Consumer Complaints and Reviews
When calling the offset line to see if we had any offsets, due to being offset last year for a tax debt. We found out that the DOE was offsetting our taxes. They sent no notice to us, nor did they even tell us our forbearance didn't go through and our debt was sent to collections. Now, we find out our entire tax refund is set for offset. We went into rehabilitation when we found out about this, yet, they still say they're taking our taxes. We asked about hardship and they keep giving us the runaround on that as well. We have filed a petition on whitehouse.gov asking that the DOE send notifications by certified mail. If this is also happening to you, please feel free to sign the petition too.
My review is to express frustration and let others know they are not alone. Additionally, I hope my review helps those who might be considering to take out assistance called student loans. My debt has grown to a gigantic amount of 250,000 dollars. I would say that maybe 100,000 of that is actual principal. The rest is interest that has accumulated over 28 years. I am in the REPAYE program and recently was switched over from Navient to FedLoan Servicing. I thought Navient was bad but FedLoan is worse. My loan transferred and not without a lot of drama. Case in point: The loan wasn't transferred correctly and I couldn't make a REPAYE payment because they didn't transfer it correctly. They finally admitted after two months that they had made a mistake. They gave me 12 days to pay the two months of payments if I wanted it to count towards my loan forgiveness.
Additionally, they did not transfer over a payment from NAVIENT as they claim it was 5.00 short. They forgot to add the money in and they have been informed. I called them to figure out a payment plan to get the two months of payment worked so I could have a chance to come up with the money. I was told no many times. The phone person even said to make a payment every week until it was paid for. When I became outspoken, the phone attendant started adding on more requirements in order to get the two months to count towards my loan forgiveness. When I asked for everything to be put in writing I was told they didn't have to. I said that everything needs to be in writing and they told me that they could call me. Finally, after the payment day came and went I received a letter that wasn't nice at all. They cited a department of education rule that they could call me. I researched that rule and found that the rule is only for those in default.
My loan has never been in default and payments were current. I cited the fair credit debt collection and explained to them that everything has to be in writing. As far as I am concerned they lost their phone privilege with me. I frankly don't care if I am in the grip of servitude. The loan servicer nor the department of education own me. I feel that my 13th amendment rights have been violated. I live in fear of the consequences that I am told over and over, from the department, the loan servicers, news articles, that there will be legal consequences if I don't pay on the student loan. Everything from wage garnishment, tax offsets, lawsuits and being sued. How am I supposed to fight this monster that I can't get away from. I have called lawyers but no one will take on this case even if I feel my credit rights or loan payments are not properly applied.
Anyway, over this last incident, I have realized that the department of Ed nor its servicers are really interested in seeing people not succeed in paying of loans or receiving forgiveness. I figure that because of the misapplication of loans or going into programs it takes off 3 months a year. This applied over 10 year is 30 months which adds on additional 2.5 years. Not to mention that over 10, 20 or 25 years life events come up that force one into forbearance. This ends up accumulating more interest and adds time toward the loan forgiveness. So unless your lucky student loan forgiveness of 10, 20, 25 years can turn into a lifetime.
The department of Education has figured all this out. The government actually uses money loaned to students as an asset. They like anyone else try their hardest to protect their assets. They make close to a 100 billion a year in interest. My story is a lot longer than this but hopefully this is enough to to help others to not feel so alone and to think before taking money from the department of Education. The money they give is predatory and leads to no good.
I had to deal with US Ed Dept (ED) many times and they are very corrupt. First, I filed a Borrower's Defense when a college ripped me off by not teaching required accreditation content. It was rejected on the technicality that I was not offered Direct Loans at the original institution. I was never told that consolidating loans would disqualify me from filing the defense. I complained to ED and they did nothing to ensure the college taught the material and to protect the public from graduates who didn't learn the material. When I became disabled ED caused my discharge to be delayed by not responding to a paperwork request from Nellnet and forcing me to refile six months later. Finally, they allow colleges to lie by underreporting their student loan defaults. They only count loan defaults during the first two years of repayment.
I had my federal income tax withheld because it was said that I was in default that was only after the fact that I file my taxes. However at that time I was already having a hardship. Thus I had to file a hardship letter with the Department of Education. I filed it April 11th are they received the April 11th and I had to keep calling and calling. I then found once they sent the checkout it was only a partial check for $550. With that being said that was not part of the hardship. I don't know who makes that decision but that was very wrong which leaves me in deeper hardship than before my family becoming homeless. We lost everything.
This was a very hard slap in the face by a branch of our government. With that being said I didn't have a partial hardship, I had it hardship none the less. They ended up keeping the other $7,300 that was my other part of my tax return. It's unbelievable that they can do it upstanding citizens like that and put them in a greater hardship than what they was already in. I'm very unsatisfied with the Department of Education and the way that they have done my family and myself.
All FFEL student loans should be discharge immediately. US Department of ED never informed FFEL borrowers that they can ask to have their loans discharge if school they attended violated law. An FFEL Program borrower who alleges that he or she has Defense against repayment of his or her student loans because of some action or failure of the borrower's school may present his or her arguments to the Guarantee Agency or US Department of ED during the collection process. 34 CFR 30.24 and 682.410(b)(5)(ii)(C) and 682.410(b)(5)(vi)(I).
The problem is that US Department of ED violated federal law 455(h) Section of Higher Education Act (HEA) required that the Department of Education define by Regulation which acts or commission of the school constitutes defenses to repayment of the student loans. US Department of ED never made that Regulation which was required to make based on 455(h) HEA. US Department of ED never defined by Regulation which acts or commission of the school constitutes defenses to repayment of the student loans.
Another problem is that my (American Student Assistance ASA) and all others guarantee agencies violated Law 682.410 b(5)(vi)(I) by NOT including pertinent information in the notice they sent me (and to millions of other FFEL loans borrowers) specifically neglecting to include (the) description of the grounds on which the borrower (me) may object that the loan obligation as stated in the notice is not a legally enforceable debt owed by the borrower.
