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Will the DKos lawyers please take a look.  How do we get itemized statements from the Student Loan Lenders?  Copies of original Promissory Notes? All financial records?  Without which, how can we know what they say is owed, is actually owed?    

Yes, I have an adult child caught up in the Student Loan debacle.  For a year, said adult child has asked for written statements to prove that the Collectors numbers match the loans originally taken out.  NADA!  Can't get written, detailed, monthly Student Loan Statements.

And I am not suggesting that those who took out Student Loans don't have an obligation to pay back the loans.  But to do so without clear documentation from the Collectors raises my eyebrows.  We are going to lawyer up!

However, after researching this issue, there is clearly some shell-game behavior by the lenders going on.

I do understand that Student Loans don't have the same consumer protections; however, isn't there a possibility that these loans are subject to contractual laws?

There is every indication and possibility that many Student Loan Debtors are at risk of overpaying, being unduly penalized with fees and interest hikes, and that their payments are being incorrectly allocated, UNLESS they are receiving clear, timely, and correct written statements from their lenders that prove otherwise.

The fast and furious push to take on Student Debt to attain a degree has created a mess on a scale as large or larger than the mortgage shell games.

I think it is up to each Debtor to DEMAND clear accounting and, lacking that clear accounting IN THE FORM OF MONTHLY WRITTEN STATEMENTS mailed via the US Post Office (who can certainly use the business), take action, in writing.  What action?  

I honestly don't know?  Do you?  Do States have a department to help if a SL Debtor is being jerked around?  

There is a looming possibility that the Student Loan Collectors don't have a leg to stand on, any more than the Who-The-Heck-Owns-My-Mortgage-This-Month Loan collectors had.

SHOW ME THE PAPERWORK

You see, paperwork is very important to Judges as the following credit card case proves.  There are laws and legal contractual precedence that, unless proven otherwise, may help Student Loan Debtors get out from under undue burden caused by collectors who lack standing AND proof of indebtedness.  

UPDATE - HERE IS AN ANSWER!  A COMMENT FROM BELOW.  IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE TO ME (I edited format, added emphasis only):

by malenda on Mon May 28, 2012 at 02:37:27 PM PDT

The FDCPA should help

If the collector is an outside agency hired by the federal government, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act will apply.

When a collection letter is received,

1.  it should always state that the person has 30 days to request verification of the debt.

2.  Upon receipt of the the notice of debt and within 30 days, send the collector a letter requesting verification of that debt. (By certified mail)  

3.  You should receive back a copy of the signed promissory note and a payment history for verification.  

4.  However, because these are so often sold to collection agency after collection agency, the verification may not exist.  

5A.  If it does not exist, one of three things will happen.  

5B.  The debt may be referred to an attorney for suit,

5C.  the creditor will simply refer the debt to another collector, or

5D.  the collection agency will show the debt as noncollectable and it will be dropped.

What happens will depend on whether the original promissory note can even be found.

It is not proper verification of debt to simply send an affidavit saying the debt exists.

The debtor is entitled to the note.

Keep in mind that the provisions of the FDCPA do not generally apply to the federal government, so the government may simply keep any tax refunds for payment.

The Credit Card Collecter lost this case.  I think the details of why the lender lost this case could be a precedent to use when fighting the Student Loan lenders:

I think this case lends credibility to Student Loan cases, I could be wrong.

JP Morgan Chase purchased Washington Mutual and its Providian Credit Card portfolio and, in addition to Chase's own poorly managed paper work problems, created a lack of credible paperwork to support it's collection claims.

You really have to read this article to get a glimpse of just how screwed up Chase's internal record keeping is.  In fact, if all that is alleged and listed here is true, this debacle is eerily similar to the mortgage mess.  

1.  Incorrect debt dollar amounts;
2.  Misplaced and/or unentered payments;
3.  Misallocated payments; and
4.  Robo-signing

"Confusion often covers sin" my dad taught me years ago.

THE ARTICLE

OCC Probing JPMorgan Chase Credit Card Collections

Chase's inability to properly present THE PAPERWORK to satisfy the law is perfectly presented in this Judgement in favor of the Defendent/Debtor.

Btw, if you had a Providian/WaMu credit card and Chase/Collections says they have a  Judgement for collection against you, you may have similar standing.  Have your lawyer demand that the collection agent SHOW YOU THE PAPERWORK and prove STANDING.

THE CASE

Chase Bank USA, N.A. v Gergis

Chase's "white shoe" attorney lost this case.  The Judge's conclusion:

Here, Mr. Lavergne's foundational testimony was essentially a verbatim recitation of the statutory elements set forth in CPLR 4518[a].  He gave absolutely no testimony as to how the electronic records concerning defendant's account statements came into existence nor did he indicate that he even knew how such information was collected.

Moreover, Mr. Lavergne failed to demonstrate that the credit card statements were routine reflections of day-to-day operations of Chase or that Chases had an obligation to have the statements be truthful and accurate for the purposes of the conduct of the enterprise

Further, Mr. Lavergne's testimony was highly suspect. As stated above, some of the records that plaintiff sought to introduce into evidence through the testimony of Mr. Lavergne were apparently prepared by Washington Mutual Bank. The foundational testimony given by Mr. Lavergne concerning these records was identical to the foundational testimony he gave concerning the Chase records.

Regarding the plaintiff's cause of action for account stated, it fails because the evidence was insufficient to establish that the statements were mailed to defendant pursuant to a "standard office practice or procedure designed to ensure that items are properly addressed and mailed"

In sum, the offered "robo-testimony" was insufficient to establish its case by a preponderance of the credible evidence.

Credible evidence.  Paperwork!

BACK TO STUDENT LOANS

Admittedly, I have no experience with Student Loans; however, there is ample evidence, based on complaints, that there are a preponderance of shady practices.

Let's look at Citibank's sale of Student Loans to Sallie Mae.

Sallie Mae Acquires $27B of Federal Student Loan Assets From Citigroup

The transaction, originally announced in September will add 1.3 million customers to Sallie Mae's customer base.

"We are pleased to welcome our new customers and to bring them our first-class customer care, college saving, and online banking offerings to help them achieve their education and financial goals," said Albert L. Lord, vice chairman and CEO of Sallie Mae.

Citigroup shares rose 1.3 percent in premarket trade.

Let's look at the complaints regarding Student Loan Debtors and Citibank Student Loans.

From ConsumerAffairs.com:

Citibank Student Loans - Consumer Complaints & Reviews

88% reporting gave CitiBank a LOW SATISFACTION RATING.  Here's a smattering of comment segments.  If you take the time to read through the complaints you will find some common threads:

1.  Citibank doesn't work with debtors in financial distress.
2.  Citibank makes misapplication of late fees, payments, school end dates, etc.
3.  Citibank often lacks supporting paperwork

CitiBank SLC COMPLAINT SNIPPETS

...The second problem is Citi was not willing to negotiate a Loan Rehab arrangement with me to take loans out of default. They'd rather just keep switching the loans from collection agency to collection agency so they can complicate the situation further!

...I then asked, "So are you telling me that my only option is to default on my student loan?" The answer: "Yes."

...Next I said, "So you're telling me you cannot work with me? I am willing to give you a $150 payment a month for now and will contact you when I can pay more and you are unwilling to work with that? Ok, so basically you're telling me to contact you when I have a lawyer?" And her response was, "Yes, Miss *."

...I recommend keeping meticulous records with Citibank because they obviously don't keep their own records.

If you read the Citibank SLC complaint written by Carolyn of Gilroy, CA on Feb. 24, 2012, it appears that there was student coercion, consumer fraud, loan insurance fraud, and very possibly/likely loan application ROBOSIGNING by either school or bank personnel.

I know this is a long entry; however, this one complaint DEMONSTRATES several problems created by Student Loan providers, in this case CitiBank:

My daughter was in her first year at USD in 1998 and away from home for the first time.

She attended a financial seminar, for which the school had requested my permission for her to attend. I thought it was going to be an educational experience.

However, it was a roundtable event with bank representatives pushing freshman students into applying for private student loans.

I was at work when I received a frantic call from my daughter attending this seminar that I must immediately sign and fax back an

APPLICATION COVER PAGE (emphasis mine)

for a loan while she was still in attendance at this seminar.

Under pressure, I faxed it back, knowing it was only one page of what I believed was probably a multiple-page application.

I felt sure it was not a commitment on my part due to the lack of information to support the application, with it only being the cover page. Also, no loan amount was showing; the school section had not been filled out. It was basically a blank cover page.

So I put my address, work info, and SSN; I signed and faxed back.

I received nothing and heard nothing.

In 1999, during a credit check up, popped a second CitiBank Student Loan.  I contacted CitiBank, and they could not find a loan document or promissory note to send me in support of this loan.

They also removed the debt entry from the credit bureaus. I thought it was behind me as a mistake.

In 2006, CitiBank once again put the debt taken off my credit report back on from 1999 and began harassing calls to me, my employer, and my daughter.

Again, I called, and they had no paperwork but insisted on payment or they threatened to put a lien on my home, garnish my wages and my husband's wages, and have the federal government take my tax refund.

Under threat, I allowed them to take $1000 out of my bank account, while I continued my dialogue with the bank to get any documentation to verify the loan.

