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Web Letters | The Nation

Students in Debt: 'Can't Pay, Won't Pay, Don't Pay'

We shouldn't strike

This is a really bad idea. That “professor” doesn’t get it and should go back to class. Most of us paying or struggling to pay prefer to remain on the right side of debt—do the paperwork and keep fees or penalties from occurring. From this moral high ground of trying the best we can—we clamor for debt forgiveness. We disagree with the debt, but I don’t believe this debt strike will succeed because we’re already working on the Forgive Student Loan Debt petition and HR365 and by the way, “Occupy Student Debt” is a title already taken by a group presenting personal stories online too.

Sheryl Shumsky

New Orleans, LA

Nov 19 2011 - 6:50pm

Students in Debt: 'Can't Pay, Won't Pay, Don't Pay'

Sallie Mae and extrinsic fraud

In 2002 my son wanted to attend Chubb Institute in New York. When applying for financial aid, we were told that before he could be considered for any other aid I had to apply for a parents’ loan. Given that I was only making $250 a week and had just had an auto repossessed, I told the financial aid office I was certain I would be denied. I filled out the application and was never told I had been granted a loan for over $13,000, so we thought that with his own federal loan they had found grants for him.

In February 2004 a lawsuit was filed against me in New York by Sallie Mae. They claim to have given service to someone they state was a “co-tenant” named Jorge Torres. At no time have I ever lived with anyone by that name. The owner of the house I lived in is Juanita and Julio Torres, who are my aunt and uncle. Sallie Mae has since filed in Florida to recognize this judgment and have stated that they sent me a copy at 21609 Sally St., SE Palm Bay, Florida. My address is 1069. They then sent a summons for a deposition to 31069 Sally St. The process server located me due to her ability to figure out that there is no address as stated on her paperwork. During the deposition their attorney asked me if my address was 21069 Sally St. and I said no. He then asked me what it was and I provided him with the correct address. In December they filed for a garnishment with no notice to me whatsoever. I asked their attorney for a copy of the promissory note they claim I signed; it took him in excess of thirty days to get it to me and only after I notified him that he had failed to do so did he e-mail some documents to me, and while the signature is close, it does not appear to be mine. The copy of his letter prefacing the copy of a promissory note shows he used the address he knew to be invalid. This leads me to believe he deliberately did use a fake address in order to prevent me from any self-defense. Additionally, I had asked two other collection agencies for this beginning in 2008 and their current attorney has chosen to not send me a copy of all pertinent court documents filed here in Florida, including the garnishment, to my correct address, and in all likelihood has told the court he has sent them, while using an address he knows is false in order to once again deprive me of my rights. The garnishment is currently $362.37 biweekly and this has forced me to move in with my son and give up most of my furniture and caused intense stress.

The fact that they have engaged in fraud in two states leads me to believe that this is a common practice for Sallie Mae.

Is there any way to vacate this in both states?

Alice Cortes

Palm Bay, FL

Nov 19 2011 - 11:49am