ALL guarantee agencies violated federal law, Title IV and ALL FFEL borrowers Due Process Rights. Law 682.410 b(5)( ii) states "The guaranty agency, after it pays a default claim on a loan but before it reports the default to a consumer reporting agency or assesses collection costs against a borrower, shall... provide the borrower with - C) An opportunity for an administrative review of the legal enforceability or past-due status of the loan obligation;[...] Law 682.410 b(5) states:(vi) The notice sent by the agency under paragraph (b)(5)(ii)(A) of this section must...(I) Describe the grounds on which the borrower may object that the loan obligation as stated in the notice is not a legally enforceable debt owed by the borrower.
An FFEL Program borrower who alleges that he or she has Defense against repayment of his or her student loans because of some action or failure of the borrower's school may present his or her arguments to the Guarantee Agency or US Department of ED during the collection process. 34 CFR 30.24 and 682.410(b)(5)(ii)(C) and 682.410(b)(5)(vi)(I)
The notice sent to borrower should have, according to the above, information that borrower (me) have the Right to file Defenses against repayment of the student loans when school violated law, or/and because "of some action or failure of the borrower's school". None of the notices sent by American Student Assistance (ASA) do not even mention that I had a right to file defenses against repayment of the student loans when school violated law or/and that I had a right to file defenses against repayment of my student loans because of some action or failure of the borrower's school and that I may present my arguments to the Guarantee Agency or US Department of ED during the collection process.
Some important information: Any lender holding a loan is subject to all claims and defenses that the borrower could assert against the school with respect to that loan. 682.209 (g). 682.609 (a) The Secretary may require a school to repay funds paid to other program participants by the Secretary. The Secretary also may require a school to purchase from the holder of a FFEL loan that portion of the loan that is unenforceable. The repayment of funds and purchase of loans may be required if the Secretary determines that the payment to program participants, the unenforceability of the loan, or the disbursement of loan amounts for which the borrower was ineligible or for which the borrower was ineligible for interest benefits, resulted in whole or in part from - (1) The school's violation of a Federal statute or regulation.
FFEL master promissory note did not contain the key information that would assist me and millions of other borrowers in asserting a defense against repayment of student loans in the instance, the school in question, violates the law. FFEL master promissory note did not include extremely important applicable law. The Department of Education, along with the guarantor(s) both failed to notify me (and millions of other borrowers) of my (and others) due process rights in establishing the grounds for defense against repayment of FFEL Loans when college violated the law. For OVER 20 YEARS the US Department of ED FAILED to inform borrowers of their legal due process rights.
Addition to that, Middlesex Community College in Middletown, CT grossly mislead me and thousands of other students by incorrectly informing myself and others in 2005-2006 official Middlesex Community Catalog in the "Financial Aid Information" section (page 36, top page) that Stafford Loan (FFEL) can be discharge ONLY if borrower becomes permanently disabled, or if he or she dies. The keyword to the note is "ONLY". This is not a violation by omission, but by deliberate misrepresentation of fact and deception.
The last time I attended college was in the Spring of 2006, 10 years ago! By incorrectly informing me that Stafford loans can be discharge ONLY if borrower becomes permanently disabled, or if he or she dies, Middlesex Community College at the same time withheld information from me that I can ask to have my student loans discharge (cancel) if my school violated law. I found out about that law sometimes in April 2015.
At the time I found out about that law, time of limitation to investigate college by US Department of ED already passed. Unfortunately, there is no time of limitation on student loans. Fortunately, there is no time of limitation until when borrower can file defenses against repayment of the student loans. Problem is, how after 10 years borrower can obtain documents to support his or her defenses. ONE WAY, OR PERHAPS ONLY WAY, BORROWERS CAN OBTAIN THOSE DOCUMENTS IS BASED ON FOI REQUESTS (if school still have any documents). All FFEL student loans should be discharge immediately because US Department of ED does not have any longer power to investigate college and schools do not have any longer student's file. Borrowers can ask US Department of ED Secretary, honorable Secretary King for help.
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MY STORY SHOULD FRIGHTEN EVERY PERSON OUT THERE WHEN DEALING WITH THE US Dept of Ed, Federal Student Aid or their Default Resolution Group. I have a very unique case I am battling with the US Dept of Ed. Anyone having a dispute with the US Dept of Ed... NEEDS TO READ THIS CASE!!! I can back up everything in this statement with documents and I am no longer after a discharge... I'm after justice. I believe the pursuit of this debt against me, which I did not borrow for, actually shows every indication of loan deception by the US Dept of Ed and other affiliated Federal Guarantors and other enlisted affiliated agencies. There are 3 loans involved. The first 2 were when I was a minor child in 1986 and 1987, and a consolidation that was done in 1996.
What I have found out was in fact a very clear documented trail of loan deception and I currently have submitted a formal complaint to the Department of Justice and also filed to the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau. The two original loans, I believed I had applied for Pell Grants. It wasn't until 1996 after I went back to school in 94/95 that the US Dept of Ed contacted me regarding the past debt. I never denied attending this school, and it was my name, however the SSN was not mine. After much discussion, I agreed to cooperate. I had no reason to mistrust them. I cooperated fully to include signing a promissory note to "get the process started" and I had 3 good faith payments made. I was told not to worry about signing the promissory note with the incorrect SSN, as they couldn't change it, they would have to find out why and get it fixed.
Let me tell everyone one vital thing about this. The promissory note, when signed in Feb 1996 did NOT have any lender name or their terms listed on it. At the top of this promissory note also uses the word application. You must understand, the US Dept of Ed did NOT front this money. This was a consolidated loan. The money would have to be borrowed directly from a lender. The US Dept of Ed told me the SSN and everything would all be fixed by the time I received the lender contract. The lender was their own solicited lender. But I had two demands. Demand 1. I must have the proof of the original debt. Demand 2. If valid, the consolidation MUST be under my correct SSN or I would not consolidate. I was assured this was not a problem.