In 2008, Citibank sent me a copy of a faxed copy of that loan application cover that I had signed. The school information was still blank, and at the bottom of the application was written $3500 with an initial.

Many phone calls, letters, and notes went back and forth, because according to CitiBank, that application cover page was the promissory note and the original loan document and that no other documentation ever existed and was not needed to verify this loan obligation. The school did not receive the funds for this alleged loan. My daughter also did not receive the funds.

In 2011, The attorneys also gave me a document that is an insurance certificate indicating CitiBank was paid the full loan amount in an insurance claim.

I paid half the loan amount, and apparently, the loan was sold to a collection agency.

I go to court in April 2012, and the response I get from Nelson & Kennard for my requests for a promissory note or loan document to verify this loan is "The request is unduly burdensome, ambiguous, and vague."

I am told because I allowed payments to be taken from my account, I will lose this case regardless of the lack of documentation to verify a loan ever existed.

If you are are anything like me, you are now boiling and practically in tears for this mom.  People today don't have time to deal with what I call STUFF LIKE THIS.

And this is what the STUDENT LOAN SHARKS ARE RELYING ON.  If we don't fight back, keep meticulous records, and demand documentation BEFORE we pay a dime, I think we are being suckers for a potentially very corrupt system.

Corrupt?  Really?  Yes, corrupt by their own admission:

Remember this bomb shell back in 2007?

Sallie Mae changes its student loan ways

An expanding investigation of the student-loan industry is ensnaring more lenders and stoking fears that a chummy relationship between the lending industry and financial aid administrators has inflated the cost of borrowing for college.

Sallie Mae, the nation's largest private student-loan provider, agreed Wednesday to pay $2 million and to stop compensating financial aid officials with trips and other perks for serving on its student lending advisory boards. The lender — which works with 5,600 schools and has nearly 10 million borrowers — also agreed to stop running university call centers where its staffers often identified themselves as part of the university, rather than as part of Sallie Mae.

Its settlement with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo comes a week after Citibank, the second-largest private lender, also agreed to a $2 million settlement. Settlement money collected from lenders will be used to educate students and their parents about loans, Cuomo said.

Sallie Mae and CitiBank, 2007, each pay a paltry $2 million for scamming students.  

And what were some of the comments left back in 2007?  Here's a couple:

...."The original plus loans were $3,000 one year and then next was $3,000. I was never told about the interest rates. Years later because of deferment the loan together is now $33,000."

....I then found ITT TECH, my family had little money and was unable to help me with any of the expenses, I was very leary of attending, with the high cost of attending this school.

"The school then explained to me how low intrest rates are these days and that it would be very affordable, once I graduate and am placed into a job.

Needless to say I have since graduated and am working in a manufacturing environment making about $25k per year, and like all the other comments

I then found out I had a private loan through SALLIE MAE totaling $20k with a 17% interest rate,

and on top of that I also have $15k in federal loans.

This $35k loan is only for a 2 year ITT TECH degree, and when everything is said and done, I will probably have paid $60k and will be out of a job considering all of the manufacturing in America is being farmed out to other countrys.

If only I had known all of this when I was 18, I most likely would have never considered furthering my education.

In conclusion you are better off working at mcdonalds and paying on a mortgage, then paying all your hard earned money into sallie maes pockets for the rest of your life."

$35,000 for a two year "degree" from ITT TECH?  That's highway robbery.  How is that price justified?  

BACK TO STUDENT LOANS

Sallie Mae complaints are all over the internet.  From ConsumerAffairs.com Sallie Mae has a 91% Lowest Satisfaction Rating:

Sallie Mae - Consumer Complaints & Reviews

.....In sum, I owe SM about $2700 between two loans. One has a balance of about $400 and the other is $2300. I have been consistently making payments (which always fluctuate and I seriously can't make sense of their billing structure - I just pay).

......Refund of $2,335.00 from Sallie Mae denied - After being hounded by Sallie Mae for years, they finally garnished my checks and were fully paid. I had always maintained that my escrow company during a refinance had paid Sallie Mae on my behalf but was unable to find the receipt. Recently, I stumbled on the receipt. I sent it to them, and all along, they were doing research. Today, Friday, 04/27/12, a bold Sarah from Sallie Mae said that they will not refund my money. What can I do? I have all the necessary proof which I have also sent to them on various occasions.

....I went to the website provided and saw that I could file the dispute due to the original disbursement amounts not matching. Sallie Mae had different amounts of money disbursed than what the school had.

....Sallie Mae still states there is a balance due that does jive with my current payments due, leaving me suspicious that there may be more payments not properly posted to my account. With Sallie Mae refusing to respond to my multiple written, faxed, and emailed requests, I am unable to determine how the money "owed" is being calculated or where it is directly coming from.

....My advice to anyone dealing with Saliie Mae is to get out! I was able to do this pay taking out a line of credit at my bank and transferring the balance of my Sallie Mae to that. They make it impossible to pay them off. They should not be allowed to lend!

I tried to call Sallie Mae this morning. I have talked to three people, all offshore. They didn't seem to know what they're doing.

I am a deployed soldier in Afghanistan. In May, a month before I left for deployment, I submitted deployment related deferment paperwork. They lost it. I did not realize I was being reported as "late" because, of course, I am at war and kind of busy. I was able to resubmit the paperwork in October, but they refused to go back and change my payment history for July and August because the "non-payment was reported correctly". I wanted to buy a home (what would have been mine and my wife's first), but I cannot because I have "payments" within the last year.

In the fall of 2011, Sallie Mae began to garnish my social security disability benefits even though they claimed to not own my loan and was unable to make any payment arrangements.

The preponderance of complaints that SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG with Sallie Mae and other lenders is evidence, isn't it?

AND IF YOU GOT YOUR DEGREE FROM PHOENIX OR OTHER PRIVATE COLLEGES, YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN SCAMMED BIG TIME

DOJ sues for-profit college group for $11bil financial aid fraud

Until this week, the highest profile action against a for-profit school was the U.S. Department of Education's lawsuit against the University of Phoenix, which settled in 2007 for $9.8 million.
 

University of PHOENIX is owned by Education Management who also runs these schools

The Art Institutes
Argosy University
Brown Mackie College
South University
PRIVATE SO-CALLED COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES SITUATED IN STRIP MALLS AND OFFICE BUILDINGS are not Colleges and Universities.  How they are legally allowed to advertise as such makes my blood boil.  THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU!  It all about making $$ for the corporation that owns them and their shareholders.

CAVEAT EMPTOR!  Buyer Beware!  Before you sign anything with these schools, call local employers, talk to Human Resources or whoever does the hiring and see if a degree from any of these schools mean anything to the person doing the hiring.  

Also, demand to talk to at least 3 former graduates that can verify that the pay they are now making was worth the STUDENT EXPENSE/LOANS!

Here's an example.  These students paid a fortune to learn to cook and could barely get $8 an hour after graduating:

California Culinary Academy: SF Weekly Exposé Spawns $40 Million Settlement

California Culinary Academy used to have a good reputation UNTIL it was purchased by Career Education Corporation in 1999.

Career Education Corporation Could Pay $40-Million to Settle Lawsuit Filed by Culinary Students

CCA was a tad too greedy.

By the time former student Alan Livingston enrolled in May 2005, “it had a factory feel to it,” he says, and tuition for the 15-month culinary program was up to $45,000. Today, it’s about $47,000.
Whose Career Education Corporation, you ask?

Career Education Corporation runs these schools FOR PROFIT.

American InterContinental University
Briarcliffe College  
Brooks Institute
Brown College  
Collins College
Colorado Technical University
Harrington College of Design
International Academy of Design & Technology
Le Cordon Bleu
Missouri College
Sanford-Brown

Career Education Corporation tried Downsizing, closed several locations, tried to transform others.  So, I'd think twice.  Will they still be there in 2-4 years?

After seeking unsuccessfully to sell several of its campuses, in June 2007 Career Education announced that it would close the Brooks College campuses in Sunnyvale and Long Beach, California, and the Pittsburgh branch of the International Academy of Design and Technology. No new enrollments would be accepted, and the final graduation dates would be September 2008 at the Sunnyvale campus, December 2008 in Pittsburgh, and March 2009 in Long Beach.[21]

On February 2008 Career Education Corporation announced that it would also phase out operations of nine money-losing colleges, including several Gibbs College campuses, Lehigh Valley College, and McIntosh College in New Hampshire and to seek permission to convert two Gibbs college locations to Sanford-Brown College campuses.[15]

On February 18, 2008 CEC's American InterContinental University announced plans to gradually close down its Los Angeles campus. Current students would have the opportunity to complete their programs, but no new students would be enrolled. Dr. George Miller, CEO of American InterContinental University, said “the impact of a two-year probation, coupled with the current market for AIU’s programs in Los Angeles, is such that the student population at the campus has decreased significantly, and likely will not reach the sustainable level necessary to support the addition of new programs and necessary resources.”[22]

LASTLY, in my State of Utah, there is a Masters Degree Bottleneck, forcing people to look at private school places like The University of Phoenix as the only place to go for a Masters Degree.  Many of these students are adults with children, so moving around the country isn't an option for most. I know of a couple that will go to Phoenix, sign a permission slip for future wages to be garnished, because they can't find a decent paying job, and need to defer student loan payments.  That seems crazy to me.  Phoenix charges more than what Harvard charged at one time.

