Indiana

Fraudulent School Loan

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My husband attended Computer Learning Center in IL in the late 90's. He had one loan through the school, which was paid off, not a federal loan. The school closed in 2001? sometime around there. He applied for a vehicle loan in 2005, and all of a sudden, a defaulted school loan popped up for $14k. The paid off loan was only $4k. He had done 2 previous auto loans and nothing came up.

Sallie Mae was no help. Through various phone calls, they said there were no loans, there were two loans, different amounts, etc. They sent him a copy of a paper that had a signature on it and his name/previous phone/address, but it was nothing even close to his signature. The co-signer was no one we've ever heard of. He disputed it as fraudulent and we never heard anything.

Three years ago, they started seizing our tax return. US Treasury Dept says they can't do anything, it's a federal loan. Now it's gone to ACT (Account Control Technology, Inc) for collections. He sent them a validation of debt letter within the first 30 days of notice (May). They haven't gotten back to him yet, but called MY cell phone today. He had no phone number on there, how the heck did they get my #? Don't call me, show us the proof and stop taking our money!

Is there anything we can do about this? US Treas. Dept. suggested he call the IL Board of Ed for more info. He did so and the "school" never turned over records on loans. She said they have gotten lots of calls from past students about loans that were never taken out. Now they want $26k (interest, fees, etc) and there's no way we can afford that. Unfortunately, they are getting paid with our tax refund, which does us no good. And in their last letter, they are threatening wage garnishment.

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If they're seizing your tax return, it's a federal student loan. Wage garnishment is a very real possibility. Of course, it being a federal loan doesn't mean it can't also have been obtained fraudulently.

Have you contacted the ombudsman?

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What is an ombudsman?

The DV letter sent us copies of 2 loan applications. One appears to be his signature, one does not. It also had a copy of a consolidation application. Nothing is on the bottoms saying it was approved, etc. The collection company sent us copies of when the loan was purchased, etc.

He sent a written request to the Board of Ed and they say after searching, they have ONE piece of paper and that is a class transfer. No transcripts or other records. He wants to send Sallie Mae this info in hopes that they'll stop all this b/c there's no other proof.

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An Ombudsman is technically a neutral property that will listen to your story, look at your information, research the issue and if they feel your story is accurate will act in your behalf against the Dept. of Education.

They are employees of the the Dept. of Education and I have never dealt with them. I have dealt with Ombudsmen of other programs and found that they are generally fair in their dealings.

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Mini update - They called me again, and this time I was able to answer. When she found out he was my husband, she started rattling off all this info about what he "owes", how long it's been, all kinds of personal info, then volunteered to call him at work if I'd be kind enough to give her the number. Um heck no. But nice try.

When he got home, I had him call her back. She said they were going to do a hearing about wage garnishment and there was nothing he could do to stop it. She told him that the IL Board of Ed didn't have any transcripts because the loan was consolidated. Now I know that's not true. My college loans were consolidated and I can still get transcripts.

He talked to her manager, explained what was going on, and she suggested he call Sallie Mae. Finally got someone helpful at Sallie Mae. He is sending a fraud packet in the mail and putting everything on hold. The "loan" was like $9k, now they want over $26k. Insane.

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