In April of 1996, I received the contract from the lender and was dismayed and suspicious that it too was under the incorrect SSN. What lending company doesn't even so much as run a simple credit check on that SSN? It is their most basic fundamental job. I never received the proof either as directed (and you will find out why if you keep reading). I retracted from the consolidation. I contacted the lender and told them I was not signing and returning their contract and why. I never heard another word... from anyone. In 2003, this debt was placed on my credit reports under the incorrect SSN. I submitted a formal credit dispute and it was not validated to be my debt. It has been off my credit reports since 2003.
Fast forward to 2015 and my federal taxes were offset by the US Dept of Ed... For a consolidated loan I didn't even know existed!!! 20 years... they waited 20 years to pursue this debt and it is my allegation that they did so as an attempt to leave me in the most defenseless position I could be in. Well defenseless I'm not, and I knew as fact I never borrowed for that consolidation. Problem was every time I spoke to the US Dept of Ed by phone they actually had the audacity to tell me it was my problem if I didn't keep the lender records, they didn't require them. I was in a panic because of course by the time my taxes were offset... the lender had folded. It was my persistence for such records, but I ended up getting two documents that tied it all together.
Those two documents were... On the New Jersey Higher Education Pursuit activity sheet it actually showed the lender was allowed to bypass what is called the Lender Reimbursement Claim form. This is the form the lenders use when filing their case for reimbursement. It also lists requirements and documents that must be submitted. And now I understood that despite all my written requests for the records... the US Dept of Ed never wanted to acknowledge in writing the missing lender or their contract. Once the light bulb went off, I started disputing how the lender was allowed to bypass this form, how this lender never proved I defaulted, how they never even proved I was every their borrower or they were ever my lender and yet this debt was settled. What I got in return was a letter on May 2015 that if I didn't pay on this debt they would continue to garnish me, including that of my paycheck. I consider this extortion.
Not only that. This letter came with an excuse that wasn't even legally accurate reasoning. The US Dept of Ed refused to acknowledge this missing lender in writing. When I disputed the legality of their rejection reason in June 2015 and again persistent in them not having the legal proof I owed this debt, they rejected citing their decision stands and that they gave me everything in my case file. It was then that I contacted the Office of Inspector General in July 2015. After sending in statements I finally got them to send my case over for a high priority review and investigation for Federal Student Aid to conduct. And finally I found out the truth about it all.
But when I received the report from Federal Student Aid on Jan 21 2016 I was stunned... literally... on the outrageous and flat out blatant falsification of its content that it prompted me to now deem this as a criminal and a civil violation of my rights and filed a formal complaint to the Department of Justice. I also did a formal rebuttal against the report and filed it back to Federal Student Aid, the Office of Inspector General USDE, the Department of Justice, and I am getting ready to file it to my local attorney general's office. Every single one of these loans are missing a lender. No lender equals no lender every claiming that I ever defaulted on a loan. Yet these debts were settled despite this. So let me give you the facts and you can understand exactly how this happened as to why there are no lenders.
In 1986 and 1987... while I was a minor child the SSN was actually changed on the promissory notes not just on one loan... but BOTH that were a year apart. It is my allegation that Higher Education Assistance Foundation, the Federal Guarantor of the loans actually physically altered the promissory notes and re-wrote a different SSN on the actual promissory notes ABOVE MY CORRECT SSN!!! Yes folks you read correctly. This was NOT a clerical error here. It is my accusation that HEAF conjured a Lender Reimbursement Claim form to make it "appear" as if these loans were serviced by a lender but never were. There is not one single document to validate this form. The lender that is on the promissory note simply vanished. It is my belief that due to the changing of the SSN, HEAF either did not send these loans out to be serviced, or the lender actually refused to serviced them because of that change... either way HEAF was stuck.
While I am not a lawyer I firmly believe this debt was legally non collectible. The 1986 loan is not even signed by any lending authority either. If it is not signed, it is not valid. Basic contract law. To this day the US Dept of Ed refuses to prove what SSN those funds even were... but tell me verbally that I received funds that funded my schooling. Regardless, I gave all of us a chance in 1996 to fix whatever mistakes we all made. Me for my misunderstanding what I applied for, and the US Dept of Ed for the incorrect SSN. But what happens next is such a grave injustice. It's an outright travesty. Before I move on... when it comes to the original loans. My SSN was physically changed while I was a minor child and my documents actually altered. HEAF was the only source that could have done so, and did it over TWO separate loans.
One loan isn't even signed and they were SETTLED as if they were LENDER DEFAULTED CLAIMED LOANS. This was NOT and that is a fact. Yet, the US Dept of Ed pursued this debt as if it was. Now perhaps you can understand why in 1996 why I never got the proof... just what were they going to send me... my manipulated documents? Now when it comes to this consolidated debt, EVERYTHING is missing. Again we have a missing lender. And just you wait until you read what was done to me regarding this loan. The lender – not one single legal trace of this lender exists not by actual document and the promissory note. If you remember I stated I signed in Feb 1996, retracted in April of 1996 and guess what... a STICKER. YES A PRINTED STICKER BY THE LENDER was attached in May 1996. I am also disputing the legality of this so called "sticker" as a non legal binding way to sign a legal contract.
And when I mean just that... it is fully typed. It is not authentic as a signature. It's as typed as this statement is. Now we fully understand why no aspect of the US Dept of Ed wanted to talk about the lender in actual writing or my missing lender repayment schedule. The promissory note outlines that the repayment schedule is the contract to be honored. It was not even in existence when I signed the promissory note and retracted before one even existed. No payments were ever made on the actual consolidation. After writing the OIG's office I found out that there are service lender records (you know – after telling me twice in writing that they gave me my case file in full and refused to acknowledge my submitted FCRA which is federal law to comply but they didn't).
Again, now I know exactly why they tried to withhold those records. NO LENDER. The servicing lender shows they received outside claim but not by who and NO COPY of this claim. So just how were they able to service this loan? Not one single trace of anything remotely of a repayment schedule exists. In the federal student loan investigation instigated by the Office of Inspector General USDE, actually changed not only my allegations but the document reference as well. The Federal Student Aid changed the document Repayment Addendum instead of the Repayment Schedule (the very contract that actually borrowers the funds from the lender... the one the promissory note outlines) ...as the document I did not sign and return. The repayment schedule was mentioned far too many times both verbally and in written manner to have such a grievous oversight of the incorrect document.
