Friday, February 16, 2018

Tell NJ Citizen Action the Story of Your Own Personal HESAA HELL

I was excited to hear that New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) would be participating in efforts to inform the people of New Jersey about everyone's favorite hell hole, HESAA. Now you too can help them by sending them your tales of woe, hardship, bad customer service and everything else that has led from your happy youth to your current HESAA HELL. Follow the link and fill out the Google form that will assist NJCA in getting our voices heard. People are finally starting to listen.

Friday, October 20, 2017

CFPB Complaint Tips, Tailor Complaint to Specific Violations

Below is a forwarded message from a fearless fighter against HESAA on how to file complaints with the CFPB so they have maximum punch.



Here is the link to the manual the CFPB uses to identify UDAAP violations
my goal is to get enough complaints filed that will raise a flag to obvious UDAAP violations. Before you file your complaint, I would ask that review the manual. Then, formulate your complaint to highlight the UDAAP violations you feel HESAA committed. Please DO NOT refer to specific UDAAP violations or the CFPB manual. Only use it as a guide.

For instance, when son took his first  NJCLASS loan in 2007, HESAA's website advertised "flexible repayment options." That led us to believe that NJCLASS was similar to federal loans that offered flexible repayment options. However, it wasn't until the loans went into repayment in 2012 that we learned HESAA's advertised "flexible repayment options" referred only to the 3 repayment options HESAA offered when you first took out your loan--Option 1, Option 2 or Option 3.

When my son first applied to NJCLASS he was denied and advised he needed a cosigner. We called HESAA to advise we had no one willing to obligate themselves to this debt. The agent stated over the phone that if we chose Option 3 (deferred principal and interest until graduation)-the cosigner would not be liable for any payments because no payments would be due until my son graduated. And, when my son graduated, HESAA would consolidate all of my son's NJCLASS in his name only, and the cosigner would be removed. We operated in that manner and when it came time to consolidate, HESAA denied my son's consolidation loan and advised he needed a cosigner.

Another violation committed by HESAA was when they started calculating my son's default delinquency during the time his loans were in a deferment. When NJCLASS loans are deferred, the borrower is billed QUARTERLY interest. HESAA's administrative code states that loans billed monthly can default after 180 days of nonpayment and 240 days when loans are billed less frequently than monthly. In my son's case, he was being billed quarterly, which is less frequently than monthly. Thus, HESAA should have utilized a 240-day delinquency before they defaulted. But, they did not--they utilized 180 days and defaulted all of my son's loans.  

HESAA did not send consistent monthly billing statements despite many letters we sent requesting billing statements.

I am sharing SOME examples of how HESAA clearly committed UDAAP violations against my son. Also, remember both you and your cosigner or co-borrower can file individual complaints with the CFPB-because you were both affected. 

Again, I can't stress enough how the CFPB is looking for actual violations, not emotional pleas for help. Be specific as to how your rights were violated due to HESAA's unfair and predatory lending practices.   I also cannot stress how very important your complaints are at this time.  I have the CFPB's attention with this issue--I just need everyone to do their part and make your voices heard. Let them know my son's rights weren't the only rights violated.  Even if you already filed a complaint--file another one and be more specific as to HESAA's violations.   Again, I can't thank you enough for this--I am hopeful we are opening up eyes--we just need more complaints in order to get noticed. If you have any questions, please let me know, send me an email. 

Blog email is 

Make Your Voice Heard By Filing a Complaint With the CFPB

Below is a forwarded message from a borrower email list, please read it and follow the directions it would do a lot of good. I would only add that every time HESAA is publicly criticized they without fail always point to the lack of borrower complaints against them. This is a safe place to make an complaint that will not come back on you. Please post your complaint as soon as possible.



As you know, I have been in contact with the CFPB with regard to HESAA.  With that said, I need everyone to submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau here:  The more complaints they get, they will begin to FLAG HESAA, which can result in a formal investigation--currently this is how the CFBP brought suit against Navient.

