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My Life Was Ruined and I Sent My Child Away Because of Private Student Loans

By on March 28, 2017

Question:

Dear Steve,

I don’t know what to do, Please advise.

I have a student loan that is very behind, from a tech school that I attended from 03-04. I signed a paper agreeing to the loan and I also had to pay a monthly fee to the school for 4 months of $341.43 each month and the loan was for $9,000 from Sallie Mae through the Corinthian school (National Institute of Technology) in Houston, Texas.

I never knew when the school received the money because it’s not like community college or a university you are notified anyhow forwardly moving ECMC is writing letters, emailing, and has Performant calling as well. Since after I have graduated Corinthian Schools has been sued by Sallie Mae and Sallie Mae won the lawsuit and now ECMC has the accounts.

I have not worked steadily in 10yrs and when I have worked I have been paid no more than $9-$10 an hour, not even scraping the barrel. I have been homeless for 4yrs as of today no job or anything for 15mos nothing in the meantime and I had to send my child to live with other people.

I honestly feel that every student that attended those schools have been deceived and railroaded. I would have never signed anything if I would have known I was signing my life away. I have the paperwork from ECMC but unable to upload I don’t have it saved.

Can ECMC and Performant Recovery cause me not to be hireable? Would the $5 a month contract with ECMC be the best route for me to go since I do not have a job?

Tracey

Answer:

Dear Tracey,

What you’ve had to deal with is tragic. Wow.

I’m not sure where to even start. If these loans were federal loans then you’d have some possible recourse through the Borrower Defense to Repayment program. But these sound as if they are private student loans.

There is no easy way to say this, the system is rigged against you. For-profit schools charged obscene tuition rates for dubious education that left people tied to debt they would struggle with.

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There is a movement in our country where politicians want to roll back regulations and protections to help the average person. The argument is people need to exercise their own personal responsibility. But you have to wonder at what point does government even bother to protect people like you and me from the back acts of companies like for-profit schools that demonstrate such poor outcomes?

Until the law changes to make dealing with private student loans easier through options like bankruptcy, you will simply be left in this debt hell. A $5 a month plan is not a solution. Even is they agreed to accept a payment that low it would mean your otherwise unaffordable balances will continue to grow more unaffordable. That’s not a plan, that’s a slow moving plane crash.

The best option here is going to be going to your local legal aid office and see if you qualify for assistance. If so, talk to them about pursuing an Adversary Proceeding against the current student loan owner under a number of possible defenses. See this, this, and this.

As it stands now, the law makes it tough for consumers to deal with their private student loan debt but makes it legal for schools to saddle consumers with the debt. It’s not a balanced equation. The consumer will always lose just like the casino always wins.

There is nothing I can see that would not make you employable because of this situation unless you were working in a few sensitive professions. The only impact would be if the judgment holder went for a wage garnishment after you were hired. It would be annoying but not something you would be terminated over.

As I see it, you’ve got two things you are dealing with here. There is your life in general and then there is this loan situation. I’d just suggest getting on with your life and trying to do the best you can. But first I would really explore the legal aid assistance route and see if they can’t help you close the door on these crappy loans that got you.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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