Oh and the Repayment Addendum that they do use to "uphold" the debt isn't even the correct lender. Nope. In fact it took a FAKE forbearance to generate a new Repayment Addendum to correct the lender name and of course if you have ever done a forbearance then you know that those letters require to be signed by the borrower and come directly from the lender. They are also required to be maintained and submitted by the lender upon settling for default. So again the one thing that would prove either myself or the lender's involvement is of course and I'm sure you've guessed is MISSING!!! The servicing lender records were never submitted by the lender via the lender claim form so I am citing that these records are non legal to use as claim for default.
There is no proof that the lender even requested this servicing lender to even service the loan on their behalf and the lender never directly claimed these documents either. They are moot. So I am dealing with my federally protected SSN number abused/misused 4 times through this 30 yr trail like a game of ping pong and having it changed when it suited the US Dept of Ed to do so. Missing lenders... no lender ever claiming I defaulted on their loan directly which is the ONLY reason the US Dept of Ed should have settled it in the first place. Falsified notations, unsubstantiated notations.
Oh... and New Jersey Higher Ed who got it from the US Dept of Ed shows they pulled my correct SSN in 2001 and in 2003 they received my formal credit dispute. In that two year time frame the only thing they do is send out two letters to OTHER addresses that wasn't even what they pulled in 2001... given my unique spelling of my first name. What they got that was VOLUNTEERED by me in 2003 which matched EXACTLY in what they pulled in 2001! ...New Jersey Higher Ed actually falsifies that they didn't have that address on file which they did since 2001! I can prove they spent more time actually evading me than to contact me. Right up until the lender was gone. I had my refund stolen on a debt that has no lenders. I had my refund stolen on a debt that was removed from my credit report in 2003 because they didn't validate the debt as mine!
The pursuit trail stops on the notations of receiving my credit dispute... it returns back to the US Dept of Ed in 2005 where it sits for an additional 12 yrs. So these loans have gone through HEAF, the US Dept of Ed, New Jersey Higher Ed... These "lenders" that they solicited back to New Jersey and back to the US Dept of Ed right back under the same incorrect SSN for a total of 28 years. Despite the fact they had the correct SSN the ENTIRE time... despite the fact that I had a mountain of other documents from my rightful and PAID OFF loans from my education in 94/95. The promissory note that the US Dept of Ed crammed down my throat until I practically choked on it this past 1.5 yrs since this battle started.
I am INSISTENT is a non legal binding contract and has been VOID for 21 years! Void because of the sticker placement. This is not a legal way to authenticate a legal contract. And because it is being used in by illegitimate claim and by deed of lender claimed default... when there isn't a single shred of proof. No, this lender that was secured by the US Dept of Ed in 1996 was allowed to waltz through this ENTIRE debt from beginning to end without having to prove a single thing. Not by direct letterhead document, not by a copy of the repayment schedule... they didn't submit it. The servicing lender doesn't have a copy... yet were able to service this loan without it. New Jersey Higher Ed never had a copy. The forbearance letter missing. The actual Lender Reimbursement Claim Form is missing and actually NOTATED that it was bypassed... so it was not a mistake or oversight and they did nothing to rectify this.
And most importantly... the way these debts were 'settled' was a violation of my civil rights. PERIOD. So I bet by now many of you are wondering why I am still fighting this debt. GOOD QUESTION... something I hope the Department of Justice gets to the bottom of. While I cannot get justice for what happened with these loans 30/20 yrs ago... I believe I have the grounds for this current pursuit. Withholding my records, which is provable multiple times. What I feel was extortion after I brought up the issues with the missing lender and the bypassing of the lender claim form. I am even claiming the Federal Student Aid who told me during the phone interviews that they were getting assistance from the Office of General Counsel of my case file. I am firm that it was to mislead me into believing they were going to address the legality of all the issues with these loans.
Their report does not notate this and I am insisting that these calls may have been recorded. I have challenged the Federal Student Aid in my Feb 2016 report which I backed up with documents and fact to PROVE me wrong and I challenged them to PROVE that the Office of General Counsel backs their report and finding based off my case file... silence of course because they CAN'T. Another thing I have asked the Department of Justice to investigate. There is NO WAY the Office of General Counsel can back that report against my documents in my case file AND my allegations of the legality of the lender and the promissory note. And here I still sit twiddling my thumbs. You see, Federal Student Aid not only now has to explain their current pursuit... but they have to explain why they not only have to discharge the consolidation loan but the underlying loans as well.
I am firm in my stance that the Federal Student Aid is now trying to not only cover up their current pursuit... but to cover up the past actions their pursuit stems from. Liability. Well they should have thought about that before they thought I was too stupid to understand what they were trying to pull. They just thought they had me by the thread on a hook by what they deemed as the worse position to be in... completely and utterly defenseless. In a nutshell, they just didn't think I could but this case together... and now they are all back-peddling. Silence is the best defense to them at this point. So let me warn you all right now. They will do EVERYTHING they can to manipulate you. They will even threaten you as they did me. They will reject using excuses that have nothing to do with nothing. They will use word manipulation in their rejections.
And remember one thing...they don't have to do ANYTHING until they are forced to do so. They thrive on backing people into a corner... and let's face it... not that many attorneys out there that handle these types of cases and it does NOT help when everyone harbors the attitude that because you sign a promissory note you owe it. THAT IS NOT TRUE. They are only the GUARANTOR of a loan and they are in full knowledge of this fact. So in my case, what loans?? WHAT LOANS?? There are no LENDERS to my loans. All I see is a 30 yr long trail of loan deception because of them doing everything they could to rectify HEAF's gross negligence in changing my SSN when I was just a kid. When they lost my cooperation because they REFUSED to provide the proof AND correct the SSN (I guess they expected me to commit fraud to pay a debt they didn't want to prove at that).
