Opinion

Editorial: Undue burdens

The mother of a late graduate faces unnecessary, unfortunate circumstances.

As reported by Cindy Stansbury in “Mother paying burden of son’s death,” P. 1, the Temple community suffered a terrible loss in August  2011 when Roswell Friend, a Temple graduate, committed suicide.

His passing has left a serious financial burden on his mother, Regina Friend, because of standing student loans. She had originally borrowed $55,400 on behalf of her son.

Lender Sallie Mae has since forgiven the loan. The Temple News would like to applaud the financial institution for its act of compassion.

But the IRS is taxing this loan erasure, as is standard policy, to the tune of $14,000 under the pretenses that it is a windfall gain. The idea that such an incident could be construed as a gain surpasses the realm of unreasonable into something darker. The IRS does not have a protocol intact to forgive such individual taxations, regardless of circumstances, with the sole exception of large-scale economic crashes.

As it appears that there is no hope of this tax being removed, The Temple News would instead like to commend those who have responded to this tragedy in the spirit of charity.

This includes those who have attempted to ease the financial burden faced by Regina Friend after Roswell Friend’s passing, as well as those who have sought to ensure that similar hardships are not duplicated.

The Temple News would also like to stress that its full support goes out to the Friend family during this difficult time.

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