Home > Author Archives: Steve Rhode (page 29)

Author Archives: Steve Rhode

My Ph.D. Loans Will Leave Me Old, Broke, Hungry, and Cold

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Question: Dear Steve, I have $175,000+in student loans from grad school programs. My first grad degree program was a PhD in political science; the second a high school teaching license in social studies. Neither field has been hiring over the past 15 years at anything other than a negligible rate. Because I have my masters degree, I am more expensive ... Read More »

    Paymap and LoanCare Nailed for Stupid Simple Reason

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    Yesterday the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced they took action against companies that sold consumers on an equity accelerator program. Typically these programs make payments every two weeks instead of once a month and that gives people one extra mortgage payment a year to reduce the balance owed faster. But the unbelievable part of this program delivery is contained in ... Read More »

      My Art Institute and Fullsail Student Loans Are Outrageous and Unaffordable

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      Question: Dear Steve, I have obtained private loan debts from for-profit schools such as the Art Institutes and Fullsail. These debts have doubled from the interest alone. I find myself in a cycle: when I do work, all of my income goes to paying the minimum payment, or I go back school, but a legitimate state school to postpone payments. ... Read More »

        Telephone Consumer Protection Act Class Action Filed Against Debt Relief and Collection Companies

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        About a week ago I published an article about the dangers faced by debt relief companies, and others, for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Well just today comes a class action case filed against Freedom Financial Network, Freedom Debt Relief, and Consolidated Credit Counseling. The case was filed in New York state. The bigger question here is ... Read More »

          Teacher Discharges Loads of Student Loans in Bankruptcy. ECMC Fights Back.

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          Today I’m looking at another bankruptcy discharge case, see more here, where a bankruptcy judge felt it was appropriate to allow for a legal discharge of student loan debt. In this case the consumer represented herself in the action and has fought a valiant battle. Even though President Obama and the Department of Education have recognized a valid and reasonable ... Read More »

            My Apartment Complex Took My Check But Never Cashed It

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            Question: Dear Steve, When we moved out we gave the apartment our new address and asked them to send the final bill because they did not have it available. This was in January 2015. I tried calling a handful of times and couldn’t reach the apartment complex. In May, we had not received a bill yet so on a trip ... Read More »

              My Mother Stole My Identity and Took Out a Discover Card

              Identity Theft Warning Sign A yellow sign with the words Identity Theft on a keyboard

              Question: Dear Steve, I am now a sophomore in college, during my first semester in college my mother took $1,000 from my financial aid refund because my bank account was connected with hers since I was not 18 at the time I opened my bank account. My mother has a bad history of taking money from people, she took a ... Read More »

                What Can I Do to Get Out of Being a Cosigner on a Private Student Loan

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                Question: Dear Steve, I co-signed a private student loan in 2005 for my ex-wife (she was not my ex-spouse in 2005). The amount was $10k. Current balance is ~$6,400 and is in deferment (1-2 months left on that). She agreed to pay it post-divorce but fails to do so unless her arm is twisted enough (usually when it becomes 120+ ... Read More »

                  Student Financial Aid Websites Illegally Billed Consumers

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                  Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a complaint and proposed consent order in federal court against Student Financial Aid Services, Inc. for illegal sales and billing practices. The Bureau alleges that the company, which until recently operated FAFSA.com, lured in consumers with misleading information about the total cost of its subscription financial services and hit them with undisclosed and ... Read More »

                    Who is SelectSLHelp.com Asks a Reader

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                    I received an email asking me if I knew anything about a new website SelectSLHelp.com. I have to admit, I’m scratching my head about the website. According to public domain records the domain name was created on July 1, 2015 but their testimonial page has testimonials that appear they have been around longer. One testimonial says, “SelectSLHelp.com was able to ... Read More »

                      Why is Navient Chasing My Cosigner for My Student Loans?

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                      Question: Dear Steve, I made the mistake of attending a for-profit college and, like most students, took out a bunch of loans to be able to complete my education. Also, like most students, I didn’t know what I’d be getting myself into with private loans, which were taken out with Sallie Mae (now Navient). I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to find ... Read More »

                        Bankruptcy Court Wants to Discharge Spousal Consolidation Student Loans. Educational Credit Management Corporation Says, “Not So Fast.”

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                        I have to admit I am totally perplexed by the media and popular myths that believe student loans can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. Even a lot of bankruptcy attorneys believe this wildfire myth. Thanks to some amazing readers and tipsters I’ve just received a collection of cases where the consumer managed to have their student loans eliminated in bankruptcy, right ... Read More »

                          Concord Resolution – Consumer Complaint – July 22, 2015

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                          Consumer Statement: I had a phone call from a company called Concord Resolution, and they say I owe for a payday loan and I need to pay it right now and they would not take no for an answer but I informed them that I did have a payday loan and I paid it off and I have all the ... Read More »

                            Discover Bank Screwed Over Student Loan Holders Says CFPB

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                            Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took action against Discover Bank and its affiliates for illegal private student loan servicing practices. The CFPB found that Discover overstated the minimum amounts due on billing statements and denied consumers information they needed to obtain federal income tax benefits. The company also engaged in illegal debt collection tactics, including calling consumers early ... Read More »

                              FTC Smacks LifeLock for Violations of Previous Agreement

                              Hello I Am Suing You words on a name tag sticker informing that someone is bringing a lawsuit against you in a court of law

                              The Federal Trade Commission today asserted that LifeLock violated a 2010 settlement with the agency and 35 state attorneys general by continuing to make deceptive claims about its identity theft protection services, and by failing to take steps required to protect its users’ data. In documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, the FTC charged ... Read More »

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