They pushed that loan through behind my back without my knowledge or consent and then waited.... waited 20 years. I was not hard to find here folks. My last name never changed. I worked and lived in the same place for this entire 20 yrs that matched what they pulled in 2001! This wasn't about a debt pursuance. This was about crushing my rights so badly to only say that I owed it and there is a difference. This is an absolute travesty. My advice is, if you are ever in a position like mine they are NOT giving you your records... they are NOT addressing your concerns but denying your disputes with ridiculous excuses that doesn't address what you are even disputing. Contact the Office of Inspector General USDE and insist on an investigation. It took me writing 3 times. Yes...
I was SERIOUSLY misled in the FSA investigation I got, BUT it wasn't for nothing... now I know exactly what they have, what they don't and more importantly what they never did. Now I fully understand why those records were being withheld. Now I'm after justice. If you did not do a loan... and you know for a fact you did not, and you aren't getting anywhere... the FIRST STEP is to find out what THEY have on file and from your lender if they are still viable. The US Dept of Ed seems to take their sweet time... 20yrs in my case. If you are getting the runaround go to the OIG's office. If you get your copies and you see missing information, fraudulent information but they still insist you owe it then contact the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau and MAKE SURE when you do, you know exactly what you have and make sure you submit it and make sure you are very detailed.
Hi, my name is Annet. I got student loans a while back to go to school when I was pregnant. I filed for LOA but never was taught that I had to get myself off that or I go into default. Well I went into default about a year ago not even. Well anyways when I went to do my tax return I was wondering what the holdup was on my refund. Well found out that I had an offset. To be honest I never even heard about an offset ever till that day nor have I received any letter about it. So I took it upon myself to call the US department of EDU to see what I can do to stop the offset because I’m a single mother of two and on welfare. And I had planned on my refund to get us a place as my lease was up at the time and me into a car because I was in a bad wreck last year where I lost my vehicle.
Well they told me they sent it off to collections so there is nothing they can do to stop it. So then I proceed to ask them "how much did I owe?" They said 4446$ in student loans. Well that is what I expect them to take out then finding out I accrued interest and fees and fines and such so they ended up taking out a total of $4874.36 which is well over what I owed the loan itself. So I’m like Cool my loan should be paid off by now because I was getting back from my refund before the offset $7791 dollars so any fees or charges or anything should have been taken all out at once.
Well that apparently wasn’t the case. I needed to go back to school so I can get my Teaching License to be able to start this fall as a teacher in Hillsborough County. Well I get an email stating that I’m still at default. I was blown away because I didn’t understand how I would still be at default when I paid my student loans off (so here comes the discrimination from the department of EDU).
So I called the Department of Education Yesterday 05/05/2016 and got a rep on the phone. Off the bat didn’t sound professional at all but hey that’s not my problem. So anyways I spoke to her in a nice calm manner to figure out how to handle this situation of me being in default. I asked her "how am I in default if you guys already took everything I Owed you?" She said because I still owe $119 dollars.. I asked then "why didn’t you guys just take that with the almost five grand that you took from my refund Or at least send me a letter stating, 'Hey Mrs. Torres your new balance with us is 119 dollars and after that is paid you will be lifted from default status.'" She got all rude with me and was like, "Well you have three options. You can pay for school out of pocket or don’t go to school till it's paid or pay the 119$."
I told her flat out I don’t like those options as I have no money. I’m homeless right now trying to start a career being a teacher and take care of my two children. Little by little I’m getting there. I wouldn’t have been homeless have you if I would have gotten my full refund back. Anyways so then I proceed to tell her that as per a Lawyer I consulted with, they are supposed to send you a letter stating they are taking an offset so that way, if you need to fight it, work out a deal to settle without touching your refund, you are able to do so. Well I never got that letter and like I said previously I only found out the offset from IRS when I called them to figure out why my refund was taking forever but I would like to speak with a supervisor because I need to clear this up.
She then states on the phone mind you a recorded line "we did send you a letter btw in December." So I said "where did you send that letter?" she was like "St Petersburg" so then I said "Where in St Petersburg?" She then says "Somewhere in St Pete." I’m like yea exactly so I came back and said "Regardless if you all sent it or not, you did not send it to me because I had a legal documented lease that states I was residing this apartment complex since Feb 2015 to March 2016. But anyway let me speak to the supervisor." So she sends me to the supervisor. So I asked him the same thing and he broke down what I owed so here it goes.
So I owe 95.20 to Principal (which to me makes NO SENSE why didn’t you just take that out my refund with the other almost 5 grand you took). .92 cents in interest so I owe now 96.12 so I asked "where does the 119 dollars come from?" Then he said "Oh 24$ goes to collection fees." I’m like, "Are you kidding me? So pretty much you guys left me enough to not get out of default but to gain interests so if I wasn’t paying attention to my school loans I would pay another offset next year." So he started to get sassy. Mind you he is a SUPERVISOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. He told me flat out, "Well if you can’t afford to pay for school then don’t go to school then."
So I was shocked to hear that from him so I redirected him and was like, "So that’s the message you want to give our kids in this world. Oh can’t pay for school, no education for you. That’s the message you want to send out?" He said "Yes" and hung up on me. I was blown away. You're probably wondering where the discrimination comes to play. Well I feel they were being racist to me as on the phone I sound like a proper country ** girl. Trust me I hear it all the time. Well what’s funny is I’m Hispanic not ** at all. I have no accent because I’m from Florida raised here and I’m sorry to say but the REP and Supervisor was **.
I feel I Deserved to have been listened to with my concerns and maybe helped with options so I CAN go to school and pay whatever is needed in small increments but they didn’t want to hear what I had to say. I know it’s a lot to read. I will file a formal complaint with an attorney and all the news stations in the area to get my story heard. I was treated unfairly and to tell me not to go to school because I can’t afford it was downright a disgrace not everyone is BORN RICH sorry we all struggle.
Contractor from Dept of Ed call me. I had surgery. I BEG not to deduct 1 month payment. Had surgery & mortgage payment going to bounce but she said is only 1 payment left. Was foreclosed, had six death, lost job, unable to collect unemployment mental status, have no income. I received letter from Dept of Ed to offset acct. I have work hard since 16 yrs., supported 6 children without any help. Now I need everyone, shut doors. Hopefully Dan 800-621-3115 will.
