If you borrowed private student loans for your postsecondary education, and if an organization called National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts (National Collegiate) asserts you owe loan payments to it, double check everything it says about how much you owe and whether it actually owns your loans.
The New York Times reports that courts across the United States have dismissed many educational loan debts supposedly owed to National Collegiate because its was unable to prove that it had actually purchased those loans from lenders who originally made them. And in at least one case, a court dismissed part of a college graduate’s debt after finding that some loans for which National Collegiate was billing her were for enrollment at a school she never attended.
Note: National Collegiate is a “secondary market” that buys private student loans after they’re made, giving it the right to collect what borrowers owe in principal and interest on those loans. It has been particularly aggressive in going to court against private student loan borrowers unable to repay their debts.
National Collegiate contracts with American Education Services to provide its borrowers with services and do routine collections on its loans. The Times reports it uses a collection agency called Transworld Systems to collect debts when borrowers fall behind on their payments.
If any of your private student loans are being collected by either of these companies, determine whether National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts says it owns them. To do this, contact American Education Services and/or Transworld Systems to inquire. If they list National Collegiate as the owner of any of your loans, double check your records to confirm whether you actually borrowed them. If not, ask for documents proving you borrowed the loans and establishing what the courts call a “chain of title” to prove National Collegiate’s ownership.
Note: There are no reports of any federal or state student loans being dismissed by courts because of the irregularities described above.
Never stop making payments on and debt you really do owe. This can cost you big bucks and ruin your credit rating. And never, ever, use false or misleading information to try to get out of any of your debt obligations. That’s called a criminal offense called fraud!
But if there are questions about debts National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts says you owe it, retain a law firm or seek help from your local legal aid society if necessary. Don’t get ripped off!
We’re on summer vacation at College Affordability Solutions, but this issue was too important to ignore. Join us next month when we again begin publishing regular weekly blogs.