Thursday, April 16, 2009

Admission Denied Due To Unpaid Student Loans

The New York Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department denied the application for bar admission of an applicant who had passed the February 2008 bar exam. The applicant disclosed student loans with a total balance of $430,000. He professed an intent to repay and "attributed his nonpayment to the downturn in the economy and bad faith negotiations on the part of some of the loan servicers." The court noted that the loans dated back to 1985, he had not made substantial payments and "had not been flexible" in dealing with the loan servicers. (Mike Frisch)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2009/04/admission-denied-due-to-unpaid-student-loans.html

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef01157023eeb9970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Admission Denied Due To Unpaid Student Loans:

Comments

I feel his pain. I started law school at age 35 in California in 1989, accumulated about $70k between my school loans and my bar study loan, and graduated without great grades in an economic downturn. No doubt I didn't make the best decisions in the face of that situation -- I opted to help a friend start a business instead of taking the bar exam, and when the friend died tragically before the business go off the ground, I couldn't even get unemployment insurance because while in school I hadn't paid into the system. I worked as a waiter to make ends meet for a while but they didn't really "meet" considering I had a car repossessed and was evicted from an apartment, thus having my credit wrecked for years. I then began work as a paralegal, and continue to do so today because I've failed the California Bar Exam three times (it's a monumental task to come up with the exam fees, study costs and enough time off to study while working full time as a litigation paralegal, and having weak credit is no help). In the meantime, I too had amazing difficulties getting a loan servicer to work with me to get the loans consolidated, and before I finally got them consolidated by the Education Dept. in 2000, they nearly doubled in size. I've deferred payments several times since due to periods of unemployment, 15 months of disability, and financial hardship resulting from family deaths, and today I owe the Education Dept. and Sallie Mae a total of $151,000. I pay more than $900 a month to these loans now, and payments are scheduled past my 83rd birthday!

So I made mistakes. Big ones. But to be servicing the debt on twice the amount of my original loans until I'm dead seems a bit more punishment than those mistakes deserve. Especially since I'm not getting the benefits of the education I paid for. When I took my first student loans, they could be discharged in bankruptcy, but that changed by the time I graduated from law school. When is enough enough?

Posted by: HollywoodEdge | Apr 16, 2009 4:23:42 PM

$430,000!? Come on. He had no business going to law school. When he was already up to his neck in those loans.

Posted by: recent grad | Apr 16, 2009 4:38:46 PM

Recent grad, I really don’t understand the comment. Is being in debt grounds for the denial of an education? Without an education, how can our anonymous attorney ever hope to repay that kind of debt?

Indeed, the same point can also be made as regards the Third Department’s opinion. How can he ever hope to repay the debt without a license to practice law? There is no bankruptcy for student loans so he is also denied the fresh start which is possible for most other types of debt.

Indeed, looking to the opinion, where is there any discussion of the standard that the court is applying here? How do these circumstances justify the conclusion that the applicant lacks the character and fitness to be a lawyer? Is the court really ruling that indebtedness alone, and here we are not talking about the violation of any criminal statute or any court order, is justification enough to deny someone a law license? It certainly seems so. The impression that this opinion leaves is that the five judges are simply applying their own personal notions of morality.

What is particularly notable about your comment, recent grad, is that probably the only deferment that this anonymous lawyer is now eligible for would be if he were to become a fulltime student again. So probably the only way that he could ever be admitted to practice would be if he were to return to school and obtain an in-school deferment. Probably the smartest thing that he could do would be to spend the rest of his life in school living on ever more useless things while he lives on fresh student loan money. This is the very definition of absurd but at least then he will meet the personal morality standards of Judges Cardona, Spain, Malone, Kavanagh and McCarthy.

Stephen

Posted by: FixedWing | Apr 16, 2009 7:13:46 PM

THE TRUTH:

Dear Mr. Frisch:

I have personal knowledge of this applicant's case, and would appreciate it if you edited your post.

