My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Delaware
I took out 2 Teri Student Loans one 10/2002 & the other 8/2003. Both were for $15k. I graduated 5/2003 and attempted to go back to school in the summer to pursue a second BS degree after graduation (thus the 2nd loan) but working long hours forced me to drop the classes.
Both loans were over and above what the FASFA allows and these were used for living expenses, as my tuition was paid for with Fed Student Loans which I am currently paying off and they have never been late etc.
Citizens Bank was the lender, AES serviced the loans and TERI guaranteed the loans. I'm attempting to find out if the loans were certified by my school, it's possibly they were requested as a 'continuing ed' student.
In Oct 2005, I filed for bankruptcy, prior to the law changing due to job loss and serious medical issues. I did not file an adversary proceeding, because I was not told I needed one. I had one other private loan from Key Bank (which was not nonprofit). All debts including the Teri & KeyBank Loans were discharged in bankruptcy. I have never heard from KeyBank after the Chapter 7 filing.
Over the years, I have heard from numerous collections agencies and law firms. Recently, I sent out a cease and desist letter to an attorney attempting to collect on the debt. I then found out they were attempting to serve me papers, I assume to get a judgment in court. They have not served papers as of today, due to my working long hours and not being home when they attempt (my 14 yr old son is usually home alone and he does not answer the door).
Immediately, I sent the law firm a debt validation request stating I had received yet another letter from them (I did not) and was therefore revoking my cease and desist letter while they provided debt validation. They sent the original collection notices via regular mail and cannot prove I received both notices (one for each loan) at the same time. We do have mail consistently lost and delayed in getting to us. Therefore my DV letter went out about 3 ˝ weeks after the 30 day period really ended – but again they cannot prove this.
I immediately received the following:
1. 2 one page promissory notes - one with the wrong school and the wrong amount listed.
2. An affidavit from a Teri Collections Director stating I owed this debt - although the amounts had no accounting and were several thousand dollars above the promissory note amounts with interest on top of those amounts.
3. A memo from AES assigning the rights of the debt to Teri. No dollars amounts listed just the account number and the current owner listed as Citizens.
My Second DV Letter requested a proper validation showing this law firm has the right to collect and a proper accounting since I never attended one of the schools on the promissory note. Also that the amounts from promissory notes and affidavit do not match and there’s no explanation. I have not heard from them again, but they are still attempting to serve the summons. (All letters sent via certified mail/return receipt)
My questions are:
1. Since these loans were successfully discharged in the bankruptcy (shouldn't I have gotten notice if something wasn’t discharged)? Can this be a defense for me if I have to go to court?
2. Do they have to give proper validation of debt AFTER they file to sue? Since they have not served me yet do they have to cease filing suit/attempting service until they give proper validation of debt?
3. Is an affidavit from a supposed Terri Collections Director written 5/2010 (his signature is not legible) a proper validation of debt or do they need to show why there’s such a disparity between figures on promissory notes & his figures in the affidavit.
4. Do they have to prove they are legally assigned or own the debt? The firm is Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller in New Jersey (with other state offices).
5. Does the fact that this student loan debt was used for living expenses and not tuition help give me a defense in discharging the debt. I’ve read about the nonprofit exclusion.
6. Are they allowed to sue me while they themselves are in Bankruptcy? This seems unfair.
7. I recently received an accounting from AES. These loans went into forbearance over a year after I took them out and defaulted after the bankruptcy forbearance period. There is a year they show no activity. I never made a payment to them. Shouldn’t the SOL started 6 months after the semester was over and I ceased going to school (even though for the second loan I dropped classes almost immediately) or I graduated?
8. I make $60k per year, but I’m a single parent who is currently going thru a divorce and live paycheck to paycheck. My husband was ill and out of work for the 2 years prior to divorce so we have no money. Prior to that I was ill and lost my job. I live within the IRS collection guidelines for housing, food, auto costs and still have nothing left over. My only expense outside those standards is that of $250 for my Fed Student Loans. Is there any chance of a hardship discharge defense with my income? Can they attempt to take my child support of $800 per month? Note that even with my income and child support I still live paycheck to paycheck – I have living expenses only and Fed Student Loans for monthly bills. I was in hardship forbearance until last year due to job loss and then husband's illness.
I’m sorry to ask so many questions. I just need some guidance as I cannot afford an attorney.