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I started going back to school in October of 2006 and signed with Sallie Mae since that's what they recommended. After the first two weeks of going I get a call from Sallie Mae saying that they needed a co-signer so I got one. After getting one, they called me and said that they needed to talk to the co-signer because there was a "red flag" on her report (they really didn't specify) and when I told them that she could not speak fluent English, they told me that all I would have to do is put her on the phone and they'll ask her a question or two and then I can translate for her. Well, when I did do that, they told her that I would have to call them, and it went around and around like that for a week.

I told my financial aid 'counselor' and he had stated that I should NOT worry about it and that HE would take care of it but at the end, he did absolutely nothing! He didn't give me any other options, such as if I had withdrawn, I wouldn't of had been stuck a tuition of over $7,000 for a quarter.

So as the quarter ended, I didn't hear anything from their billing/accounting department and when I called and asked about my account, they told me that they tried notifying me to no avail so they went ahead and sent it to collections. Now mind you, I didn't receive anything. I didn't get a phone call, mail, e-mail. They had all that information readily to them. In fact, all of my instructors had those information as well.

I called the collection agency that they said it was at and I told them the situation and they were more then willing to help me set up a payment plan with them, until recently. And to keep you up to date, this was last year in April.

I get a call from them a few days ago, and the rep that talked to me started off sounding really hostile and irate. He threatened me, and then went on belittling me and educating me about collection agencies and how he handles over an average of 3,000 accounts a day with over 300 different schools. I mean, all I did was ask a few simple questions. He proceeded to threaten me and harass me for about 20 minutes before transferring me to his supervisor who then said that my SS# has a 'red flag' on it and if I wanted to do something about it then fork up the $5k+ to them! YES -- I paid over $1,000 to them thus far. He then asked me if I could get a loan or a credit card. What the hell? I could if I would if I didn't have to deal with them at the end. He then threatened me to give him sensitive information (which I stupidly did, because at that point I was just upset and didn't think clearly).

Yes, I wrote down who I talked to, the date, the time, what they said, what they threatened to do. I've only contacted my attorney general and the FTC. I'm not sure if the BBB will do anything.

I feel like the school I went to should of notified me and if they weren't in such a rush to have my money in the first place when I told them that SM couldn't give me a loan, and give me other options, maybe I wouldn't be in this mess. I feel like they're partial to blame for this, and that Windham 'Professionals' didn't need to go out of their way to do this. Did I mention they didn't say the mini-Miranda UNTIL the end?

I'm just frustrated, depressed about this, and just wondering what else I can do, and how I can do it.

Any help would be appreciated.




The fixed cost are there regardless and I understand they have cutoff dates which she missed. I was just dissapointed that she missed the cutoff by a couple days and the bill went from 0 to 1600 so I argued with them. I understand the school was just following their guidelines but it was worth disputing those guide lines because it saved us half of the bill. Thats my nature though. On a side note I am sorry to say that if you were unlucky enough to be my financial aid officer I would have probably driven you nuts. :twisted: The school I attended was lucky though because my financial aid came from my parents which I gurantee I drove nuts. :shock: I went to a major midwest university as well. Go Boilers!!!

Sub: #1 posted on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 02:12

DOLLARSandSINCE DOLLARSandSINCE
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Quote:
In my case my girlfriend at the time dropped out but still owed the money to the school based on their rules. I felt like she gained nothing but she missed the official drop out day by just a couple days so they were trying to stick her with something like 1/2 of the total tuition bill due in full.


It is hardly "sticking it to her"....those are the policies of all schools, colleges and universities public and private. '
Classes are based on enrollment....if you and 50% of the class drops out, the class goes on. The building still has to be heated, cooled, the lights have to be on and the teacher or instructor has to be paid. The other 50% doesnt pay extra cause you dropped out....that is why withdrawal policies are in place.

Sub: #2 posted on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 01:04

SOAPLADY SOAPLADY
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In my case my girlfriend at the time dropped out but still owed the money to the school based on their rules. I felt like she gained nothing but she missed the official drop out day by just a couple days so they were trying to stick her with something like 1/2 of the total tuition bill due in full. It was a fairly small private school so it is not state funded. We had very little money and did not hire a lawyer. I suspect all of that came in to play when the financial advisor decided to settle with us. I talked them into settling the 1/2 at 1/4 which meant we paid roughly $800 on a full tuition bill of $3200 but it was already cut in half due to drop out status if i remember correctly.

Sub: #3 posted on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 00:13

DOLLARSandSINCE DOLLARSandSINCE
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Quote:
I can understand how it would be financially up to the student to find out a way to help pay for their own school but it is the FINANCIAL AID'S JOB to help them with that as well. Isn't it their job to help find them scholarships and other loans to pay for school and not leave them in the dark?


If there are instutional scholarships or loans that the student is eligible for then they will be awarded. Outside of that, it is up to the student to look for scholarships outside the school.
When it comes to private loans, the school is not involved in that transaction other than maybe certifying attendance. They are completely up to the student to pursue.