The applicant was not denied because of "unpaid student loans" per se. He has been in touch with Sallie Mae since November 2007, when the first of his loans came due. This was while he was still studying for the New York State Bar, which he passed in February 2008. All his correspondence has been carefully documented and all letters were mailed via certified mail.

The reason this applicant's loans are delinquent is because Sallie Mae refused to disclose available deferment and forbearance options to him before default. After he had defaulted on his loans, Sallie Mae was then mysteriously able to offer deferment and forbearance, saying that he "had not used any of this type of deferment or forbearance". Of course, because the loans were already overdue, he was no longer eligible to apply for deferment or forbearance.

In the meantime, Sallie Mae filed claims with the federal government in order to have the government pick up the tab for his loans, including all forms of fees which Sallie Mae refused to explain. In this way, Sallie Mae clears these loans off its books in one clean sweep - no waiting for student debtors to pay off loans over extended periods. The actual quantum of these loans is just over $200,000. The $430,000 quantum is a direct result the aggregation of what Sallie Mae characterizes as "other fees".

The ruling is also factually wrong on several points. The quantum is massively overstated, the ruling refers to several loan servicer (there is only Sallie Mae and has only been Sallie Mae, and the applicant has never represented to the Court any other loan servicer), among other points.

This sets up a very interesting paradox which is nothing short of a full-out constitutional issue and class war. What happens when a student, because of a total lack of parental funding, is forced to take out educational loans to obtain his bachelors and professional degree? Is he then to be discriminated against when he later seeks entry to that profession?

Posted by: anonymous | Apr 16, 2009 8:10:27 PM

The reason this applicant's loans are delinquent is because Sallie Mae refused to disclose available deferment and forbearance options to him before default.

BEEP BEEP BEEP (that's my bunk-ola detector).

It isn't too difficult to get Sallie Mae to disclose deferment and forbearance options.

See, they have this newfangled thing called "the google." If you can find the google, enter the terms "sallie mae" and "forbearance". You'll find this:

http://www.salliemae.com/after_graduation/manage_your_loans/postpone/

Yes, it is cleverly hidden away as a public document. However, anyone with $430,000 in student loans should have taken enough classes on reading and math to figure it out.

That all said, I don't know if I fully agree with the wisdom of denying admission to those who don't pay their student loans. Hear me out.

If there was no real consequence to not paying your student loans, and lawyers COULD default on them and have no bar issues, I think the profession would do better in the end. Since the government insures these loans, and there are about ten times as many law schools as we need, there is a glut of law grads. That glut is hurting the profession, and the vast majority of the glut has no business practicing law.

Since the ABA has no desire to do anything about the problem, and state bars won't up their standards, perhaps removing this one true down side to not paying your loans would be the way to do it. If loan companies knew that giving loans to future failures would carry some risk, the credit market would tighten. Then, perhaps loan companies would screen law school hopefuls for some kind of indication of their likelihood to be able to repay the staggering debt. If you're a numbskull, no loan for you. Everyone wins. You don't waste three years of your life. The profession doesn't get stuck with another dolt. The lawyer market tightens and a little legal-market-darwinism thins the herd.


Posted by: Marc J. Randazza | Apr 17, 2009 5:01:10 AM

Mr. Anonymous, are you the same Mr. Anonymous as in the case? Or an Anonymous friend of Mr. Anonymous? :-)

In any event, I think your post amply demonstrates the issue. The court’s opinion is so obviously a standard-less opinion in which five judges apply their personal moral beliefs to the question of who may be a lawyer.

I also think you hit the nail on the head with your last paragraph. My real fear is that the states now go down the path of the commonwealth countries where bankruptcy results in disqualification. As many here are probably aware, this is used for political purposes in places such as Singapore where members of the government will sue for libel and win a substantial judgment in their own courts. See, for example, Lee Kuan Yew’s libel suits again JB Jeyaretnam. Because their opponent is not able to pay the judgment he is bankrupted and that disqualifies him both as a lawyer and from holding political office. As you can imagine, this dramatically affects political speech in Singapore.