This year I received letters from the Department of Education stating I owe over 25,000 in school loans. I'm still thinking there's no way possible I owe that much. They took my taxes without a letter or notification. I want a lawyer to help obtain certain letters. Please help.
Well I received a letter from Nelnet to renew my yearly forbearance on my loan so I could stay up-to-date! I called Nelnet and talked to their low income phone representative who seemed pleasant enough and told me I still had time to send in my paperwork. Well, Lo and behold, unannounced to my dismay, two days later in the mail there was a letter stating that I owed over $8,000.00 in yearly interest that had accrued! So I asked, "Why am I being charged interest when I have no job and am on the IBR (income based repayment) plan?"
Any human natural reaction would be a negative response! No joke! But I am only a stone's throw away from being a homeless veteran! I am dependent on family and that sucks! I know God is watching out for us (my family that is). I must say that I hope when the CEO of Nelnet passes from this world he doesn't have to realize the misery he has caused many in my shoes but if you read the Bible it states the plight of his future sorrily enough! The quote, "It is easier for a Camel to enter through the eye of the needle (old smuggler's route into Jerusalem) than to enter into heaven! At any rate I will keep playing the game and watch my original principal balloon into the astronomical figure that it has become! I just have to say, THANKS NELNET FOR SCREWING A POOR VETERAN!
I attended college right out of high school and never graduated due to financial hardship. I had a "LOW INTEREST" student loan at 9.5% (Thanks Clinton). I have made several attempts to pay back the $6000 I had borrowed, but unfortunately each time I ran into financial hardship and then twins. I have always filed hardship paperwork, and the lady at DOE told me "If you stay in hardship you will not be offset to the day you are on the wrong side of the grass." Well obviously, they conveniently lost my paperwork and I was put on the offset list.
I have not filed taxes in 3 years because I didn't have any income. Now I try to start again, I get laid off, but I managed to get a decent refund due to EIC and they take it. Thanks Obama... I have paid back more than my principal over the years... You can't negotiate like you would with a bank or a credit card. I took these loans out when bankruptcy was possible. I was about a year too late and... Well no more. My interest and penalties are over $10,000 EACH while my principal has never been touched by any of the payments I made over the years. Well the government, (thanks, Bush) bailed out the banks. Why can't they bail out the people like me who are single moms with kids. Guess we get EIC so we can pay back a debt that NEVER ENDS. It is loan sharking at its finest. Let's help immigrants and take in thousands of refugees... hmm can you be so sympathetic to an AMERICAN?
In 2015 my job processed a wage garnishment for the Dept of education. This debt collector was listed as CTI. After the garnishment was put in place CTI set up a monthly payment plan that after 5 monthly payments the garnishment can be lifted. After 5 months the garnishment was lifted and the monthly payments would continue until February 2016 and a new payment would be set up going forward. All payments were paid via my husband's account which was considered a third party. Around the end of December the account had no funds and they were unable to pull funds. January I tried contacting CTI to process the payment over the phone as we have done in the past and could not get a hold of the contact. Called the next week in January and left vm for the contact. Come 02/03 refund was offset. I was in compliance in enough time to avoid an offset.
CTI called end of January to tell me they were trying to collect a debt and I told her to contact my rep and listen to the vm. She kept me on hold so long I was at work and hung up. I received my monthly reminder 01/25 advising that 01/31 they would be taking money out of the account. That never happened. They never attempted to pull the money from the account. NOW since I complied with wage garnishment and a payment restructure why would I also be hit with an offset. We needed that money for mortgage that we are under water for. This is a mess. My loan was 1998 for 10k. I have paid 17k but they say that is all penalties and fees so they don't plan to let me pay off this loan in this lifetime. My balance is now 23K I do not think I am responsible to pay back the national debt.
Hard to get a hold of most of the time. I tried calling around the holidays and consistently would call them and then I finally left a message and I did it again another time. Finally will get one call back when least expected. Then kept calling from start of Feb 2016 and emailing them, as well. I still did not get a callback nor email response at all; so I persistently called and finally got someone toward end of day and said he tried calling me 3 times before or since I called last but I never got that call; otherwise my machine would have picked up. I asked the questions and the person, Barry, sounded a little cold and not so nice to me. I tried asking if they are ever there and he said they are there everyday from 8 to 5, something like that but I said, "I even left a message and you did not bother to call me back?" That's when he came back on the 3 times that I did not get, if lucky awhile back got one call back.
I paid off my defaulted loan in 2009. I did this to purchase a new home. They held onto the payment for roughly eight days before processing. This is so they can collect the accrued interest. Now 2016 I am trying to apply for an income-based repayment program for my daughter's education. They say that same paid loan is still owing! I've emailed several times and been stuck on hold for well over a hour. They must think we all just sit around and do nothing all day. I'm not repaying this for a second time. Can I get an attorney for this? It's not owing! They need to owe me for that loan being there and preventing me from qualifying for the proper repayment programs. They are real quick to take OUR money, but are ridiculous at getting overpayments back or just doing a good job overall! Unethical and crooked!
My bank send the full payment to Department of Education via Nelnet and was informed that it will take 30-45 days to close my student loan account that is why I ended up paying month which is actually over paying my student loan. This is totally ridiculous. Nelnet told me that the Department of Education usually goes on the aging process. Aging process? I thought that they only do that on liquors and wine. If the Department of Education took control of my student loan, they should at least eliminated the middle-man (Nelnet) out of the picture and give us a website to log in to check the status of our payment and balances. Now for sure, I would not get refunded for the payment that I am paying now till the Department of Education decided to inform me when the aging process is done. What a joke this department is.
