News.

However, if Winehouse supported Blake while she was alive, he could possibly get something. Under the Inheritance Provisions for Dependents Act, courts can make orders to continue support to someone who depended on a deceased person.

If the singer's estate doesn't go to Fielder-Civil, it is still unclear who it will go to. Brookman said it all depends on her will, and whether she even had one in the first place. In the event Winehouse did not, her wealth, under British law, would be divided among family members.

Toxicology results from Winehouse's autopsy, which was performed Monday, were reportedly inconclusive.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul052011

NY AG Probing Life Insurance Payouts, Issues Subpoenas

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Some big life insurance firms are reportedly under investigation regarding payments on their policies.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has handed down subpoenas to at least nine leading insurance companies in an effort to find out whether they have done what they should to make sure policies of deceased customers are paid to beneficiaries.

New York's insurance department is also sending letters to more than 160 companies, urging them to run their lists of policyholders through a government database to find out if death benefits are overdue, according to the Journal.

This latest probe follows public hearings in California and Florida regarding the claims-payment issue.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
May142011

Chairman of Canada's Maple Leaf Foods Dies

wallacemccaintribute[dot]ca(TORONTO) -- The chairman of Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods, Wallace McCain, has died at the age of 81.

The company issued a statement on Saturday, saying that McCain passed away following a long struggle with pancreatic cancer.

“Wallace made an indelible impact on Maple Leaf Foods, our country and the food industry globally,” said Purdy Crawford, lead director of the Maple Leaf Foods Board of Directors. “He had a rare gift for business that was driven by his personal courage, love of people, and sharp insights.”

Wallace, who received a bachelor’s degree from Mount Allison University in 1951, started off his career as a salesman that same year. In 1956 McCain, along with brother Harrison, founded McCain Foods. The McCain family, together with a financial partner, then went on to acquire controlling interest in Maple Leaf Foods in 1995, for which Wallace McCain would serve as chairman.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb112011

College Loan Forgiveness: When Student Dies, Should Parents Have to Pay?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LAWRENCE, Kan.) -- When John Roark's 26-year-old daughter Jessica died of cancer last August, he went about the sad task of tending to matters related to her death, including finding a burial plot and tombstone and forwarding her mail.

He eventually had to settle matters with three lenders related to her college student loans, though he had not co-signed on them. Even after sending her death certificate to one lender, Wells Fargo, he says he received three letters a week from the bank to collect about $6,000. The other two lenders, Sallie Mae and a Missouri student loan company, expressed their sympathy for the death of his daughter when they forgave the loans, said Roark. However, he said Wells Fargo was "persistent" in trying to collect his daughter's debts.


After her death in August, Roark started receiving the letters, and he called Wells Fargo to explain the situation.

"The operator said they weren't in a position to forgive the loan and wanted to collect on it," Roark said. He then requested to speak to a supervisor who repeated the message, but said that he could write to the Wells Fargo corporate office.

He said Wells Fargo continued to send him notices requesting payment, now addressed to him and not his daughter.

Then, during the same week a local television news station was interviewing Roark about his dilemma, he received a call from Wells Fargo: they were forgiving the loan.

A Wells Fargo spokesperson said the company identified early last year the need for a more formal policy of loan forgiveness in the event of a student's death or permanent disability. Wells Fargo formally enacted a policy in mid-December.

"This policy took some time but the good news is we were able to apply it to this family's situation," said Erin Downs of Wells Fargo. "That's why we're proud to be one of the only private student loan lenders that give forgiveness to co-signers in the event of death or permanent disability."

The increasing cost of college tuition has led to increasing number of students who must borrow for their education. The amount of outstanding student loans in the U.S. is approximately $888 billion, according to FinAid.org.

One of the largest providers of private student loans, Wells Fargo has a portfolio of $26.4 billion of both federal and private education loans, according to the company. Downs said the bank serves 1.9 million student and family customers.

Co-signers are usually responsible for the debt obligations of the deceased. But a student loan may be eligible for cancellation due to death depending on the guarantor, loan type, and terms of the loan, according to Sallie Mae, a provider of federal and private loans. Federal student loans have historically provided loan forgiveness in the case of death, according to Downs.

Roark advises other families who are dealing with their children's estates to take heed when communicating with financial institutions, including taking down names of employees and dates of conversations.

"It's something you have to be vigilant about. You have to take notes or it won't go away," said Roark. "Eventually it was all taken care of. It's all behind us now."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio