NJTV: Bill Forgives Loans if Student Dies or Becomes Permanently Disabled

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By Andrew Schmertz

Correspondent

The Assembly Committee on Higher Education made quick work of correcting what lawmakers say is an embarrassment of New Jersey’s student loan program.

“We had a tragedy where a student was murdered — a New Jersey resident was murdered — and the state filed a lawsuit against the family for the student loan,” said Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker.

The student was Kevin DeOliveira. Despite his death, the state’s Higher Education Student Assistance Agency, or HESAA, demanded his parents, who co-signed the loan, repay it in full.

So on the first day back in session after the summer, state lawmakers moved on a bill to strip the state of the power to collect in certain, rare circumstances.

“It says very simply that upon the death of a student that the loan will be forgiven,” Zwicker said.