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Sallie Mae Won’t Counter My Settlement Offer. – Lauren

“Dear Steve,

I have Sallie Mae private student loans ($25,000 or so original loan was $11,000 or so) taken out back in 2004 for Culinary School, Have used all deferment and forbearance and have had quite a bit of being unemployed since, but I have a more stable job now and was trying to work everything out — it has been charged off in the last week or so —I live in CA and Sallie Mae is in DE, but all the addresses are in PA. I have sent Sallie Mae requests to have everything done in writing—post mail, email, chats, etc. to every address, email, and fax number I can find.

I have been requesting the history of my account and any notices that were sent to be compiled and mailed to me. I told them no bill= no payment. I have repeatedly “opted out” of the online service since I haven’t be able to access it due to it always being down or it just won’t load—have tried a couple of different computers. I got tired of being jerked around on the phone so I no longer even try that route. This has been going one for 1.5 yrs or so

Also all attempts to have them send me a counter settlement letter have been a waste of time. I have sent one in and they told me they “only send a letter confirming to a verbal agreement”. I said no I send in an offer and if you don’t like that offer, you counter offer—this is how negotiation works. I have a family member that may assist me in a settlement, but without a settlement offer letter to look over and decide upon, no dice till then.

I have got a call from a collector called Allied Interstate Inc and told them to send me a validation of debt—I am also sending a letter that asks from proof of debt and to cease calling—communicating only by mail. I see they did an inquiry on my credit as well.

What can I do about this? I am not flaky and I was raised to pay my debt, but this company has me pulling out my hair! I am not scared of any of these companies–my credit is wrecked because of this, but it isn’t the end of the world. I have a strong network of family and friends that know I am a decent person—but is there anything I can do to get them off my back? I want to be informed. Statute of Limitations, what can a collector legally do in my state, option of going to court or such? Any help being pointed in the right direction would be much appreciated


Dear Lauren,

Sallie Mae may negotiate but that’s not been my experience. Besides, there is no obligation for them to do so. Most commonly I have witnessed them make settlement offers proactively. I still don’t know what triggers the offer. They just appear to be sent at random, and not to everybody.

There are two issues which are relevant here. First, the statute of limitations might have expired on this debt in your state. If that’s the case then the private student loans could be discharged instantly in bankruptcy.

But since you went to culinary school it is important to understand if the school you went to was accredited at the time you attended. If it was not then again the student loans would be eligible to be discharged in bankruptcy. You can read more about this here.

Both of these issues would need to be resolved with an attorney licensed in your state. If you are considering bankruptcy then click here to find someone.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About Steve Rhode

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.
  • Bill

    I have loans with sallie mae and no issue getting online, I am guessing each time you entered into an agreement of deferment or forbearance it renews the statute of limitations. By sending cease and desist letters, and refusing to talk to someone you have a good chance having your day in court. However, if you call and make an offer, I bet they do give you a counter offer. Best of luck.

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