Over my years as a member of the KOSSAK community I have come to recognize that we represent a large cross-section of well informed, smart, educated folks. While I have been involved in years and years of work-related and non-work-related internet research; I often come to dead ends.
I am in a situation where my daughter is in default of student loans taken out through MyRichUncle and Sun Trust Bank all apparently now managed by American Educational Services. My daughter is an hourly worker making barely above minimum wage with a maximum take home salary of $250 to $300 per week. I am aware she is part of an epidemic in student loan defaults but there is one major extenuating circumstance. See why below
My ex wife and I divorced in 1999. While I paid child support up until she reached 19; there was no formal legal mention of financial obligations beyond that time. When my daughter started at the state public university; my ex and I agreed to fund every other year of her education.
I was fortunate to be able to fund with cash and one short-term loan my two years (~40K total) plus purchase her a vehicle. My ex decided to take out student loans for my daughter for her share. My ex made all the contracts, did all the paperwork, co-signed, received the funds and distributed them to my daughter on an as needed basis.
Her promise to our daughter was that she would make the payments so she would not start life with a huge debt over her head. So far she has not paid back the first penny.
In addition, we have found out that my ex took out student loans that exceeded the amount sent my daughter and the university by about $25,000. She has defrauded the lenders and also jeopardized my daughter’s future.
I urged my daughter to inform the authorities immediately but she wanted to protect her Mom. However, now after be harassed at work today by a collection agency she wants to take action.
For those of you who may have some expertise or experience in this area; here are my most pressing questions:
• Is there a good, honest, reliable, and preferably non-profit, source for information on student loan repayment problem situations that does not end up putting the student deeper in debt?
• Since these are not federal but private student loans does the Office of the Inspector General in the U.S. Department of Education have a role here? (I was directed here when Googling student loan fraud.)
• My ex and at least one lender is in the State of Florida. Should I contact the Florida State Attorney General’s office?
My daughter and I realize she has an obligation here to pay for her education. The amount was unexpected.
My ex made a verbal commitment which is probably uneforceable. However, she stole loan proceeds and has a liability as the co-signatory. We want her held responsible for her fair share.
She has turned her back on my daughter and will not discuss the situation at all. It looks like at a minimum we may to report her fraud just to get her attentioin.
Any direction and advice would be greatly appreciated.
Education, student loans, student financial assistance, fraud, loan default