This doesn't seem right to me.

CONCLUSION

Anyone but Sallie Mae!

Get involved in the solution.  DROP IN TO THIS SITE

StudentLoanJustice.org

Click on TAKE ACTION and take action!

Studentloanjustice.Org is a grassroots, citizens organization dedicated to returning standard consumer protections to student loans.  The group was started in March, 2005, and has focused primarily on research, media outreach, and grassroots lobbying initiatives.

The group and its members have been featured on 60 Minutes, 20/20, The News Hour, CNBC, and many other television programs,  print media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fortune Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many others as well as numerous radio and internet broadcasts. The group is also featured in two documentaries airing and screening in Fall, 2010.

The group was credited as the inspiration for The Student Borrower Bill of Rights, and has broken numerous news items in the press with its research findings regarding conflicts of interest in the student loan system, Student Debt levels, Default Rates, corporate lobbying, and other areas.

Group Founder Alan Collinge has written numerous articles, and editorials on the topic, and also published The Student Loan Scam in 2009.  He was selected as one of seven "Financial Heroes" by CNN/Money Magazine in December 2008.  

The group is funded entirely by its members, with a budget that averages less than $10,000 per year.

READ:  The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History—and How We Can Fight Back  Author: Alan Michael Collinge

ALERT:  Sallie Mae Offers Fixed-Rate Private Student Loans to Compete With Feds

May 8, 2012:  This month, education loan giant Sallie Mae is launching its first fixed-rate private student loan to compete with federal student loans, which have historically been better deals for students because of low, fixed interest rates, as opposed to variable rates, and more protections for borrowers.

The private loans will have a fixed interest rate from 5.8 percent to 12.9 percent

SO, IF YOU THINK YOUR LENDER ISN'T PLAYING BY THE RULES, DEMAND TO SEE THE PROMISSORY NOTE, LOAN APPLICATION, MONTHLY STATEMENTS, ETC.

If they can't provide you with these, make time to force the issue.  It could save you a lot of money and heartache down the road.

Maybe Sallie Mae is coming to a similar conclusion:

Sallie Mae Not Opposed To Bankruptcy Relief For Student Loans

Luck to you all.  

With my permission, send this off to your State and Federal Congressional Representatives.

___________

If you have a chance, I think The National Academy Foundationmight be encouraging students to take on debt for higher education.  NAF does some great work, but I was astounded when I found the following.

Is this NAF or a rip-off/NAF look-a-like?  If it is NAF, this is alarming.

I found this document:  How to pay college fees & tuition.  What do you think?

In this NAF-Education.org "how to pay for school" document, prospective students are given a link to

Plain Green Loans

Plain Green Loans charge between 59.85% - 378.96% interest, according to the webiste.

*Plain Green, LLC is a tribal lending entity wholly owned by the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, Montana, a sovereign nation located within the United States of America, and is operating within the Tribe's Reservation.
What do you think?

8********************

NEW ARTICLE:  GOP Majority 109th Congress Caused Student Loan Crisis, With a Little Help from Some Dems

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  •  Tip Jar (150+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Free Jazz at High Noon, philipmerrill, Louisiana 1976, JD SoOR, Gooserock, stormicats, Debs2, weck, MKSinSA, Andrew F Cockburn, Zwoof, Dopeman, Horace Boothroyd III, Steven D, kyril, oldpotsmuggler, ncarolinagirl, statsone, luckylizard, Kristina40, yellow cosmic seed, Captain Chaos, myeye, SteelerGrrl, jgilhousen, OMwordTHRUdaFOG, palantir, monkeybrainpolitics, vacantlook, Observerinvancouver, mksutherland, dilutedviking, joanbrooker, madgranny, janmtairy, abbysomething, Johnny Nucleo, Shockwave, SpecialKinFlag, One Pissed Off Liberal, zedaker, i love san fran, shortgirl, ATFILLINOIS, peptabysmal, BlueSue, pickandshovel, evilhoodedcrow, katiekitteh, The Knute, Matt Esler, Just Bob, Brian B, bnasley, YellerDog, Lujane, splashoil, asterkitty, Captain C, Grannus, aishmael, Oldowan, Purple Priestess, SanJoseLady, Angela Quattrano, uciguy30, Otteray Scribe, nervousnellie, progressivevoice, doingbusinessas, Angie in WA State, la urracca, GenXangster, hungrycoyote, mofembot, madhaus, Lawrence, helpImdrowning, expatjourno, serendipityisabitch, blueoasis, Yo Bubba, hannah, DamselleFly, mm201, eXtina, DRo, coppercelt, NM Ray, Dirk McQuigley, Creosote, wide eyed lib, elengul, Actbriniel, Only Needs a Beat, Australian2, cocinero, myboo, trueblueliberal, JDWolverton, jasan, operculum, linkage, SD Goat, Its a New Day, Eileen B, Carol in San Antonio, angel d, ER Doc, RepackRider, MisterOpus1, thomask, CA Nana, snoopydawg, solesse413, lcrp, Sybil Liberty, RLF, eru, Zack from the SFV, bluicebank, freesia, ItsSimpleSimon, molecularlevel, lilsky, Hayate Yagami, jo fish, bleeding blue, jiordan, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Anti Em, RonV, Nulwee, ozsea1, Janetrhodes, Lusty, Tamar, blue jersey mom, Mr Robert, Iron Spider, Mentatmark, Pilgrim X, The Sheeping of America, noemie maxwell, KVoimakas, 4Freedom, slowbutsure, nicolemm, zukesgirl64, murphy

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Sun May 27, 2012 at 03:42:12 PM PDT

    •  Thanks. I think so, too. (14+ / 0-)

      I'll keep chipping away to see if we can get some legs on this.

      Somehow, I think taxpayers are actually paying these loans, like the reference to the CitiBank payoff by insurer in the diary above.  

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Sun May 27, 2012 at 04:09:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this was fascinating -- like watching a car (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HappyinNM, War on Error

        wreck type fascinating.
        I'm assuming that these types of fraudulent and/or incompetent practices are from before the change to direct student loans (except for the private loans still out there for students who need more than the maximum federal loan).
        Is that correct?
        We're going over my older daughter's options right now -- she's starting social work school in the fall and will have to take out loans. The federal loans are at 6.8% -- the 3.4% rate which the Dems are trying to maintain is only for undergrads.
        Also, unlike the undergrads, her interest accumulates from day one of borrowing and there's a 1% fee on top of the interest.
        Our financial guy pointed out that this is a pretty high interest rate for right now, so we're considering refinancing our house in order to give her a lower interest loan. It's a scary proposition, and we're not sure what to do. But I hate the idea of her coming out of 2 years of grad school owing approx $35,000 (including interest & fees) when we know she is most interested in working with low income communities and troubled youth -- work that will never pay all that well.

        We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

        by Tamar on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:41:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Be VERY cautious about refinancing your house (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error, Tamar

          If a student loan doesn't get paid, first it's your daughter's debt not yours, and the collection process is slow and tedious.

          If you refinance your house and she can't get a job and can't pay back the loan, you could lose your house. Very bad idea.

          The more serious discussion should be: Is it worth borrowing $35,000 at any interest rate to get trained for a job that will never pay enough to pay the loan off? I suspect schools are going to find more and more parents and students asking that question.

          •  I agree with rugbymom (0+ / 0-)

            Perhaps there are jobs out there for her now, that would reimburse for further education?

            I don't know enough about all the options so I wouldn't think to advise.

            Here's a couple of links that may or may not apply.

            Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Degree Students

            IBR

            Re Loan Forgiveness, it may depend on what state you live and/or work in.

            I'd google search "loan forgiveness" "social work"

            IT'S SO WRONG that parents and students have to wrangle with this system that enriches the few, while entrapping the rest in debt.

            Hang onto that house!!  And don't co-sign anything is advice I feel parrots Suzie Orman, who knows a lot more than I do.

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 02:47:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Check this out (0+ / 0-)

              Loan Forgiveness for Social Workers

              Does your finanance guy get a bonus if you remortgage your home?

              It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

              by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 02:50:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  no -- it wouldn't be through him. and he (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                War on Error

                benefits most when we spend less and save more. He isn't paid commission on trades but his income comes off of profits. If we aren't doing well, neither does he.
                I checked it out with my nephew (he's in the financial sector; we don't talk politics) who said this type of advisor was the way to go rather than the one we had before who earned money on every transaction.

                We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

                by Tamar on Mon May 28, 2012 at 05:35:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  thanks so much for this link -- I didn't know (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                War on Error

                about this at all. I've sent the link to my daughter, and now I'm thinking this would be the best way to go.
                She's very responsible but she's also very good-hearted. If we lend her the money and if a friend of hers gets in trouble (like being evicted, which has happened to a friend who are working her way through school with no help from family), she might lend them money and give us a smaller payment on the premise that we still have a place to live and her friend won't. But if it's the federal government she owes money to, she'd probably be scared to do that.
                So I think that's the direction we'll probably take -- federal loan for her but give her as much info and help as we can on reduced payments and loan forgiveness.
                The NASW link you sent me mentions a 2 year program, working in a high need area, that gives you up to $50,000 to pay back your student loans. Of course she will work in a high need area (she has no interest in anything else), and the only question will be whether it's one of the ones they include.