Mr. Anonymous needs to prepare a motion for reconsideration arguing these first amendment issues so that he can put them before the Appellate Division and a motion for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals. This is a great case and should be pursued.

Stephen

Posted by: FixedWing | Apr 17, 2009 5:13:30 AM

Randazza,

loan companies already know that giving loans carries some risk. Indeed, without government backing, what company would give a loan to a student who specifically will not work for 3 years and may not find a job afterwards? The credit market would tighten up and strangle all of us.

And personally speaking, I don't want all of these failed students dumping their loans on the federal govt. This country is based on equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.

The ABA can't do anything about it. The DOJ sued them in 1995 for antitrust violations because they wouldn't accredit everyone who wanted to be accredited. The settlement essentially forces the ABA to allow 40,000 law graduates a year to enter the market.

Posted by: adf | Apr 17, 2009 5:46:05 AM

FixedWing,

I don't know if it is fair to say that these judges merely applied their "personal moral beliefs." Every law student knows that financial irresponsibility and failing to live up to your financial obligations is a disqualification from admission. When I applied to the bar, they made me go back and pay even old $25.00 bills that I didn't think I properly owed. The choice was clear -- have your financial record completely clear of black marks, or you're not going to be a lawyer.

I don't see this as a "morality," issue. If a lawyer can't manage his own financial affairs responsibly, there is a strong indication that he won't manage others' money responsibly either. Above, I (somewhat facetiously) propose why perhaps student loan debt should be exempt. However, I think that financial irresponsibility should rank right up there with drug addiction as a disqualifying factor for admission to the bar.


Posted by: Marc J. Randazza | Apr 17, 2009 6:02:45 AM

There are enough bad lawyers out there already. We don't need a guy who cannot figure out how to obtain a deferment or forbearance for his student loans.

Lawyers also have to handle a lot of money that is not theirs. Escrow money, retainers, etc. are technically other people's money. A lawyer who has bad financial skills would risk IOLTA violations the second he decided to open a practice.

Posted by: William | Apr 17, 2009 7:59:10 AM

I am not the anonymous applicant, but I do know the anonymous applicant. :)

The issues with the ruling (assuming everyone here has read the complete 3d ruling) are:

1. the committee for the board of law examiners DID recommend him for admission (if not his application would not have reached the court, except under appeal, which was not the case).

2. the premise of the ruling is this - because you have too much STUDENT LOAN debt = you have a moral character flaw.

3. correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't this an unprecedented decision? (i mean a decision based solely on student loans on which there hasn't even been a suit or a judgment - not the applicants who also have other problems like criminal/drug histories)

4. two words - debtor prison.

Recklessly racking up the credit cards, subprime mortgages, KNOWING that you can't pay, I totally agree are hallmarks of financial irresponsibility. The cases of those declaring bankruptcy (before 2005) the day they graduated from law school to clear their student loans, yes, those too. I'm not so sure if I agree that taking out student loans = financial irresponsibility. Won't that mean that the "haves" who don't have to take out student loans, can totally avoid this problem, while the "have-nots" end up in a worse position than before, in debt that will never be paid off because they can't earn a decent salary, and multiple earning years lost?

The background facts paint the situation in an even worse light: the applicant submitted a letter from a law firm addressed to the Board, saying it needed his law license to employ him. So there wasn't an issue of him holding clients' money, because he'd just be an employee.

What ARE the moral and ethical bases of this decision?

Stephen: thanks for your comment. I am intimately familiar with the Singaporean system. though law school is inexpensive and available to anyone with the educational credentials, there is no genuine constitutional freedom of speech because you get punished unbelievably for it.

