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comment by someguyfromcanada
someguyfromcanada  ·  1017 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: More Than 40% of Student Borrowers Aren’t Making Payments

Here is the bizarre story of me "not making payments":

By the time I graduated I owed about $40K. I agreed to pay $400/month to retire that and set up a dedicated account where I deposited that amount on the last day of every month and it was withdrawn the next day. About two years later the withdrawals stopped and I called the Bank, dozens of times over a course of several months, and no one could tell me why.

Then I got sued. By the federal government because the Bank had claimed default and the Feds were the guarantor who had paid off the debt in full. When I received their documentation I saw that the Loan Consolidation Agreement was not the one I signed. It did not have my signature on it, the loan officer was different and the amount was several thousands of dollars higher. So the Bank had presented fraudulent documentation to the Feds to justify their claim of default.

After about 2 years, the matter got to trial. The Feds went through their claim and I went through mine, then the Judge called us into his Chambers for an off the record discussion. He railed at the Plaintiff's lawyer about the fraud and I felt pretty good. Then he turned to me and said: "Did you take the money?' Yes, the lesser amount on the original Agreement. "Is it fair that a student pay back their loans?" Yes. Then he tells me I have a winning case but he is going to rule against me and I can appeal that if I want, which he knew I would not.

So I ended the day with a judgement for I think $25-30K against me. Spoke with the other lawyer and their witness from the Feds afterwards and said: Give me a call and we will make an arrangement.

I never got a call or any demand for payment. They also did not register the judgement against me. All that time I had still been putting $400/month in the account and continued to do so for almost 2 more years until I was sure they would not be coming after me. So I withdrew the money and shut the account.

My theory is that the Bank forged the Loan Document and acted on the Guarantee so that: 1) they could get immediate full payment with zero risk; and 2) claiming this as a default artificially inflated the default rates which they could use as leverage when negotiating higher rates/fees from the government.