                We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

                by Tamar on Mon May 28, 2012 at 06:31:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well I hope this helps (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tamar

                  That NASW link as a disclaimer so it might make sense to ask the lender if this has worked for anyone else?

                  Honestly, you know more about this stuff than I do.  

                  It just breaks my heart to see so many suffering when all they tried to do was better themselves while listening to all the adults, myself included, tell them to "take out student loans"

                  From what you have written, you are one sharp cookie, Tamar.

                  Hope all works out for you.  btw, my mom was a Social Worker.  I totally understand and respect your daughter's choice.

                  It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                  by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 06:42:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My mother was also (I'm not)! She was the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    War on Error

                    old-fashioned type of social worker who worked to help people get food, shelter and medical care. In the 30's she worked in New York arranging for low-income people with tuberculosis to go to sanitariums in Colorado (that was before they had medications to treat TB, and they were sent to places with clean air, good food, and lots of rest to help their bodies fight the disease). The last 20 years of her career, she worked for the Visiting Nurse Association, advising the nurses, and traveling all over the city (by bus!) visiting homes of sick people. She would be wildly proud of my daughter -- I wish she were alive to see it.
                    What kind of social worker was your mother? I know social work went through big changes and in more recent years was training a lot more therapists than social workers like my mother. But it seems to be shifting back to community work and community organization, and that's what my daughter's interested in (although she may want to do some therapy for the $ it provides to support her other work -- and her father is a shrink so she's somewhat interested for that reason also).

                    We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

                    by Tamar on Mon May 28, 2012 at 06:48:59 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Great story, tamar (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tamar

                      My mom worked for Travelers Aid/United Fund, Director for the last 10 before she retired.

                      Lots of those travelers stayed at our home when there were no other vacancies.  Such great lessons, a different world in the 50s and 60s.  I, like you, learned gratitude as a child.

                      I'm sure your daughter has checked the licensing requirements for the state she wants to work as a Licensed SW, etc.  so she will qualify upon graduation for the License/Authority to bill insurance.

                      The hoops can be so confusing these days.  

                      : ))

                      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                      by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 07:45:20 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  I rec'd because of your kind concern, but I (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            War on Error

            don't agree about the worth of the education. For generations, my family has valued education not as a way to earn more money but for expansion of your mind and creativity and for training in specific skills, and for the help it gives you in doing what you want to do in life -- doing what truly interests you. My brothers, sister and i all have PhDs, and none of us have thought of them as a path to riches (and it's a good thing we don't because they're not!). I don't regret the years I put in for my degrees since I've had an amazing and interesting career because of those years of training.
            Our daughter already works with disadvantaged youth on a volunteer basis and uses skills she's developed from experience. Now she needs help with a whole other set of skills that she can get in social work school, skills that will help her set boundaries and learn techniques for different situations; skills that will help her run an organization; and she will also meet people in her field and have faculty for mentors.
            She won't make a lot of money because that's just not a priority for her, but i do believe that a social work degree will help her find a job and help her make a living wage.
            She has a good friend who was doing the work he liked without any advanced degree, but things fell apart and finding another job without that extra training is much harder. He's back in school now.

            We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

            by Tamar on Mon May 28, 2012 at 06:42:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know if this is applicable to graduate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error

          school, but there is a loan forgiveness program for those who work in low income communities in the field of social work or other related fields. The students have to work for a certain period of time to be eligible. It's worth investigating.

          Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

          by HappyinNM on Mon May 28, 2012 at 02:29:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Recced! (9+ / 0-)

      and shared on FB!

      "The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged. And no one seems to notice. No one seems to care." George Carlin

      by ATFILLINOIS on Sun May 27, 2012 at 07:36:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this is very timely (8+ / 0-)

      My son's fiancé has a huge issue with the ca culinary and they are giving me the run around right now as I try to get copies of her original loan documents, which they had her sign when she was 17.  She thought her father was co signing the loans as he said he would pay, turns out he didn't pay and she was the primary person on the loan.  She would not have taken the loans out or gone to the school if she was going to have to pay, so it is a big mess.  Right now ca culinary is trying to stonewall me as to the validity of the power of attorney I sent them, but am now thinking of contacting one of the attorney's mentioned in the article.  She signed up three years ago so misses the original lawsuit.

      •  If your son marries her, (0+ / 0-)

        they're his loans.    This is something they should take care of before they tie the knot.  

        "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

        by dkmich on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:10:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think so. (0+ / 0-)

          The student loan does not go to the spouse upon marriage.  They can't garnish spouse of student debtor for payments.

          If you have documentation proving otherwise please let me know asap, k?

          this is very important informatin to clarify.  

          Thank you.

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:17:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Think this is correct (0+ / 0-)

          http://www.debtconsolidationcare.com/...

          I just opened a joint bank account with my spouse in the same bank that I have my other accounts in.

          My spouse has defaulted student loans. She also has a court judgement and her IRS returns are being garnished.

          I know it is possible for them to garnish the assets in our joint bank account. Is it also possible for them to garnish the funds in my personal accounts in my single name? The bank customer service rep said no.

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:49:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So anything that is joint can be attached? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            War on Error

            This is a point worth examining if someone is planning to get hitched to someone with student loan debt.  

            Student loans are extortion at the scummiest of levels, and people really need to avoid them at all cost.    I could tell you horror stories about the new GI bill and how vulnerable it leaves the vets to this very issue.

            "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

            by dkmich on Tue May 29, 2012 at 03:34:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Found this.... (0+ / 0-)
              Community Property States
              All community property states differ when it comes to debt liability laws. In general, any assets either you or your spouse accrue over the course of your marriage belong to both of you equally. Using this statute, some creditors argue that debts should also be the equal responsibility of both parties and pursue the debt accordingly.

              Community property laws, however, only applies to debts and assets incurred during the course of the marriage. Thus, upon your marriage, you do not assume liability for repaying your fiancée's previously accrued student loan debt even if you live in a community property state.

              Read more: When I Marry Do I Assume Her School Loans? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/...

              "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

              by dkmich on Tue May 29, 2012 at 03:38:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  One more point... (0+ / 0-)

                Even if the new spouse isn't jointly liable, the couple will never be a two income couple - until the debt is paid.   This will place a ton of financial stress onto the couple; and given that financial problems are the number one reason for divorce and the divorce rate is already sky high, I still say the debt should be resolved before marriage.   If it can't be, then think twice.   Children deserve all the advantages they can get, and parents with one foot on the precipice of crushing debt don't do their kids any favors.  

                "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

                by dkmich on Tue May 29, 2012 at 03:59:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  See comment just below, k? (0+ / 0-)

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:33:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I found this for you (0+ / 0-)

        I just opened a joint bank account with my spouse in the same bank that I have my other accounts in.

        My spouse has defaulted student loans. She also has a court judgement and her IRS returns are being garnished.

        I know it is possible for them to garnish the assets in our joint bank account. Is it also possible for them to garnish the funds in my personal accounts in my single name? The bank customer service rep said no.

        http://www.debtconsolidationcare.com/...

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:47:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  17? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error

        Most states do not allow anyone under 18 to enter into a contract to repay money.  Check state law to see if your son's fiance was legally able to enter into this contract at age 17.  If not, the contract is void.

        "This isn't for the ones who would gladly swallow everything their leaders would have them know". Mary Chapin Carpenter

        by malenda on Mon May 28, 2012 at 02:39:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! (26+ / 0-)

    This feels like yet another "perfect storm" fraud being
    perpetuated on students.  We can't let these crooks
    do this to our society!  The mortgage fiasco has left
    people in shambles, and this is doing the same.
    What year was it that outright greed and fraud took
    over in this country?  It's hard to fathom how many
    ways there are now to be professionally ruined and
    left for dead by corporate America.

  •  I don't think that NAF-education site (10+ / 0-)

    is linked to the National Academy Foundation (NAF). I think it's an attempt to mislead.

    NAF itself is bad enough in this area -- take a look at its board -- NAF board

    but the site linking to plain green loans has no obvious connection to the real NAF, no identifying information whatsoever, and very amateurish text. It seems designed to drive traffic to a few sites, including plain green.

    •  I hope you are right. (8+ / 0-)

      Will dig deeper into this.

      Oh, I think the former head of CitiBank Student Loans headed up or plays(ed) key role in NAF or something like that.

      I sense a funnel was created, under great looking intentions, to grab and steer low-income people into private "colleges" by taking on huge student debt, but this will require more time to investigate than I have, for sure.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Sun May 27, 2012 at 04:47:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  On a personal note.... I'm encouraged that you (11+ / 0-)

        are using words like 'I sense', 'will require more time to investigate', and 'And I am not suggesting that those who took out Student Loans don't have an obligation to pay back the loans.  But to do so without clear documentation from the Collectors raises my eyebrows.'