There's also another issue: student loan lenders. I don't know how much people know about the investigations surrounding Sallie Mae's conduct, but they have repeatedly been in the news. Sallie Mae is the main reason for the overhaul of the Higher Education Opportunity Act last year (and the Sunshine Act that preceded this overhaul). Because of its privatization, its business practices have been repeatedly been under investigation.

Rendazza: I'm not saying anything outright here, but let me say this. The applicant did have an idea of what deferment and forbearance Sallie Mae generally offers. What he was trying to find out (before any loans were really late) were the deferment/forbearance/repayment options that were available TO HIM. Given that he had been in and out of school many times (the story is far too long and dramatic, the summary is that he was a homeless kid who finally got a GED, went to community college for pre-college classes, then two state colleges, then law school, and in the mix had a disabling accident where his leg got severed off, and a nasty divorce where his wife emptied the bank accounts AND left him her student loan debts, he should write a book sometime), and his loans had been in and out of deferment and forbearance, he was trying to get a list of what was specifically available to him and to his loans. And as for the loans that sound terribly old, well, that's really how long this educational endeavor has taken him. I can also understand the problem of too many lousy lawyers (personally I am amazed at some of the people who are admitted to practice), but this dude is from a tier 1 law school.

Sallie Mae - no response. Close to a year later they send him letters: your private loans have been charged off (resulting in 'other fees'), your federal loans are NOW late, and you actually have X deferments and Y forbearance remaining, but you can't qualify for them because you're too late.

Why the long delay before telling him? The damage is irreparable. Who takes responsibility?

Posted by: anonymous | Apr 17, 2009 9:01:40 AM

Marc,

How can this not be a standard-less ruling? If there is a standard, then what is it? Exactly what ethical rule is this deadbeat violating? Because Mr. Anonymous does not yet have a license to practice law, he does not have a property interest in that license. But he certainly has a liberty interest in the right to practice his chosen profession. So the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause applies here. An arbitrary decision certainly does not comport with due process.

You say that “every law student knows” and that the bars will often make applicants pay old debts. I think you have a point. But this is more in the nature of an ethical watchdog pointing to a potential problem and asking the applicant to clean things up so that it doesn’t become an issue. Obviously, most pay that $25 Blockbuster bill even though they know that they are getting ripped off. But when the bill is $430,000, then we get cases like this. I, for one, am unaware of any precedent for this case. There are lots of tax cases but there are always criminal issues related to those cases. This is the first time that I have seen a case where a civil obligation has led to the denial of a license.

Stephen

Posted by: FixedWing | Apr 17, 2009 10:42:42 AM

It is unbelievable and incredibly elitist to call those who educate themselves at their own expense financially irresponsible if they later cannot afford to pay their loans. Deferments and forbearances run out. Private lenders are under no obligation to grant more than 12 months, they generally will not renegotiate or accept less than full payments, and they are hungry to default on a bad loan.

Posted by: anonymous | Apr 17, 2009 1:33:06 PM

I think it's prejudicial in the extreme and quite political - how does the court expect him to pay on his loans after taking away his job and refusing to allow him to practice the profession he incurred the loans in pursuit of?

Furthermore this decision precludes him from taking advantage of the LRAP programs to help financially-strapped new attorneys, which require that you be admitted to practice.


Posted by: lawgrad | Apr 18, 2009 7:52:46 AM

And now here is a National Law Journal story, out today at http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202430012415 , on a Texas case: "An appeals court in Texas has revoked the license of a Houston attorney for failing to repay his student loans and other debts." The reasoning: "The three-judge appeals panel in Austin found that, because Santulli, a Houston solo practitioner, did not adhere to a previous order requiring him to pay his debts, he lacked the trustworthiness necessary to represent clients." He owes 67k. So much for the "property interest" that Stephen FW notes, which usually protects those with a license a little more than those seeking one...

