View Full Version : Student Loan Quandary
06-26-2003, 01:57 PM
I am seeking counsel with a debt problem that has plagued me for nearly 16 years. The situation is as follows: I signed for a student loan check in October 1987 and was called back in the service a week later because of events leading up to the first Gulf War. I never attended any classes at this school and gave them notice that I was withdrawing. Numerous attempts in the 1990s to retrieve the money ($4,000) have not been successful. Since 1998 the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) has offset my tax returns from the IRS for a total of $5,258.23. I wrote the CSAC recently and asked them how much was still owed on the loan. Their reply was $0.00. They later claimed they made a mistake by sending that statement.
My problem now is that the IRS is still sending them my tax refunds and CSAC is having collection agencies harass me, sometimes tow different agencies simultaneously for the same paid loan. I have been cooperative throughout but am having difficulty with CSAC and their contracted collection agencies. One agency stopped after I sent them the "paid off letter", but CSAC soon asked another agency to collect.
My goal is twofold, firstly to stop the offset of my tax returns and secondly to terminate the contact by any and all of their contracted collection agents. Seeing as though I have a signed statement on CSAC letterhead stating I do not owe on the loan, my question is; how can I achieve my goal?
06-26-2003, 03:05 PM
I am not an expert by any means....
The first thing I would do is make sure I don't have a tax refund coming...
06-26-2003, 03:12 PM
You need to call the IRS, or better yet, write them a letter, explaining the matter. It may not get anything solved immediately, but it will bring the matter to somebody's attention.
I would also recommend calling your state bar association. Sometimes in Indiana you can get free legal advice from lawyers who are doing some pro-bono work - hopefully you can find someone who is knowledgeable about how the @ssholes can rip you off when you didn't even attend school and made you pay for the loan anyway!!
Are you saying that you're:
1) Still being harrassed
2) After paying off what has to be some substantial percentage
3) Of a student loan you never received
4) Because you were called up for military service?
I'm afraid I'm speaking from ignorance here, but couldn't you work this from the other end? Seems like the military ought to take a dim view of servicemen getting the shaft because they're off fighting in another country.
06-26-2003, 03:53 PM
Yes, I'm still being harrased. It's been nearly 16 years. The loan was paid off by my IRS offset long ago and I received a letter stating it was paid off. They later claimed that the letter was sent to me by mistake and that I still owed the loan.
I received the loan check on a Monday, signed it over on a Tuesday, told the school I couldn't attend on Wednesday and shipped out in the Navy on Friday. So I "received" the loan yes, I just never used it as you would normally would.
All of this happened the last week of October 1987. I have been out of the military for fourteen years.
06-29-2003, 11:30 AM
Thought I would bump this up in case anyone had any advice.
06-29-2003, 12:12 PM
By "received the loan," do you mean, "I took the money." If you took the cash and then didn't return that, then you received the loan--it doesn't matter what you used it for.
Anyway, if you repaid it, you repaid it. The local IRS office here and in Salinas are both very friendly and helpful. I think that if you call for an appointment, or even just walk in, with all of your documentation, you can get it sorted out posthaste. Or you could contact your congressman for assistance.
06-29-2003, 12:49 PM
If you gave the money to the school and then withdrew the next day the should have given you a full refund. It sounds like you have multiple problems going on. You were ripped off by the school, the CSAC is billing you for a paid loan, and your tax returns were taken to repay a debt that you shouldn't owe. my suggestion, get a lawyer. they will know how to best deal with the situation and who needs to be contacted. getting in touch with the military might not be such a bad idea either.
06-29-2003, 04:27 PM
I'm sure your local political types and local newspaper would love to hear this story.
Really Not All That Bright
06-29-2003, 04:44 PM
Don't have any advice for you, although a clarification would help... did you WITHDRAW from the class or DROP it? At my university the distinction is that you only get a refund if you drop the class during the first week- if you withdraw (drop the class after the first week) the school keeps your money.
My heart goes out to you though.
06-29-2003, 06:35 PM
Why is CSAC involed at all? Is this a CA state and not a federal loan? if it is a federal loan then:
Call or write the U.S. Dpeartment of Education's San Francisco Case Team
(415) 556-4295 (in CA)
DC part of the team: 202-377-4249
50 United Nations Plaza, Room 123
San Francisco, CA 94102-4987
These are the guys that will straighten out a school that is mistaken in some aspect of administering Federal Student Financial Aid. You may be too late for them to help -- DEFINITELY they could help if this was 10 years ago & the school was improperly charging you for a federal loan ...Now in your curent situation I'm not so sure. They definitely trump CSAC and they can get them to back off it is really a situation where it is improper
but again that is in the FEDERAL and not state arena. At the very least the US Dept of Ed may be able to help.
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