        I would like to see the cost of higher education to go down dramatically.  I torn on many issues.  In many ways, I don't think post high school should be free of any cost.  But, then I don't think it should cost an arm and a leg either.  Some of it is from my own experience with education.  I have seen way too many cases of where education wasn't taken seriously if someone else was picking up the tab.  Even I'm guilty of doing some of that (I had to pay about 25% of my expenses for my undergrad and all of my grad).  When I had to pay 100%, I took learning a whole lot more seriously.

        The question comes to, who is going to pay for the education of the citizens so that they may be 'more productive' citizens??  Through a combination of Federal and State taxes is my opinion.

        •  In the very least, loans should be interest free (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lcrp, R2P2, ozsea1, Janetrhodes, 4Freedom

          for education.

          •  Interest-free loans are probably unrealistic, but (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            freesia, ozsea1

            you could certainly give loans that would be effectively interest free by indexing the interest rate to either inflation or COLA plus whatever small amount is required to cover federal administration costs.

            •  It's free in Europe! (5+ / 0-)

              Why do Americans willing agree to accept the debt capitalists put on them?   They are our tax dollars.  Instead of military bases overseas and infinite war, I want my dollars to fund education, health care, and pensions for the old and disabled.   We have a lot to learn from those awful socialist countries.

              "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

              by dkmich on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:13:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  they have a lot to learn from themselves! They (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wednesday Bizzare, dkmich

                elected some conservative governments who reacted exactly the wrong way to the recession. My understanding is that some of the great social services and safety nets in Europe are being shredded and that's why people are so angry.
                I totally agree with your point, but feel saddened by what's happening in Europe to the very benefits you're pointing out.

                We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

                by Tamar on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:46:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Why? banks borrow interest-free from the governmen (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              War on Error

              so why can't students?

              •  Well, several reasons (0+ / 0-)

                As you undoubtedly know, due to inflation, the amount, in real dollars, of an interest free loan diminishes over time.  That is, the borrower pays back less than what he or she borrowed. This raises several issues, but the primary one for me is that there is a difference between a grant and a loan.  A loan that effectively looses principal becomes free money to the borrower and if we're going to give people free money for education, than it makes a lot more sense to expand the current Pell Grant system, etc. That's not to mention that it seems inherently unfair that the amount of my defacto 'grant' is determined somewhat capriciously by the rate of inflation during any given time.

                Also, the bank's interest free borrowing (which I am against, btw) is extremely short-term, not the several years that a student loan requires.

        •  Full tuition scholarships for both of my grad (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4Freedom, War on Error

          programs and I took them very seriously. (MPH at one school, PhD 10 years later at another). I was finally learning about topics of major interest to me.
          I was lucky to have my parents pay my way through undergrad and I spent the first 2 years at a well-known, expensive private university with my parents occasionally pointing out the cost. Then I transferred to a state university, much cheaper for my parents. And that's when I got serious.
          While there may be some students for whom the knowledge that they're paying out money makes them more serious, for many it's a matter of maturity and figuring out their career path more than anything else.

          We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

          by Tamar on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:26:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm so glad that I was able to pay off my (16+ / 0-)

    student loans by early March of 2000.  I had close to 30k for 5 years of under grad and 2.5 years of grad school.  I had a few tough years before I was able to pay it off and not with out some 'assistance' from the parental units (very, very cheap rent at their house for a few years).

    It is starting to look like there may be some scams going on with some of the 'educational' institutions and lending institutions.  I would really like to see 'schools' like ITT, DeVry, Kepler, and whatever else is out there go away.  They are nothing but scams to get money from people.

  •  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (14+ / 0-)

    deals with student loan complaints, according to its website.

    http://www.consumerfinance.gov/...

    Apologies if you already covered this in your post.  

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Sun May 27, 2012 at 06:13:36 PM PDT

    •  I'm thinking (6+ / 0-)

      The above article far exceeds most peoples attention span.  I think tomorrow I'll do a new article about legal actions being taken against the predatory student lenders and the bogus schools.

      I am very thankful you are providing links.  I will give you credit as collaborator, unless you want to publish diary under your dk name?

      Let me know.

      Either way, I will definitely share on twitter to get the work/word out.

      I have to run now.  Family.

      Again, thank you very much, LivesInAShoe

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Sun May 27, 2012 at 06:44:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  oy (5+ / 0-)

    i am happy to share what i have, war on error.

     no need to credit me.  

     what i really need is some sort of help for the someone i know who was taken to the cleaners with these loans.  he has 3 degrees from brick and mortar schools, plus a huge loan from a for profit.

    he can not get a job.

    most days, he can not  get out of bed.

    it's been this way for ten months now.

    he wrote to harkin and holder and the state ag in the state where he was ripped off....no real help there.

    i'm just glad someone else is paying attention to this.

    best to you and your family.

  •  Olympia Snow's husband Chman Education Mgmt Corp (8+ / 0-)

    Olympia Snowe's husband is the Chairman of the Board of Education Management Corp.(EDMC). Senator Snowe listed investments in EDMC of between $2 and $10 million on her financial disclosure form.

    EDMC is currently being sued by the federal government, 11 states and the District of Columbia for return of a portion of the $11 billion received in student loans since 2003 because of deceptive recruitment practices.

    A 4 year "degree" in interior design costs $89,000 at the Art Institute of California.

    Truthout has had a couple of articles recently about for-profit colleges.

    Bipartisan Political Elite Implicated in For-Profit Education Fraud  

         

    On Friday, April 13, 2012, Courthouse News reported a class-action lawsuit by students filed in federal court against the Art Institute of California and its owner, Educational Management Corporation (EDMC). As reported in Truthout, Sen. Olympia Snowe's (R-Maine) husband, former governor of Maine John McKernan, is chairman of the board of EDMC and a former CEO of the company.  The company also faces an $11 billion false claims lawsuit by the federal government and 11 states.

       The lead plaintiff in the class-action suit, Chinea Washington, claims The Art Institute of California, Hollywood, led her to believe that federal grants and loans would cover the entire $89,000 cost for a bachelor's degree in interior design.

        In November 2011, after three years of study, Washington was provided notice by the "college" that she had reached the federal loan/grant aggregate limit of $52,340 and that it would cost $37,000 to complete the degree. Washington dropped out with $52,160 in debt. Because The Art Institute's credits are not transferable, Washington has been swindled out of $52,000 and three years of her life.

        The only way to describe $89,000 for a four-year degree with non-transferable credits from a non-academic college is as a fraud and a swindle, and that characterization possibly fails to convey the frustration and downright victimization students like Washington must feel.

    From EDMC's website:

       

    Education Management Corporation is among the largest providers of private post-secondary education in North America, based on student enrollment and revenue, with 108 locations in 32 U.S. States and Canada. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Education Management employs approximately 25,000 full-time, part-time and adjunct faculty and staff, and serves approximately 151,200 students as of October 2011.
    Frontine did a program last June titled "Educating Sergeant Pantzke" - For-profit colleges promise veterans a high quality degree -- but do they deliver?

    Sergeant Pantzke was enrolled in an on-line photography course offered by one of the Art Institute schools run by EDMC.

    There are also recordings of examples of recruiter's pitches.

        Recruiters' Sales Pitches to Vets

       

    To get a sense of what it's like to be on the receiving end of a call from a for-profit admissions rep, listen to these late 2008/early 2009 call excerpts from Westwood College recruiters acquired by FRONTLINE. They offer examples the kinds of pitches that are made to active-duty and recently retired service members:
    The administration had tried to rein in for-profit colleges in then past because it isn't just the military they exploit but the lobbying effort won.
    •  The Entire American Population is simply (9+ / 0-)

      a revenue stream in the eyes, and pockets, of the 1%

      I read a while ago that Clinton tried to tamp down the for-profit schools, but cant find that article again.

      What will it take to end this heinous entrapment?

      No one is safe.

      An example, Utah had 700K SS numbers stolen from mostly poor kids and adults on Medicaid.

      Why not KILL the stolen numbers, IRS/SSI?  And issue new ones?

      No, babies can grow up to find out they are in debt because someone used their SSI # to secure a loan.

      This whole area makes my blood boil.

      Maybe everyone should just say Forget About It, and stop going to school, start educating each other for free, set up exams to establish credibility, SOMETHING other than the scammable system we now have.

      I have to go breathe.

      Thank you for the great contribution.  We will keep this story going.  It's certainly a long one.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Sun May 27, 2012 at 07:50:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Student Loans help is mostly state by state (11+ / 0-)

    I had a loan in the 80's that was paid in full in the 80's.  However a bank error, not in my favor, caused it to be reported as in default.  It took me the next 18 years to straighten it out.  I tried every avenue that I could to get someone at any level of government to help straighten it out.  

    The script was always
    1. We will see what we can do.
    2. Sorry we are unable to do anything try someone else. (go away kid you are bothering me).

    So it bounced around in collection for most of this time.  There the process was something like...

    1.  Contact us to arrange to make payments or we will take you to court
    2. Weeks of back and forth conversation with increasing threats from their side until they would realize they couldn't collect a debt I didn't owe
    3. Throw the 'account' back to the dept of education (I'm assuming they got a refund or something for doing this, since none of them would ever fix the problem they would always send it back)
    4. Mail notice of it being at the dept of education would arrive at my house about 12 hours after they sent it out to a new collection agency.