I am a victim of id theft and in 1986 this person out a student loan. 20 yrs later I received a letter from work stating I was going to be garnished for the amount 9,500 and money was taken from my check every week. I have complied with US Ed and still till this day they still are giving me the runaround. The loan has been paid off and I cannot get them to refund my money that was taken from me. I have sent all paperwork needed and ask of me from the id theft and handwriting expert stating that the signature on the loan doc is not mine and for the third time they are asking me to send them a signature expert doc stating the signature is not mine which I did. They continue to ask for documents that I have send countless times. We continue to go round and round with asking me to send them docs that I have already sent. I do not know what else to do and where to go for help. I am being victimized all over again by this department. They are crooks.
They took my taxes. Now I owe the H&R Block $600 for filing my 2014 taxes. I contacted Account Control Technology, Inc. to start rehabilitation program so I could start repaying. I'm now done with my rehabilitation. 10 payments on time but I'm having problem with over a $1000 missing. MY QUESTION IS WHY DIDN'T H&R BLOCK GET PAID IF THEY'RE THE ONES THAT GAVE OUT MY INFORMATION TO A THIRD PARTY? My understanding is I should have got the rest of my money that's missing. The government is nothing but a scam. We're each worth a billion dollar and own a piece of land. Each of us shouldn't have to be paying any money to the government. I do enough by giving my 10th to God. American can never get ahead because they're always gonna take what we work hard for.
My loans went into default which I know was my fault. However, the DOE first assigned the loan to NCO financial, who are a bunch of crooks. I tried to work out a payment plan with them but they demanded a payment that was about 55% of my income. I asked about income based repayment but NCO said that is not an option and to get about of default, I have to pay whatever amount they tell me to pay whether I can afford it or not.
She then said connected me to a supervisor who again tried to pressure me into making an unaffordable payment. Then the wage garnishment started. West Asset now has the loan and they have me on income based repayment, which NCO claimed was not an option. I filed my taxes for Minnesota and was told by DOE that they would not take a state income tax refund and they did it anyway. When I called, they said they are not responsible for their representatives giving false information. I have now contacted my congressman.
Our son graduated from law school 5 years ago. He has paid $35,000 so far and his loan amount has increased over $20,000. He missed the new Obama plan to reduce payment amount and duration by graduating one year too early to qualify. Can anything be done? Do you have any suggestions? Our son is distraught.
I entered into an agreement with TEXAS GUARANTEED with the understanding that if I made 3 consecutive payments within the rehabilitation program that my offset to be lifted as a single mother of two and with one on the way. I made my 3rd payment 7-17 and was notified yesterday 7-22 that they already took my refund. Now I will have to jump through hoops and fight to get my money back. They never even bothered to tell me. I found out yesterday after calling the IRS to follow up on my identity theft case. I feel they should issue me a refund for the money they took. It is only fair for them to uphold their end of the deal. Now they say they can only do that due to financial hardship. I qualified for the rehabilitation program due to economic hardship so why wouldn't I qualify for the return of my money. Unfair. Unjust. Wrong on so many levels.
Hi. I am being harassed and threatened wage garnishment by Performant Recovery a debt collector for the US Department of Education. I don't understand. I am 40 and dropped out of high school just before I turned 16. Someone I loved died in desert storm and I didn't handle it well. I'm not mentally well to this day. Now I should not owe a debt for an education I didn't receive but I make 8.50 an hour (barely over minimum wage at 40 years old) if they can legally take money for a debt I don't owe. I never passed high school nor been to college. Shouldn't they have to tell me where I received my diploma or GED (required for college admission)? That I don't have and be informed where I went to college and what I studied.
I'm not asking for a lot but I should be able to legally utilize this education I am going to be required to pay for in some way even if it's just on paper. Call center jobs pay better than what I make but require a diploma or GED. If I have to pay for an education I don't have I just think I should be able to put it on a resume legally. But jobs require telling them where you received your education. Since I didn't receive anything past the middle of 10th grade but will have to pay from my 8.50 an hour, it seems not fair that I can be garnished for but not use this education I don't have.
After many years I finally repaid my student loan IN TOTAL back in December of 2013 despite not even finishing up my Bachelor's degree. I still need 7 classes. Last year I decided the time was right to return and finally finish as a single parent of three who works full time. Also I had put a great deal of thought into this decision. Upon receiving my financial aid awards, I was notified by HESC that I was not eligible for TAP due to a defaulted student loan. I called HESC and gave them my confirmation of payment in FULL and my account number and they verified it was paid and said it takes time to go through the system. That was A YEAR ago! To date it is still not entered in the system as PAID IN FULL as the letter they sent me states.
When my daughter graduated 2 years ago the list of various student loans came rolling in and we spent months working to get them refinanced into one lump and started making payments on them (Sallie Mae). Done. Silence. Now, two years later, out of nowhere, we are being bombarded from a very aggressive, and very nasty, Collection Agency called Windham Professionals who say that we've never paid the student loans. Apparently Windham gets "work" from the US Department of Education --- this is so dirty!! Let me make clear --- we were NEVER billed! No letter, No bills, NO phone calls. Three kids in college at the same time --- no help from any source -- and the girls are all graduated and we have done our best to get them "payable" (lumped/refinanced), but these --- we didn't even know they existed!!
Well --- Not until Collections and $4000.00 in EXTRA COLLECTION FEES --- and now it's non-stop & they have addresses and phone numbers of every family member including her 85 year old grandparents who were terrified that "people were looking for their granddaughter!" thinking she was "in trouble" and called us panicked! We are trying to pay back things honestly, but this is a SCAM --- THIS IS HORRIBLE!! SHAME ON ANYONE INVOLVED. SHAME ON THE US GOVERNMENT AND THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION!!
I graduated from college, and have not been able to find quality jobs. I spend a couple hours every day looking for better, but nothing but the same lousy pay rate comes up. As a consequence, I am behind on all my bills. I desperately need to repair my car, and get registration for it. When I filed for my taxes, I was so incredibly relieved by finding out how much money I would be getting back. All of my problems would have been solved, and I could start on fresh feet. The day I was supposed to get my return, I was informed that the DOE has taken every single penny. No warning. I just slumped and fell completely silent in my chair.