Right now, there aren't enough complaints to flag HESAA, but if EVERYONE, both borrower and cosigners, filed complaints, we very well may have enough for them to launch an investigation. I need you to be very specific as to the tactics used by HESAA when you submit your complaint. For example, if HESAA failed to send bills; if HESAA failed to offer you the opportunity to "re-age" your loan prior to defaulting; if HESAA misrepresented the loan type to you; if the school and/or HESAA misrepresented the NJCLASS loan to be similar to federal loans; if HESAA misled you into believing that once your loans went into repayment you would have flexible repayment options; if you were promised automatic loan consolidation when you graduated.

I know when you file your complaint you want to share everything HESAA did to hurt you and your family, however, this is not the place for that. What the CFPB is looking for is UDAAP violations--which essentially are Unfair Deceptive or Abusive Act practices. We ALL know HESAA is in violation, but without your complaints outlining how you were deceived and the unfair lending practices exhibited by HESAA, the CFPB cannot do anything to assist us. So, even if you already filed a complaint, file another one and list all of the wrongs HESAA did. Please ask your cosigner to file a separate complaint. The more complaints we gather, the more flags go off in order to open an investigation.  

Thanks everyone and I hope you will all take the time to do your part in making all of the wrongs known.  We need someone to investigate them and this is about the ONLY agency who can.  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sample Letter to HESAA's Favorite Assembly Dems Schaer and Jasey

Our friend wrote this sample letter for those of you out there who need inspiration for what to write to them. Write about your truth and write often.

I wanted to share this email I sent to Asm. Schaer and Jasey.  Here is their original press release:

But, after reviewing HESAA's April Board Minutes--I find that is not at all the program they intend to offer. 
Assemblyman Schaer & Assemblywoman Jasey, 
In an April 20, 2017 Press Release, you boasted the following:  The resolution HESAA passed creates an income-driven repayment option for borrowers under the New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students (NJCLASS) Loan Program. Beginning with borrowers who take out loans in the 2017-2018 academic year, individuals who cannot make the minimum payment on a student loan may pay 10 percent of disposal income over 150 percent of the federal poverty level ($18,090 for a single individual) for a maximum of two years. All such payments must be applied to the principal.
In response to your press release, I bring your attention to HESAA's April 19, 2017 board meeting minutes, which can be found here:   I ask that you both read the sixth paragraph on page 5, wherein HESAA proffered the income driven repayment program will not be available to ALL borrowers since "all of the families who borrow have sufficient resources to take this loan so this plan is meant to help in the event of catastrophic changes in circumstances."  

Your press release misleads prospective borrowers and their families into believing that ALL borrowers from 2017/2018 going forward can obtain an income driven repayment plan during the first two years of loan repayment, which is simply NOT the case and is not HESAA's intention.   It is clear that you are not on the same page with HESAA, and since you reported false information, it is now your duty and obligation to report that this income driven repayment option implemented by HESAA will be available only to those certain borrowers who qualify under what HESAA considers to be "catastrophic  changes in circumstances"--a term HESAA has conveniently failed to define.  

Unfortunately, current NJCLASS borrowers were misled when HESAA falsely advertised that borrowers would have "flexible repayment options", only to learn after their loan(s) went into repayment that the "flexible repayment options" applied to the repayment program the borrower chose at the time they took our their loans, i.e. Option 1, 2 or 3.   Your press release repeats HESAA's false advertising and will undoubtedly result in thousands more defaults after borrowers learn their approval into an income driven repayment plan will be based solely on a "catastrophic change in circumstance."  I am quite sure HESAA will not consider a recent college grads unemployed or underemployed status as a "catastrophic" change in circumstance. 

As stated in a recent letter to you both (to which I received no reply), I am clearly not happy with how either of you handled the current NJCLASS loan borrowers, especially after you stated,  

"Unfortunately, we cannot go back in time and assist the many NJCLASS borrowers who already have had the agonizing experience of declaring bankruptcy or dealing with collection agencies, but HESAA now has taken action that will benefit borrowers going forward, which ultimately will benefit the entire state."  