Posted by: Alan Childress | Apr 18, 2009 8:11:44 AM

"It is unbelievable and incredibly elitist to call those who educate themselves at their own expense financially irresponsible if they later cannot afford to pay their loans."

Funny. If someone takes out loans to pay for their education and does not pay them back, they are by definition not "educat[ing] themselves at their own expense." They are educating themselves at the lender's expense.

Posted by: Kevin | Apr 20, 2009 4:51:43 PM

Kevin,

You raise an interesting and perhaps accurate point, however, misguided. Perhaps the first page of a seven page letter Mr. Anonymous has recently written will provide you some insight.

"I was approved and recommended for admission to the New York State Bar by both Court-appointed Character and Fitness Committees: the 20-member voting Committee, and the 3-member Subcommittee which interviewed me personally. After this careful review of my application, which took nine months, had been submitted to the Court, the Appellate Division (Third Department) denied my admission to the Bar.

While I have accepted life as one raised in and out of New York State’s foster care program and homeless shelters, and generally living in abject poverty[1], I was unprepared for the Court to refuse my admission simply because it believed that I paid too much for my education, took too long to complete my education, and apparently did not yet repay enough of my student debt to deserve admission to the New York State Bar. In the Court’s ruling[2], neither the standard on which my application was denied nor the requisite conditions to reconsider my application for admission were set forth.

Judicious analysis of the language used by the Court reveals the disparate and unforgiving treatment between the haves and have-nots in the conclusion it reached: my life-long endeavor to overcome poverty through education – and the requisite student loans necessary to attain the highest of educational achievements, including obtaining my Juris Doctor Degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law – equates to a moral and character flaw on my part. Most ironically, because my efforts have been thwarted at the final hurdle, I am being compelled to live the remainder of my life in poverty, unable to meet my financial obligations or repay my student loans. Instead of being a responsible taxpaying member of society, it appears I am now relegated to becoming a burden.

In denying admission, the Court was informed that I had pending employment[3] with a mid-size law firm, and also that once admitted, would qualify for loan forgiveness by participating in the Loan Repayment
Assistance Program (LRAP). I am now jobless, with no employment prospects since being denied the privilege to practice law, and I now will not qualify to give back to the community from which I came by
participating in the LRAP. The Court, in taking over nine months to render a decision on my admission to the Bar, has itself prevented me from accepting employment opportunities in my profession that would
have allowed me the income to begin repaying my student loans.

Although the Court trumped both the Character and Fitness Committee’s and the Subcommittee’s recommendations for approval of my application, both committees found the behavior of my student loan
servicer, Sallie Mae[4], questionable. Thus, the Court’s decision also effectively endorses and perpetuates Sallie Mae’s unlawful behavior in the servicing of my student loans, and also contrarily holds me accountable for Sallie Mae’s wrongful conduct.

Lastly, in the face of detailed documentation substantiating the pervasively unlawful conduct of Sallie Mae, the Court has stated in its decision that I have “been inflexible in my discussions with the loan
servicers”. As explained in detail below, I have been anything but inflexible.

A summary of Sallie Mae’s unlawful conduct is as follows:

Posted by: anonymous | Apr 21, 2009 3:16:57 PM

Anonymous, who was the letter addressed to? Nicely written. It really gets the point across. Unfortunately though, this is the reality of New York's system of attorney regulation. I don't think it is an accident that most of the cases which have made it to the Supreme Court over the years have come from New York. They are utterly uninterested in providing minimum due process or even in following their own rules and regulations. Please see my own Supreme Court petition for certiorari on the topic at 2007 WL 5014984 (if you don't have access to Westlaw then I will be happy to provide it in PDF form by email -- [email protected]).

I really hope that Mr. Anonymous pursues this case.

