I'd like to know if there are any pending class action lawsuits against Sallie Mae (SLM Corp.) and their cronies USA Funds etc.
I am aware of only one - by the law firm of Lieff-Cabraser (California) which reportedly is considering a lawsuit based on "issues concerning interest calculations".
(imagine that !)
Since I live in Connecticut, I do not beleive I can jump on that band wagon - does anybody know of any similar type suits in Connecticut ?
My story follows.
I have been unable to reconcile my student loan debt. Graduating in 1995 with $37,625 in student loans, I have to date paid over $48,500 on those loans yet Sallie Mae claims I still owe $32,250. I can show that I have paid (thus far) over $43,125 in interest and penalties alone, over an eleven year period this works out to over $4000.00 / year!
Unbelievable. To clarify numerically the above comments;
Original Loan 37,625
Total Paid + Owing 80,750
80,750 – 37,625 = Total Interest and Penalties Paid of over $43,125
The worst part is that there seems to be no end in sight, I didn’t consolidate a couple years ago when the rates were low because I couldn’t (wouldn’t) accept what they were telling me I owed.
Having graduated with a series of loans I found it impossible to reconcile the amounts owing over the years, Sallie Mae is apparently not required to send payment histories and my loans were often transferred between lenders which exasperated the task of tracking payment histories, balances due etc. It was only after I escalated the issue to the Department of Educations Ombudsman last year that I was finally able to obtain a declining balance spreadsheet from Sallie Mae, of course now I have ten years of fluctuating interest rates and payments histories to pour through to understand where all my money has gone. I’ve had to hire a CPA to help me and even he can’t believe what he is seeing.
Admittedly I was slow off the start in making regular payments having fallen short in the first 3 or 4 years after the loans came due. I attribute this to the fact that I didn’t even know who I was supposed to be paying half the time, I’ve made payments to the Education Loans Servicing Center, U.S.A Group Loan Services, NelNet, Sallie Mae United Student Aid Funds and other collection agencies, at one point a few years ago I had payment booklets from at least three of these organizations at the same time !
Some (but not all) of my loans defaulted in 1998. That’s when this Debt Collection Services (DCS) company got involved, my wages were garnished, a payment plan had to be set up to get out of that, needless to say my credit was (and still is) ruined.
The records I was finally able to obtain from Sallie Mae this past year show that I did indeed pay DCS nearly $17,000 as shown below, but my original loan amount was apparently only reduced by about $3,000, so basically I paid DCS over $14,000 in collection costs, fees etc. I have yet to determine the legality of those transactions.
The spreadsheets below show what I’ve paid thus far, clearly not an issue of failure to pay, my case shows just how ruthless these companies can be, somebody is getting filthy rich while I struggle to support my kids.
SM Summary pg 2 of 2 December , 2005 Company Total Paid
USA Group $7,478.22
Sallie Mae $22,148.87
Yearly Totals All Organizations
Total Paid on 37.6 K debt $48,495.68
Avg Yearly Pmts $4,408.70
Avg Yearly Pmts 1995 - 2000 $2,992.52
Avg Yearly Pmts last five years $6,108.11
As I stated previously, tracking the amounts owing has been nearly impossible. How can a lending institution the size of Sallie Mae get away with not sending regular payment histories ? This is one of the reasons I was never able to reconcile what was owed, had I seen the balance increasing the way it obviously was I would have done something much sooner. If you financed a lawn mower at Sears and then a couple months later financed a weed-wacker, you could safely assume that Sears could tell you how much you paid on each of those items against the principal, interest etc. even three or four years down the road. Not so with Sallie Mae, if they were handling the loans on the lawn appliances we would get something like this “portions of your loan for the lawn mower were transferred to J.C. Penney for collection, Sallie Mae cannot provide payment histories because they no longer own that loan, your other loans for the lawn mower engine, tires etc. have been transferred to Walmart for collection and finally the loan for the weed-wacker is in default and has been sent to a collection agency”. Meanwhile you’re left standing there with payment booklets from Sears, Walmart and J.C. Penney and a letter from a collection agency indicating they’re charging you 25% of the loan amount in penalties !
I have spoke to a number of individuals who have had similar experiences with Sallie Mae. The press has given a lot of attention to banks issuing credit cards to college students at a very low rate and then tripling or quadrupling those rates after a missed payment or two, that issue pales in comparison to what Sallie Mae is getting away with on student loan debt repayment.
Based on the numerous articles I’ve read recently, it appears to me that this behemoth lender is accountable to no one, some type of legislation must be enacted to hold these loan sharks at bay. Right, I’m sure the government officials who receive millions from these companies will jump right on it.
What would happen if I just stopped paying ? Immigrated to Canada and never came back ? Well it appears they would garnish my Social Security checks, I’m 47 now, if I stopped paying the loans today, in another twenty years the amount owing would be well over $125,000, if I get $100.00 / month in Social Security….. Bon…
Bonjour Mon Ami. JE DEMENAGE A MONTREAL POUR APPRENDRE LE FRANCAIS ET JOUER LE HOCKEY. LA BIERE EST MEILLEUR AUSSI !!!