I don't understand you Department of Education. Wouldn't it be a lot more lucrative for you to take steady payments from people who can afford you every month, than to take money one time every couple of months or longer from people who can't? Well congratulations, you defeated me. I have to step out of the economy now, and hope that mercy will spare me.
My husband and I filed our taxes in the beginning of March, and much to our dismay a few days before our expected return we got a letter in the mail stating that our refund was being offset due to my husband’s student loans. We were very confused because we set up payment arrangements in Sept. 2014, and have the payments set up to come directly out of our account on the 17th of each month. Our dedicated payments got us out of default status. My husband was once again even able to receive financial aid. He called and asked what happened and what he was told was that it wasn't supposed to happen and once they get the check they will turn around and send it back to us. We called a week later to make sure there were no more wires crossed.
We were told that the check was received and processed March 26th and we could expect a check within 30-60 days. That time has not passed, I have not attempted to call again, but after reading the stories on here, I am very concerned about what trouble may arise. Along with the majority of this country our finances aren't in the best shape. We are working hard toward a better future but right now we belong to the working class, living pay check to pay check. Tax refunds are a saving grace, and are depended on. If we had still been in default I could more than understand them taking it, I just don't understand the extreme time frame.
I can't imagine what they have to deal with every day. It seems that more and more people have a sense of entitlement and it is a fact that student loans go unpaid all the time. The majority of the loans taken out do not get paid back except through tax offset. I understand that it is a necessary evil to make sure people follow through with their loan contract. But for those of us that have been doing as promised, especially considering that the Dept. of Edu is a federal office as is the IRS, how was this messed up? I will post again when I have more contact and or receive the refund as promised. Praying for a miracle!
Garnishments on loans I don't owe. Tried to provide proof but though their agent told me what to provide, they won't accept it. Also said they didn't know where the garnished $ would go & I wouldn't receive notification. Thieves!
My husband obtained student loans for his degree and post 911, everything fell apart for us financially. We had to ask, continuously, for forbearance extensions and the last time we applied, we heard nothing back. The next thing we knew, our tax refund was taken and his check was garnished. When we contacted the agency collecting the funds, we found out that they are charging 2.56% interest DAILY on any outstanding balance. According to the Dept. of Education, only $3 of the remaining balance is the interest originally charged on the student loans for the forbearance. So, essentially, the DOE is doing legal loan-sharking, since interest is being charged on interest AND principal.
The credit agency VANRU CREDIT, totes themselves as being a branch of the Dept. of Education. Since when is a government agency permitted to legal loan shark? An average of $300 every 2 weeks is being added to the loan amount, making it impossible for it ever to be paid in full. Now I see how that woman who had $20,000 in loans ended up paying almost $50,000! What the heck are our law-makers doing to make this legal? I know my husband is not the only one. Thanks to this mess, we've lost 2 homes and we're about to lose another because we can't cover our bills. They say to file a document for a "hardship" hearing, but it takes up to 60 days to be heard and even then there's no guarantee there will be an approval, which means the government "contracted" agency will continue to drain what little resources we have. Our own government is making us homeless!!!
The department of Education filed with a collection agency GC services limited partnership a debt of $37.35 for student loans. On February 4, 2015 did a treasury offset for $4,552.44. No notice was given. The US department of education has not been able to provide any documentation of student loans as required under The fair debt Collection practices Act 15 U.S.C. section 1601, nor did they send a notice of treasury offset as required under 34.C.F.R30.22. Can anyone help?
Filed my taxes this year and was anticipating a refund for first time. Couldn't have come at a better time. We just took custody of our 1 year old grandson who is very ill and needing special care. Plus we have 3 other children and one is disabled. Anyways, the day it was due to be deposited it never showed up. Department of Education took it all. I was never notified of intent. I have payment arrangement with collection agency if they cannot work together then why bother sending to collection? Lady at collection agency very nice tried to help. DOE sucks. So rude so snarky. Said they do not care about any circumstances and do not have to notify of intent. Said even if we file hardship she does not care. And will not refund no matter what even if we are going to lose everything. WTF this COUNTRY ** SUCKS. HATEFUL PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT.
First, let me state that there are various inconsistencies when I contact them. Everyday. Yes, I call everyday. I signed up for the rehab program. I made my last payment the 9th of February. I filed taxes the 17 and the 21st is when they went ahead and took my check because it was "close to the date" (whatever that means) and here rolls the inconsistencies. So apparently, the day they took over 5,000 dollars they also logged it for a refund. I called the 28, and the woman was aware I was due a refund. She then "logged for a refund". She informed me it would take 60-90 days! WHAT!?!? It's now march the 24 and my money sits in limbo.
Why does it take 60-90 days when you took it in 60-90 seconds plus charged me 17.50 to give me my money back!! I've called several times. Every time I call the dates change. "It was taken the 25." "No they are wrong it was taken the 21." "No it was taken the 28". And then "We logged for a refund the 9th of May." "No the day we took it is the day we logged for a refund." "No we logged for a refund the 28th." The 17.50 add fee? Um. Why are you charging to refund money you took and where in the wrong? The people are nasty! One man, whose never went to college never took out a loan informed me on my responsibilities on keeping up on my student loan.
Oh here go more inconsistencies. "We are going to send your check back to the treasury dept". So I call the treasury dept. They claim to have nothing to do with it. Even after calling the treasury dept, they still try to tell me it will be sent back to the treasury dept. Then a few days later I get "No we aren't going to, send it to the treasury, we are going to give you a paper check." So then one woman, nasty, tells me that it takes that long because it's first come first serve and they get 100s of refund applications. Great. Then I should be receiving my check soon, because I filed taxes early. Nope. Wrong!
Now we are in the thick of filing season. Ok, so then is there the possibility that others have received their check before me? "I can't answer that. It has to go through processes." Ok. What are the processes?? "No one knows. You have to wait for the processes." The processes. The processes! WTF are they? No one knows! Give me my money back ASAP! Give me the 17.50 add fee you charged me and the money I lost on rapid refund!! I will call everyday until I get my check, cash it, and have the money in my hand!!! I will keep you updated!
US Education Department Company Profile
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