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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 He didn't give me any other options, such as if I had withdrawn, I wouldn't of had been stuck a tuition of over $7,000 for a quarter.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.

There is no way I would waste 20 minutes of my time listening to some idiot collector yelling at me. I would give him the dial tone in about 10 seconds.

Your scenario is very complicated and a collection agency just won't care. They will insult you, pressure you and try to break you until you send them money. I always like going after the source which in this case is the school. Each time you get a nasty call from a collector you need to turn around and give your advisor or an agent of the school a nasty call. I really think the school did you wrong here but it might not matter based on the paper work you signed. Probably what happend is Sallie May did not come through for the school so the school technically loaned you the money. I would get copies of all the paper worked you signed and review it closely to determine what happens if your loan doesn't come through. I would also probably try to settle the debt with the school and cut the collection agency out. I would send the collection agency a DV letter with a CD attached immediately to stop their calls.

Sub: #1 posted on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 06:41

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I've tried talking to the school but the person in accounting keeps telling me that everything is irrelevant and that there is nothing they can do for me.

I guess I'm stuck with the collection agency but since it's been awhile since I've talked to the school, do you think maybe it will work if I call them again?

I'll go ahead and write a DV letter and a CD to the collections. I'll more then likely ask them to go ahead and mail me letters if they want contact with me.

I know, I was stupid to listen to the harassment and threats.

Sub: #2 posted on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 06:48


The debt is almost 3 years old now. The school probably won't do much for you at this point especially if they sold off the debt. If they still own the debt then there is a slight possibility they might work with you. Schools obviously are not in the creditor or collection business but I have had personal success in settling a school debt for a friend at 50% of face value with the school finance office while bypassing the collector. I would try to get all the paper work from the school or make the collector get it for you as part of validation. I don't know if there is a loop hole in the paper work but it will at least keep the colletor busy and buy you time.

Sub: #3 posted on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 07:13

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In the mean time, should I keep paying off the debt with the collection agency? They wanted to start me back up on the payment plan but bumped it up to $250 a month, including $138 for the missed month in June. Or should I write a DV letter ASAP and send it to them?

Would that make it so I don't have to pay them?

Sub: #4 posted on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 07:17


I feel like I dug myself in a bigger hole every time I think about it :(

Sub: #5 posted on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 07:17


The DV letter won't make the debt go away. It will just end the collection calls for a while and force the CA to prove the debt. If you never had an agreement with this CA then I would certainly send them a DV leter before I sent them any money. I would make them give you full documentation on the loan, prove they own it and so forth. After receiving that documentation, which will probably take months, I would get a signed agreement from the CA for whatever you decide on the remaining balance. Do not agree to anything that you can not stick too because if you default then the entire process will start over and the agreement will be void. Basically if you can only afford $50/month then don't agree to $250/month. It will probably take them months to get all this information simply because most CAs employ idiots that are more interested in harrassing people until they pay as opposed to validating and sueing with a strong case.

Sub: #6 posted on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 07:49

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I have made previous agreements with them on paying the debt (hence the 7k gonig down to about 6k).

Now that I missed a payment they basically said that the I broke the T&A on paying the debt so they want me to do $250/mo including that $138/mo even when I told them that I couldn't do that.

If I said yes previously to a payment plan, then will a DV still work in this case? If I said yes to the payment plan that was presented to me, will a DV still give me time to contact the school?

Do you think I have grounds fore re-negotiating on how to settle the debt if they do own it?

I apologize if I'm reiterating things or re-asking questions that has been answers. I just want to fully understand it...

What should I do if they were only assigned to the debt?

Sub: #7 posted on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 08:16


Since you defaulted on an agreement you had with the CA I think that makes the DV letter not very strong. I think You basically validated the debt for them by agreeing to terms and making payments. You could still send it and try to make them validate and then dispute their response if it is unacceptable but if it went to court I think you making an agreement with them might hold as validation.

They are doing exactly what I said they would do in my previous post about defaluting on an agreement. Basically once you default they try to up the payment because their case is stronger. This does not mean you can not renegotiate. You can always renegotiate up until they get a judgment in a court. You will probably have to not pay them for a few months before they are willing to renegotiate much. A CD letter will still work too if you want them to quit calling you. I would make it a partial CD giving them the right to contact you by mail only.

I woudn't worry about a time issue to much. A CA tries to make your debt sound super urgent when it really isn't. Thats why they threaten things like destroying your credit, jail, being downloaded and martians invading. They want you to believe that you need to settle right now or your world is going to end when in reality the only thing they can really do is sue you. It will take them months to years to actually sue you if they ever sue you. Then they have to act on the judgment assuming they get one. Even with the judgment all they can do is garnish a portion of your paycheck unless you own property.

I would still try to contact the school and get all the paper work. I would also try to find out if the school owns the debt or the CA owns the debt. I would go ahead and send a DV and a CD to try and make the CA get you paper work also.

Sub: #8 posted on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 08:51

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Hey, I just signed up.

Thank you. I'll go ahead and write them a partial CD letter, and get into contact with teh school about the paperwork.

could I still not get information from the CA since it is within my rights to ask for such things? It's probably late in the game for it but are they still required to send it to me if I ask?

I don't own property, and if they do garnish a portion of my paycheck, I will be living on dirt and corm. I can hardly even pay for food.

thank you so much for your help.

Sub: #9 posted on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 08:56

alleysrequiem alleysrequiem

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Yes the CA should provide you with the information you request about your loan when requested in writing. You can get sample CD and DV letters here which make those requests. state-sol.html

Sub: #10 posted on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 10:10

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