Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Why Change.org is useless
The mother of a Detroit-area college student who died in 2009 has launched an online petition asking lender First Marblehead Corp to forgive a $10,000 student loan taken on by her son that she says she cannot repay.
Ella Edwards, a 61-year-old woman working part-time as a seamstress, has garnered some 191,000 signatures for her online petition on the website Change.org (www.change.org/ella).
"I am trying to pay off Jermaine's loan, but I simply don't have the money - and because of my crushing depression, I am barely able to work at all," Edwards said in her online petition. "Nobody told me when I co-signed the loan that I would be forced to pay them back even if my son died."
I have sympathy for Mrs. Edwards on the death of her son. I think her statement that "nobody told [her]" that she would have to repay the loan, a contractual obligation into which she entered, is naive.
But she needs $10,000. And 191,000 people "cared" enough to sign her petition. If they "cared" enough to help her by sending money, that comes out to . . . just over five cents per person.
Maybe one of them can help her by directing her to GoFundMe.com.
In the meantime, prayers for young Jermaine. And yes, I do not think the bank has any legal obligation to forgive her loan.