Quite frankly, using an attorney is telling the CA that you have money to burn. When I gave settlements on any school accounts (I handled Loyola university) if an attorney called in, they maybe got 20% off collection fees. If the student called in, we more than likely took of 50% of fees. Settlements are completely based on the school. Public schools are less likely to settle as they can resort to tax offset as tuition is deemed a public debt.

Sub: #4 posted on Tue, 08/19/2008 - 23:56

SOAPLADY SOAPLADY
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"What happens if you financial aid does not come in is that YOU are responsible for the tuition bill. Nowhere is an enrollment document will you find that enrollment is contingent on financial aid.

Why would the school want to a 50% settlement on an account that has no SOL? Generally any settlement on tuition accounts is limited to part or all of the collection fees which leaves you the full tuition to pay. Plus your attornies fees to negotiate that settlement.

Educational debt is not anything like normal consumer debt. They are next to impossible to get out of. The OP completed the semester and will ultimately end up paying for it."


I don't think the OP completed the semester. It sounded like they wanted her to stop going to her classes because she couldn't pay for them. I've experienced this myself once, where I couldn't get a loan and they told me to keep going to my classes even though they knew that I wouldn't be able to pay for it. I did work it out at the end where I worked in the school.

I can understand how it would be financially up to the student to find out a way to help pay for their own school but it is the FINANCIAL AID'S JOB to help them with that as well. Isn't it their job to help find them scholarships and other loans to pay for school and not leave them in the dark?

Sub: #5 posted on Tue, 08/19/2008 - 21:52

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I personally settled a student loan debt at 50% with a college financial office. I don't remember the amount or date exactly but it was something like 1999 and the amount due was $1600 and I talked them into taking $800 as settled in full. I still have the signed letter filed away somewhere. This was a private loan similar to the OP were my girlfriend at the time did not get financial aid and ended up owing the bill to the school.

I can only guess as to why the settled but I suspect it had something to do with me telling them they could have $800 immediately or get $1600 in ten years or longer. She had dropped out also which is a bit different then the OP so I used that also. I told them that she had not benefited at all and they were trying to collect money that really should not be owed.

Sub: #6 posted on Wed, 07/16/2008 - 23:21

DOLLARSandSINCE DOLLARSandSINCE
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What happens if you financial aid does not come in is that YOU are responsible for the tuition bill. Nowhere is an enrollment document will you find that enrollment is contingent on financial aid.

Why would the school want to a 50% settlement on an account that has no SOL? Generally any settlement on tuition accounts is limited to part or all of the collection fees which leaves you the full tuition to pay. Plus your attornies fees to negotiate that settlement.

I spent 15 years working in student loan collections and as a financial aid officer at a major midwest university. My former office mate is now the head of the collections department for this school and anytime I am not sure, i will IM her.

Educational debt is not anything like normal consumer debt. They are next to impossible to get out of. The OP completed the semester and will ultimately end up paying for it.

Sub: #7 posted on Wed, 07/16/2008 - 21:02

SOAPLADY SOAPLADY
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I suspect there is documentation somewhere that determines what happens if your FA doesn't come in. I think the attorney will just negotiate a settlement for you. I would shoot for 2-3K.

Sub: #8 posted on Wed, 07/16/2008 - 18:52

DOLLARSandSINCE DOLLARSandSINCE
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A. Students are responsible for the payment of their tuition. if the school has no responsibility if financial aid falls through, then why not just tell them to quit before the bills rack up?

B. When you enroll to attend classes, you do inter into a contract agreeing to the terms set ON the enrollment agreement, not the handbook. There is NOTHING on payments of student accounts or past due accounts on the agreement. Just that it needs to be paid before you can re-register to attend class.

C. I am going to the school for the contract.

D. Even if I can't cut out CA, I'm willing to work it out.

E. I did my FAFSA, and I didn't qualify for it. I didn't qualify for the loan with SM, and the FA didn't tell me that there were more then one company that I can go to for loans. Regardless, even if I nagged them, they said they haven't heard anything yet.

In any case, I've decided to finally just get an attorney.

Sub: #9 posted on Wed, 07/16/2008 - 18:04

Unregistered


I moved this to the student loan forum since schools and school debt is completely different than normal consumer debt.

A. It is the student who is responsible for payment of their tuition account. The school has no responsiblity if you FA falls thru. You should have been on them daily for resolution within the early drop withdrawal period.

B. Tuition accounts are never sold. Tuition accounts have no SOL either. They will hire outside CA's to collect the account. When you enroll to attend classes, you enter into a contract, agreeing to all terms set forth in the student handbook. There is always a section on payment of student accounts and past due accounts. Past due tuition accounts is usually subject to collection fees and all legal costs involved in the collection of the money. Fees can fun as high as 50%.

C. debt validation consists of a copy of your student account. You may still have access to that.

D. You cannot "cut out" the CA. Schools hire CA's under contract which includes agreements that all negotiations and payents during that contract time be forwarded to or credit to the CA.

E. I do not understand why you did not qualify for federal aid. Did you do a FAFSA application? Anyone can get unsubsided stafford loan since they are not income based.

Sub: #10 posted on Tue, 07/15/2008 - 22:36

SOAPLADY SOAPLADY
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