Stephen

Posted by: FixedWing | Apr 22, 2009 5:01:39 AM

While I sympathize with his plight (as a former foster child myself who had to take out more student loans for undergrad than normal students are permitted), I agreed with the Court's decision. When my loans finally came due (during my break between undergrad and law school), I too freaked out about how I would pay them. So . . . I didn't pay right away. But when I realized I couldn't ignore the problem, I looked went online and EASILY found what my options were and applied for economic hardship deferments and eventually forbearances. As someone above noted, if you have the ability to graduate college and go to law school, then you have the ability to find out how to deal with your responsibilities, especially with the ease of the internet. He was not denied admission because he paid too much for his education or took too long to complete his education (I had 6 years of undergrad (after several transfers), 1 1/2 years break, and 3 years of law school). Rather, he either didn't care enough to fulfill his promise to the lender or he was so distressed about the weight of his loans and other problems that he just couldn't bring himself to stand up and do something about his education loans. Either way, the Court's concern (and rightfully so) is that, if admitted, he will be responsible for his clients' interests and finances and not just his own. It's an issue of balancing interests. I'm sorry for his plight but I cannot say that the Court was wrong.

Posted by: Sympathetic | Apr 23, 2009 10:43:57 AM

Mr/Ms Sympathetic:

While your success is commendable in view of your own personal issues, you should be aware that Mr. Anonymous was not in a stable foster care home. He was in fact moved from foster care home to foster care home. As he got older, placement was more difficult. As a consequence, he ended up at the Covenant House and the Door (NYC) for much of his teenage years and did not complete a grade after sixth grade. To be clear, he was not placed in a single foster home for any extended period of time.

As for student loan servicer Sallie Mae, you predicate your suppositions on the premise that Mr. Anonymous was avoiding his obligations and has not been communicating with his student loan servicer, but this was not the case. Mr. Anonymous wrote numerous times, requesting specific information related to his loans and what forbearance, deferment and repayment options were available to him. Furthermore, Mr. Anonymous requested that Sallie Mae provide an accounting of what deferments and forbearance had been used or exhausted and how much remaining deferment or forbearance was remaining under any given option.

It has been more than eighteen months since this initial request was made and to date Sallie Mae has refused to make the requested disclosures, including setting forth repayment options (On his private loans Sallie Mae offered two repayment options: "interest only" or "full payment"). There are several other options, but Sallie Mae refused to make them available. On his federal loans they simply failed to provide any repayment options at all. Furthermore, more than six certified letters and eight emails have been sent to numerous Sallie Mae agents, including their Ombudsman, Vicki Smith, and there has been simply no meaningful response.

While I find the gist of what you have written agreeable and in fact would have under those facts agreed with the Court, those are not the salient facts here because Mr. Anonymous clearly could not control the irresponsible behavior of his loan servicer, Sallie Mae. In fact, Mr. Anonymous had filed two complaints about Sallie Mae with his guarantor, HESC, prior to any loan becoming delinquent.

Let me ask you Mr./Ms. Sympathetic, what more could Mr. Anonymous have done to be any more responsible while studying for the NYS Bar exam (Note: the week after the Feb 2008 Bar exam his leg was fractured in four places and left him incapacitated for several months) and waiting for more than nine months for the Court to complete his application? Oh, and remember that both the subcommittee that undertook a personal interview, and the full committee on Character and Fitness, recommended him for admission.

Posted by: anonymous | Apr 24, 2009 2:43:21 PM

Sympathetic:

Forgive me, but it is unclear to me if you have intentionally provided misleading information to people reading this blog.

You claim you "went online and EASILY found what my options were and applied for economic hardship deferments and eventually forbearances."

Correct me if I am wrong - are you suggesting that any borrower can readily obtain SPECIFIC information about how much deferment or forbearance is available or remaining for any particular deferment or forbearance option or whether or not you have exhausted any particular deferment or forbearance option for a SPECIFIC loan or series of loans?

While it is expected that a loan servicer would act responsibly and obey the laws and regulations governing their business operations, in March 2008, Mr. Anonymous requested, in writing, a medical deferment because he broke his leg in four places. In blatant disregard to federal regulation, Sallie Mae responded with the one sentence, 'there are no deferments available'.

