H.R. 5458: Christopher Bryski Student Loan Protection Act

H.R. 5458

Christopher Bryski Student Loan Protection Act

Date
September 28, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.R. 5458 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Tuesday, Septemer 28, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  The legislation was introduced on May 28, 2010 by Rep. John Adler (D-NJ) and referred to the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Education and Labor.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5458 would require private educational lenders and institutions of higher education (IHEs) that provide student loan counseling to discuss the benefits of advanced directives with the signers and cosigners of student loans.

This bill would require lenders of private educational loans for which cosigners are held jointly liable to clearly and concisely define the terms of cosigners' obligations regarding such loans and to inform the signers and cosigners regarding the benefits of purchasing credit insurance. 

The bill would also direct the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System by regulation to set standards for determining when a private educational loan signer or cosigner has died or become incapacitated or disabled.  

Additionally, the bill would require the following: (1) prospective borrowers of federal PLUS and consolidated loans to be informed about creation of advanced directives; and (2) borrowers of federal educational loans to be provided entrance counseling regarding the creation of advanced directives and the effect their death, incapacitation, or disability would have on their federal and private educational loans.

Some members may be concerned that this bill would require financial institutions and colleges to provide education on matters such as healthcare powers of attorney and living wills, for which they have no institutional knowledge or expertise.

Background

The bill was named after Christopher Bryski, who died at age 23.  His parents, as co-signers of his student loans, were left with massive debt.  Unlike the federal government, private institutions do not have to forgive student loans that have a co-signer if the student becomes disabled or dies.