    Finally, I had one rather objectionable woman who didn't believe me or my evidence (A bank statement showing the account paid in full) and started the process to garnish my wages.  At this point, for the first time in the entire life of this nightmare, I was able to request a hearing from the department of education.  They took a look at my balance statement and a letter from the president of the bank and decided that it was an error.

    So unless things have changed in the last 10 years, (which I doubt very much).  There is next to no help for holders of student loans, unless they are lucky enough to live in a state with a state level program in operation.

    We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately - Ben Franklin

    by DanD on Sun May 27, 2012 at 07:59:16 PM PDT

  •  Just an Observation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    la urracca, ozsea1, Tamar

    Driving late at night a number of years ago, I see this huge building rise out of nowhere with a huge Back Lit - soft blue- as in 'trust us'-  Sallie Mae sign ( which are hugely expensive- just the sign) . Turns out it was part of a large campus for Sallie Mae employees.

    USA Student? Same deal

    Indy is  Health Insurance company central (not to mention Lilly)  with palatial campus like settings and compounds all over Indianapolis.

    Yeah we pay for that.

  •  if the lender can't provide the documentation on (3+ / 0-)

    your child's student loans, personally, i wouldn't bother trying to pay it back.  If they can't prove the loan was made then screw 'em like they've screwed us.  There's not squat immoral about playing the game by their rules.  The lenders are more than willing (i would say eager) to screw over borrowers so f*ck 'em.  Play by their rules.  If they can't prove their case in court, that they own the loan, f*ck 'em.  These lenders are bullies and the only thing bullies get is a pop in the nose.

    "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face" & "Polka will never die." - H. Dresden.

    by bnasley on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:15:24 PM PDT

  •  what are you suggesting? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, Omahan
    And I am not suggesting that those who took out Student Loans don't have an obligation to pay back the loans.
    Actually, it seems to me that's exactly what you are suggesting.

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:54:26 PM PDT

  •  Without some major changes (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    la urracca, snoopydawg, Ginny in CO, fly

    I will die paying on my loan.  No joke. No exaggeration.  I will never get out from under that thing.

    •  I figured out that is what would (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamar

      happen if I tried to get an MS to be a nurse practitioner or educator. In interviewing for a job last year I talked about how the MS had fallen off the options and got a lecture about how I should have taken on the debt to realize my dreams.

      Turning dreams into nightmares doesn't work for me. I would rather help my kids out with their loans than take any myself.

      Here's hoping this effort by WoE to connect us to what has been discovered will contribute to a national campaign to develop programs that will alleviate your situation.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Mon May 28, 2012 at 11:50:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's the objective... (0+ / 0-)

      of the loan issuers. Permanent income stream for them with little or no effort or costs. The more people they have hooked the better off they are.

  •  Had a problem myself.... (12+ / 0-)

    I was paying a student loan from a tech. college. We moved during the time and changed the address properly, continuing to receive statements. Then, one day, they stopped. I tried to contact the loan company but was unable to.

    A few years later, I was served papers - I was being sued for the remainder of the loan. We contacted the attorney and explained what the problem was. The judge on the case accepted our settlement - we picked up payments where they had left off with no extra interest or penalties. BUT we added the requirement that we would get a statement every month and if those stopped, our debt was cancelled.

    Everything was fine for about a year. Then the statements stopped. And that was that. I still have no idea where that loan disappeared to. Thank goodness we added that stipulation in our settlement.

    Best of luck to you!

    You can fight without ever winning, but never ever win without a fight...

    by Purple Priestess on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:52:44 PM PDT

  •  This is a national disgrace. Talk about (7+ / 0-)

    carrying Capitalism too far, if this isn't It, I don't know what is.  Don't get me wrong, I am all for capitalism as a concept and even as a practice, however, preying on people's need to improve themselves through education and provide a better life for their families in this way is beyond the pale.  This, along with pay-day loans and easy-to-get high-interest credit cards is just insane.  They have already found their way through the courts to garnish wages and social security and place liens on private property and future wages.  Mark my words, if something isn't done to address these situations soon, the privatized, for profit prisons will find a way to make non-payment of bills a crime.  Welcome back debtors prisons.  When there are profits to be made, a way will be made to ensure them.  Poverty will soon be a crime, and Republicans will cheer this.

    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

    by helpImdrowning on Mon May 28, 2012 at 02:32:50 AM PDT

  •  "Higher education" has been one (7+ / 0-)

    of the flavors of human husbandry for some time.  Now they are moving into elementary education.

    The object is to exploit their own kind to their detriment.  It is kinder/gentler predation in that the prey is not killed on the spot, but exploited until it is worn out.  Other varieties can be recognized as

    incarceration
    elder care
    high tech health care
    military industry
    insurance

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Mon May 28, 2012 at 03:58:48 AM PDT

  •  Because of the failure to regulate the banks (7+ / 0-)

    and the rest of the financial industry, we are going to see a level of fraud in students loans comparable to the level of fraud we saw in mortgages.
       The difference is that you can't discharge student loan debts.

    Callate o despertaras la izquirda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Mon May 28, 2012 at 06:00:40 AM PDT

  •  Times must have changed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snoopydawg, bleeding blue, ozsea1

    I graduated from law school in 1983. I had loans from college that were payment deferred until my law school graduation. Every loan document that I signed (after reading of course) I kept a copy of.

    I had an exit interview in my law school's financial aid office. They went over the schedule of payments for all of my debt.
    The payments were fixed, payable monthly or in one case quarterly, and I could see on what date each loan would be paid in full.

    I did not get monthly statements from my lenders. Why would I need that? I had a coupon book with the payment amounts and dates, and I sent in the coupon with the payment so that it could be properly credited.

    •  closer to my own experience for the small (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error

      loan I got for living expenses during my first grad program. It was handled very neatly. that was in the late 70's.
      Now it's a whole different story.

      We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

      by Tamar on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:55:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I asked for my promissory note (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MisterOpus1, ozsea1, War on Error

    about a month ago, but no response. I think I am eligible for the public service loan forgiveness, but need documentation of the types of loans I received. So far no luck. I will have to call them again...

    •  Forget the phone. (5+ / 0-)

      Send a registered letter demanding a full accounting.

      Keep impeccable records of correspondence and phone calls.

      We have had NO success in getting itemized financial records to date.

      How can courts accept statements from lenders without supporting documentation?

      THIS is the question.  If they can't provide a detailed accounting of the debt they claim, does the case hold up to the letter of the law?

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 08:05:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't there some law (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal, ozsea1

    restricting the outrageous interest rates being charged?

    Oh, wait - this is America. Of course there's no worthwhile regulation on financial institutions - that's the American Way!

    /snark

  •  I personally don't support many of the orgs (4+ / 0-)

    you're linking to because I consider them rightwing and astroturfy, with the explicit goal of ending student loans as we know them.

    But, the for-profit scam is a huge scandal.

    We also need to differentiate in the diary between subsidized student loans and private student loans. I'm against the full enactment of consumer rights (i.e. bankruptcy options) for subsidized loans but I'm in favor of them for private loans after a certain number of years.

    Also, we need to note that the government now issues subbed loans directly and doesn't go through these banks anymore.

    Secondly, there is also an IBR program and I highly encourage your child to look into it. It's very reasonable. In fact, after 10 years as a public servant, your loan is discharged, and 20 years for a private worker.

    The gov't has pretty good programs already installed for most student loan borrowers. The main hitch right now is for married couples who both have loans--they need to work on that.

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Mon May 28, 2012 at 08:38:14 AM PDT

    •  RW & Astroturfy? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1

      Could you elaborate?

      Do you think this is a RW site?

      http://studentloanjustice.org/

      About Us

      Studentloanjustice.Org is a grassroots, citizens organization dedicated to returning standard consumer protections to student loans.  The group was started in March, 2005, and has focused primarily on research, media outreach, and grassroots lobbying initiatives.

      The group and its members have been featured on 60 Minutes, 20/20, The News Hour, CNBC, and many other television programs,  print media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fortune Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many others as well as numerous radio and internet broadcasts. The group is also featured in two documentaries airing and screening in Fall, 2010.

      The group was credited as the inspiration for The Student Borrower Bill of Rights, and has broken numerous news items in the press with its research findings regarding conflicts of interest in the student loan system, Student Debt levels, Default Rates, corporate lobbying, and other areas.

      Group Founder Alan Collinge has written numerous articles, and editorials on the topic, and also published The Student Loan Scam in 2009.  He was selected as one of seven "Financial Heroes" by CNN/Money Magazine in December 2008.  

      The group is funded entirely by its members, with a budget that averages less than $10,000 per year.

      I recommend reading Alans NYTimes article:

      Commentary: A Plea to Add Consumer Protections to Student Loans

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 09:06:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mainly, it's Kamenetz who is in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ozsea1, Lasgalen Lothir

        with the wingers. And the wingers, mainly through David Horowitz, have paid a lot for the astroturf. Her utopian idea of education without educators is right up that alley.