Nevertheless, your response is helpful because it gives insight into the visceral response most would have.

Posted by: anonymous | Apr 24, 2009 4:12:56 PM

We are rapidly approaching a point in this countries history where we don't have jobs, we can't get jobs, we can't get rid of our debt, but we do have guns and we do know how to use them.

Posted by: DC | May 2, 2009 6:18:22 AM

The law should not protect education lenders as they pressure students to accrue exorbitant amounts of non-dischargeable debt, protect law schools as they over-state the return on investment in legal education, and then fail to protect consumers who fall prey to these practices. It is fundamentally unfair; and what is the Law, after all, other than institutionalized fairness. That said, however, a person cannot fall prey to these practices without taking some level of personal responsibility.

This guy's "character and fitness" mistake was that he couldn't afford to go to law school; or he should have gone part-time to a public school and worked a full time job to off-set the expenses. How many recent law graduates, however, are now looking at their student loans and, in retrospect, saying the same thing? How many are falling behind? Are lenders going to start making disciplinary complaints as part of their collection efforts?

If student loans continue to be a factor in determining whether someone is fit to be a member of the bar, there needs to be a solid articulable standard that prevents abuse, as well as greater oversight of the student loan industry.

Posted by: Scott J. Kreppein | May 18, 2009 2:44:57 PM

I found this blog because I too am having issues with Sallie Mae. Although on a relatively smaller scale than this. My original student loan was only 14k and a huge part of that is because i was responsible and paying down that loan as fast as I possibly could. I then hit a hardship period and requested deferment through Sallie Mae. I received their paperwork and filed accordingly with them. I saw the mention of certified mail up above and I am kicking myself for no doing the same because Sallie Mae later denied they ever recieved such paperwork and my loan went into default. They sold my loan and my once 14k loan is now a 36k loan with 9% interest, I am forcasted to pay 56k when all said and done.

To someone who isnt a lawyer this is a substantial amount of money and to be tied to this because of an oversight on the part of Sallie Mae and for me to have no option but to pay this is beyond wrong. Its criminal.

Posted by: CT | May 29, 2009 9:04:18 AM

Scott, welcome to my world... well, sorta.
The only difference between you and me is that i borrowed more, got screwed just the same when I was still a student, but rather than attempt to repay, I went with the ignore option.
"ignore the problem" is thrown around the internet as if it is the worst thing possible and you are only hurting yourself and whatever. The vast majority of those comments are being generated by Sallie Mae itself. I have traffic logs from my own blog which backs this up. They prowl, they misinform, because it is very very profitable to do so. You cannot discharge a student loan, even a private one in bankruptcy, there are exceptions, but they are rare, and you are not an exception. However.....

Once that loan is in default, assuming it is a private loan with no cosigner, you just won the game.
If they garnish your wages, file for hardship and have it removed.
If they call you and all your relatives 50 times a day, file a Cease and Desist.
The original amount was 14k and you made some payments on it. All the rest is interest, late fees, etc.
Stop paying immediately, you are the type of sucker who they will latch onto and ride to the grave.
No forbearance either, as that resets the clock. You need to get to a charge-off stage. Once you are there and a collection agency is assigned to you, you can negotiate a much lower settlement figure.
And once that horrible collection agency lies, threatens and insults you, you can negotiate even lower.

Posted by: anon | Jun 11, 2009 9:31:05 PM

The judges' decision violates the First Amendment because the principles of morality on which it is based are specifically WASP Protestant Calvinist beliefs. Calvinists believe in predestination; the wealthy are the good predestined for heaven, and the poor are the bad predestined for hell. In essence, the judges are forcing their Calvinist beliefs on the applicant and the rest of us.

Posted by: Nina | Jul 2, 2009 2:50:04 PM

Post a comment