        Collinge hasn't gone there but one aspect of what he writes will surely lead there, and that's bankruptcy for subbed loans. Effectively, that's a grant. I'd say heck yeah, grants are great, but you know what will happen to a student loan system with a ton of bankruptcies. It will be ended. If you can declare bankruptcy at the time in life when you have no assets, then it's not a loan program. Ultimately, I see these arguments putting Higher Ed. more out of reach for the poor and middle class.

        But as I said in my earlier post, non-subbed loans should have consumer protection (though of course the grad school question then becomes problematic since you'll make it prohibitive for poor and middle class students in the professions).

        Finally, the IBR program already addresses the problem that Collinge was having.

        He mentioned working a low paid job after getting his degrees. But IBR would help someone in a situation like that.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Mon May 28, 2012 at 10:23:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnny wurster

          But that's not a terribly popular opinion 'round these parts.

          The reality is, despite the amount of dancing around it, a lot of folks want complete forgiveness of the financial obligations they themselves signed.  They typically frame it the way it got framed here, "I am not suggesting that those who took out Student Loans don't have an obligation to pay back the loans."

          However, when you look closely at the rest of their arguments, it quickly becomes obvious that's exactly what they want.

          •  No, not so (0+ / 0-)

            First, I don't have any student loans, thankfully.

            What is needed is documentation from the lenders.  This is seriously lacking, often inaccurate, and indefensible by lenders buying loans.  I think there is ample evidence that there are some serious problems of accountability from the lenders.

            This is what is being asked for, and without which making payments to lenders who have a history of shady practices doesn't make sense.

            That said, some of the lender practices unleashed by the 2005 Bankruptcy law rewrite need to be addressed ASAP.

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 01:42:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In one respect, we're not referring to the subbed (0+ / 0-)

              loans, because subsidized loans come directly from the gov't now.

              There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

              by upstate NY on Mon May 28, 2012 at 05:43:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  The IBR link was tremendously helpful. No (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error, upstate NY

      one my daughter has talked to at the social work schools (3 accepted her) told her about this. I've emailed her the link and this gives us some hope for her future.
      Thanks!

      We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

      by Tamar on Mon May 28, 2012 at 01:15:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Something really stinks here for me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    solesse413

    There's a lot that makes me raise my eyebrow on this issue, both on a national and personal level.  

    The loaners have so much power over the loanees, being able to garnish wages, eliminate the ability to file for bankruptcy, garnish SS benefits - this is completely outrageous.  For them to have this much power, waaay more power than any other loan agency including credit card companies is absurd.  Congress allowing this to happen over the years (back in 1998, I believe was one of the big bills passed giving them so much power) is just insane, and like I said, something stinks.

    On a personal level, I've never missed a payment in 4 years on my loan since graduating.  I had both federal and private loans from 2 different companies (Wells Fargo and Access Group), and both companies sold my loans to ACS (which I believe is a subsidiary of Wells Fargo).  Some of my benefits include a % reduction on my interest rate after 36 and 48 consecutive payments.  Well 36 months have come and gone, and the .75% reduction has yet to be honored as it should.  I even called ACS back in December before they took up my loan to see if they would honor my % reduction and they said they would.  I've called them for the past 2 months and they said the complaint I've given is still in their Claims Dept.  I'm considering on calling an attorney for help, but I'm not sure what to do at this point.  I'm going to ask for all paperwork like the diarist mentioned, and go from there.

    But something smells like bullshit and I'm really becoming suspicious.  Anyone else have issues with % reduction agreements after on-time payments made?

    Lawrence, KS - From ashes to immortality

    by MisterOpus1 on Mon May 28, 2012 at 09:45:32 AM PDT

  •  (855) 411 2372 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flo58, ozsea1

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Mon May 28, 2012 at 09:48:09 AM PDT

  •  Eff Sallie Mae and all the other vulture lenders (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1

    I co-signed my youngest brother's student loan. At the time I was super busy, literally on my way out of town to my best friend's wedding, so I didn't research what it really meant to cosign a student loan as opposed to any other kind of loan. Dumb. Stupid. Asinine. What a costly mistake. Don't EVER EVER EVER cosign a student loan.

    --It was super high pressure, low information, all done over the phone with the admissions "lady" at the school, Le Cordon Bleu in PA. I mean, "if you don't sign this paperwork today, (Thursday), he can't go to school on Monday."

    --I was told specifically I could be removed from the loan after 24 months of consecutive, on-time payments. So I figured at worst, I'd be stuck with that and could then be removed. While that's technically true, it's also a lie, because it omits the most relevant fact: AND my brother would have to qualify for the loan by himself.

    --There was no monthly payment amount on the loan paperwork. When I've purchased cars and houses and even furniture, there's a document that spells out: you borrowed $X, your payment amount is $Y, times Z months. Not with a student loan. It just said the total amount borrowed and what the interest rate was (9%, variable, with my 799 credit rating! His other loan I found out much later was at 17%!).

    --It's one thing to owe the principal and some interest to a lender, but Sallie Fucking Mae has so bloated the amount due, it's hard to even figure out how they came up with it. There are fees for the deferment while you're in school, then there is the capitalized interest on the deferment, then regular interest, plus any fees and penalties for late payments, plus interest on the fees, it just never ends. Then they did some kind of kabuki to consolidate SOME of his loans (not the one I cosigned), but not all of them, but he was made to think it was all of them- and so was quite shocked to find his combined payments upon exiting school were nearly $900 a month.

    --If your payment is late, expect to get calls all day long. 5-7 times a day is not too many calls for them. A computer calls you, asks for you by name, then you wait on hold for one of their aggressive, insulting customer "service" people. Normally, I hang up on the computer but once I waited 40 minutes (just to see how long it would take) and still no one came on the line. Their caller ID never says Sallie Mae, it always says either private caller or just a nondescript 800#.

    --a note on consolidation - why is it that student loans can't be consolidated? What the hell is with that? Why should someone have to make 4 payments to the same lender? Why are they treated differently than any other type of unsecured loan? (yes I get that the fed covers some loans and the lender covers some loans, but since it's a student loan, the fed was subsidizing Sallie Mae at that time so ultimately even on the private loans it was still guaranteed by the fed)

    --My brother was denied federal student loan aid because he had a conviction for pot so all his loans were private student loans. If ever there was a dumb policy, this one takes the cake. Deny help to people who are trying to better themselves. Great social policy.

    So yeah, in short, fuck all these vulture student lenders. (but I'm not bitter!)

    "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -5.54

    by solesse413 on Mon May 28, 2012 at 10:04:33 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for writing this! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fly, War on Error, catwho

    You have touched on so many excellent points and provided a lot of useful information. My husband just finished his bachelor's degree in December, and we have several issues with Sallie Mae.

     First, we've just obtained copies of our credit reports. Our scores plummeted from what used to be aprroximately 750 to very low scores. We wnet over the credit reports and we have an impeccable payment record on every loan, mortgage payment, etc, except for student loans. They've claimed that we were delinqent for several months going back through 2011, even though my husband was a full-time student until he graduated in December of 2011. During this time he had a full-time student in-school deferment. No payments should have been recorded as due until after he graduated.

    Further, during his last year of school, we repeatedly received phone calls from Sallie Mae. He went in to the school's financial aid office and had them fax his full-time student in-school deferment to Sallie Mae over and over again. How convenient for Sallie Mae that they kept "losing" his deferment papers. And why do I have a sneaking suspicion that they might have "forgotten" to correct  the balance sheet and remove erroneous late fees and penalties?

    To be honest, I have no idea how much of our loan we really do owe and how much of it was inflated with late fees. Further, Sallie Mae likes to chop it up so that each semester is a separate loan. They make it so complicated that it's difficult if not impossible to sort it out.

    I think it is long overdue that graduates and students  file a class action lawsuit against Sallie Mae for fraud, for predatory lending practices, and for using the phone to intimidate, harass and abuse borrowers.

    Are there any Daily Kos attorneys out there reading this?

    •  The phone doesn't work. It is not binding. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, Janetrhodes

      I recommend sending a certified letter for each loan demanding full itemized disclosure of each loan that lists all the fees, interest charges etc.

      They have already screwed up your credit report erroneously.  I wonder if you can take them to Civil Court to make them comply.  Somewhere recently I heard or read of a person who won a good sized settlement for harassmant over a debt she didn't owe.  She got an award for the pain and suffering caused.

      I can't see why anyone would be penalized for not paying a loan that isn't itemized and sent out in a statement every month.

      But I am not a lawyer.  I don't want to get your hopes up, but seriously, get a complete itemized record ASAP.  Send certified copy of the correspondence to each of the State and Federal Legislators.  

      You have this window of opportunity because you are starting this process.  To do so blindly makes no sense at all.

      And, contact the credit bureaus and send proof of your deferrments.

      Fight for your rights, dear.
      Good luck to you.  Let me know if you have any success.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:32:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, you definitely aren't a lawyer. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error

        At the end of the day, this is a contracts case, nothing more.  You can't get "pain and suffering" in a contracts case.  Period.  End of story.

        So the story you half-remember-and-have-no-details-of-except-she-won-"pain-and-suffering" is bogus.

        There are consumer protections, however, with some specified punitive clauses, but no one's going to be winning pain and suffering in a case like this.

        •  The case I cited from memory was about (0+ / 0-)

          a lenders attempt to collect a debt that wasn't owed.

          There are examples of student loans that were not given in collections.

          Show The Papers is the only way a debtor can see what the contract was.  People are not always able to get their lender to comply.  Without documentation, is there a contract?  In many mortgage cases judges said NO, no contract, no debt.

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 01:45:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bogus. (0+ / 0-)

            Sorry, but I call shenanigans.

            Again, you can't get "pain and suffering" in this kind of case, whether the debt was or wasn't owed.  It's a contracts case.

            •  Ok, you forced me to research (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Janetrhodes

              I remember case because I fought lender for a bogus $50 charge for a year before they admitted their error.  A year of effort on my part, phone calls, faxes, etc.  I wish I had sued them.

              Snow won her suit against Midland Funding LLC and the jury hearing the case awarded her $8.1 million -- $250 for actual damages, $100,000 for mental anguish and $8 million in punitive damages, he said

              It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

              by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 02:19:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sallie Mae phone abuse (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                War on Error

                Is intended to cause pain and suffering. I am really glad you shared your research on Snow vs Midland. This knowledge could be very useful to me. My other issue with Sallie Mae is that i believe their use of the phone to harass and intimidate may be illegal. And I also believe that they have committed fraud by allowing or encouraging their employees to lie to borrowers about the status of their loans.

                My husband graduated Dec 5th. On Dec 12th, he was diagnosed as a diabetic suffering from ketoacidosis and was hospitalized for five days, the first three in the ICU. On Dec 30th, a Sallie Mae rep called and claimed that his loan would go into default that day unless he made an immediate payment over the phone of $150. And this was after Michael told him that he was a newly diagnosed diabetic who had had to spend $600 on insulin and syringes.

                When I came home I was flabbergasted both by the sociopathy of the people whom Sallie Mae employs and the complete lack of accuracy in their records. I said to Michael, how can you be on the verge of default when it's less than a month since you've graduated? Your first payment should not even be due yet.

                This weekend we experienced another insance of Sallie Mae phone abuse. And this time, I am taking action. I am completely fed up.

                •  I could be wrong, but I believe (0+ / 0-)

                  Anything said on the phone is useless.

                  Record the calls if you can, let them know you are up front.

                  Treat every step as though it will become admissable in a court room.

                  I really like the advice offered by malenda in the intro, especially the certified letter.  Send copies to your State and Fed congress reps w/cover letter and copies of lender documentation or note stating they are not providing them.

                  Get out the file folders and keep impeccable records.

                  I am really sorry about you and your husband's difficulties.

                  It's time for people to stand up to this abuse.  And it's time for Sallie Mae's abusive practices to be reigned in.

                  Best wishes to you in your endeavor.

                  It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                  by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 03:51:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  That's not going to stand. (0+ / 0-)

                From http://www.stopcollector.com/... :

                Midland Funding will undoubtedly appeal the jury award, but it’s nice to know that consumers are fighting back. The case also highlights the differences between state laws and the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA doesn’t allow for punitive damage awards; theoretically, it’s the Federal Trade Commission’s job to make debt collection companies who routinely violate the law pay up. However, not all states have separate fair debt laws, so the FDCPA is the course most often taken.  (emphasis mine)
                The punitive award will most assuredly be completely struck on appeal.  At most, she'll get the FDCPA's statutory award, which is about $1,000 per incident.  The "mental anguish" award will not survive appeal.
            •  There are penalties for unfair debt collection (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              War on Error

              under both Federal and state laws. Hounding a person for a debt they don't owe is definitely covered as "unfair debt collection."

              The problem is that with cutbacks in legal services, and clinics like law schools being overwhelmed, it's very hard to find lawyers who know how to bring these cases. And each one may be fairly small potatoes. (It is of course no accident that part of the war on the 99% involved cutting back on legal representation for them in fights against big financial institutions.)

        •  to Lasgalen (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error

          Please let readers know what your background is in law. You state with a lot of assurance that in a contracts case, a person cannot collect damages for pain and suffering. Are you an attorney? If not, what are your qualifications?

      •  Thanks for your suggestions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error

        I'll look into this. I am definitely determined at the very least to have the erroneous information on our credit reports corrected. And as we go through that process, perhaps more possibilities for action will open up.

  •  What is a master's degree "bottleneck"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    Is it because the legit universities are picky about who they accept?  Is it because there aren't enough real programs?  Do people really need master's degrees to advance in their professions, or is it an artificial requirement to weed out potential applicants to jobs?

    I won't say that I got into my master's degree program with out any effort, because I did work my ass off studying for the GRE to ensure I had a good shot.  But everyone I know who applied for their master's program here in Georgia was accepted.  It's only the professional schools- the pharmacy school, the vet school, the law school - that are super tough to get into.

    Tradition says that God gave us choice. Some of His disciples act like it is up to them to remove it. ~ kjoftherock

    by catwho on Mon May 28, 2012 at 02:04:03 PM PDT

    •  Second hand info on my part, a friend (0+ / 0-)

      There are two schools available in the desired field of study, geriatrics/psychology.

      One a private religious school nearly impossible to enter from the local state college that has no masters programs at all.

      The other, abt 40 miles away is the only State University.

      From what my bff tells me, there's no way she can get to a program there in her field.

      I'd call that a bottleneck that she can't fit through.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 02:13:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The FDCPA should help. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    If the collector is an outside agency hired by the federal government, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act will apply. When a collection letter is received, it should always state that the person has 30 days to request verification of the debt. Upon receipt of the the notice of debt and within 30 days, send the collector a letter requesting verification of that debt. (By certified mail)  You should receive back a copy of the signed promissory note and a payment history for verification.  However, because these are so often sold to collection agency after collection agency, the verification may not exist.  If it does not exist, one of three things will happen.  The debt may be referred to an attorney for suit, the creditor will simply refer the debt to another collector, or the collection agency will show the debt as noncollectable and it will be dropped.  What happens will depend on whether the original promissory note can even be found.  It is not proper verification of debt to simply send an affidavit saying the debt exists. The debtor is entitled to the note. Keep in mind that the provisions of the FDCPA do not generally apply to the federal government, so the government may simply keep any tax refunds for payment.

    "This isn't for the ones who would gladly swallow everything their leaders would have them know". Mary Chapin Carpenter

    by malenda on Mon May 28, 2012 at 02:37:27 PM PDT

    •  THANK YOU!!! (0+ / 0-)

      This sounds right to me.

      Here's another question.

      Is there something proactive a Student Loan debtor can do, via the courts, if the lender refuses to provide documentation?

      If so, what would that action be called?  

      Is it a local civil court proceeding?

      Or how can a debtor get action?

      Thank you malenda.  this is very, very kind of you.  So many people are looking for recourse to some very shady and draconian maneuvers by the lenders.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 03:05:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm totally confused. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    You included so many extraneous cases, I'm not sure of your particular situation. Did your adult child go to a regular college/university or to a private trade school? I'm not sure about trade schools because, as you stated, they're primarily money machines as opposed to educational institutions. If he/she went to a college/university, I would start with the school's financial aid office. They generally have copies of all the paperwork related to student loans. They would probably also know who holds the paper. Whomever holds the paper will have an itemized statement of the beginning loan amount and any interest or penalties attached. It seems that you are searching for dishonesty or trickery where none may exist.

    Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

    by HappyinNM on Mon May 28, 2012 at 02:49:10 PM PDT

    •  All good points. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HappyinNM

      To date adult child has not received compliance with requests.  Trying to figure out best course of action.  There are so many fly-by-night lawyers in this area, funds are tight, and can't waste funds on lawyer that does nothing but bill for hours and no progress.

      Thank you for your information.

      Oh, I included lots of info to help ppl back up the problems they may be having.  There is a huge record of some shady behavior on the part of lenders.  I see that as evidence to support claims.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Mon May 28, 2012 at 03:08:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You really don't need a lawyer. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error

        Anything a lawyer can do, you can do. Virtually every legal form can be found online if you need to sue. If you do it pro se, the other person's lawyer is sorta obligated to help you along. I filed for bankruptcy because of student loans and succeeded in discharging them. That was in 2002 which means it was before the most recent bankruptcy laws were passed (2005). Between help from the court and the attorney for the company that held the loan, I was able to file all the forms necessary. All you need is a computer and a printer. If you would like to share more personal info re: your situation, you can kosmail me, and I'll try to help. In addition to my resourceful self, my daughter is presently working for a call center that has a contract with the feds to answer questions about student financial aid, beginning with the FAFSA. What I was trying to tell you in my first post is that anything that is broken can be fixed. The info you presented in the diary is a lot of hyped up stuff, and not necessarily normal. I had two different kinds of loans. One loan (taken out over time) was originally $5,500, and became in excess of $14,000. But 15 years had elapsed with little or no payment from me. The only thing I found outrageous was that at some point interest was converted to principal, so that I was paying interest on interest. I had never heard of a loan that was able to do that. The rest was pretty straight forward. So, try to get it out of your mind that someone is trying to screw you, and go step by step until you've resolved the issue.

        Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

        by HappyinNM on Mon May 28, 2012 at 05:30:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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