You caused many borrowers to feel they were not worth your time or were worthless.  I, however, refuse to allow another family to go through what HESAA has and continues to put my family through.  Should you fail to retract your press release and provide CORRECT information to the families of this State, then you will leave me with no other choice than to reach out to the many news outlet contacts I have and release this information to them myself.  Because families STILL have an opportunity to cancel their NJCLASS loans and consider more viable and affordable student loan financing options, time is of the essence.  

While I have lost all confidence in both of you, I do hope you will do right by the families of this State, sooner rather than later.  Either way, the families of this State with college-bound students will be be provided with details of the actual program HESAA is offering, as opposed to the program you described them as offering.

Assembly Dems Carrying Water For HESAA Devils

Below is commentary from a fierce fighter against HESAA who knows where various NJ politicians stand with regard to their private slush fund - oops I mean state-backed student loan lender. Read, learn, take action! Oppose Mila Jasey and Gary Schaer's spineless opportunism! 
Hey everyone,

Right now, from everything that I have read over the past few months, it appears these two assembly members have no intention in helping/assisting CURRENT NJCLASS borrowers. Mila Jasey pretty much summed it up when she stated, "Unfortunately, we cannot go back in time and assist the many NJCLASS borrowers who already have had the agonizing experience of declaring bankruptcy or dealing with collection agencies, but HESAA now has taken action that will benefit borrowers going forward, which ultimately will benefit the entire state."  Essentially, this results in a generation LOST!!

And, this statement alone speaks incredible volumes and shows what we are up against, especially with Schaer and Jasey  spearheading legislation that will only assist PROSPECTIVE borrowers. They have also introduced legislation in which they asked HESAA's executive director, Gabrielle Charette, to chair (unbelievably bad choice).  

Currently and technically, the legislature is off until September, but I do know that many Senators, such as Cunningham, Ruiz and Gordon are STILL fighting for us!! However, the Senate is not our problem--it is the assembly that needs to be convinced that WE--the CURRENT borrowers--cannot be forgotten---cannot be written off--need help.   I want you all to remember this when it comes time to voting because every single one of them is up for re-election.  We all need to education ourselves  as to what assembly members are in our districts. 
I would ask you all to write letters the old fashioned way (pen, envelope and stamp) to Schaer and Jasey.  Emails are not effective because they don't respond. Voice your disappointment in them as representatives of this State; tell them that they CAN assist CURRENT borrowers--remind them of what HESAA has put you through; provide a brief synopsis of your life living with this debt and/or default.  We need to make them listen--we need to make them help.  We need to remind them they are up for reelection.  Here are their addresses: 

Gary Schaer, 1 Howe Ave, Passaic, NJ 07055 and 

Mila Jasey, 511 Valley Street, Maplewood, New Jersey 07040.

Lastly, i think we should all start writing Gabrielle Charette, HESAA's Executive Director, as she has been going around saying that only 1% of their borrowers are unhappy and that they rarely get letters from borrowers unhappy with their NJCLASS loans--I believe this is a farce because there are over 60 people in this email chain and my son's petition on is 15 signatures shy of 1000--everyone needs to blast Gabrielle Charette with letters that summarize ALL the wrongs HESAA has done to them (I would suggest that a copy of your letter should also be sent to Senator Cunningham and the "cc" should be clearly noticed on the bottom of your letter) so that Charette knows Sen. Cunningham was copied.   Sen. Cunningham is the ONLY one that has publicly grilled Charette and Charette needs to keep fearing that.  

Here are the addresses: HESAA, Gabrielle Charette, Executive Director, 4 Quakerbridge Plaza, Hamilton, New Jersey 08619 and 

Sen. Cunningham's address:  1738 John F. Kennedy Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07305.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Primary Caretaker of a Child and Two Cancer Patients Harassed to "Breaking Point" by HESAA

This letter was sent by a borrower as a means of seeking redress from continual harassment by HESAA. It describes in explicit detail how no matter how hard you try they do not care and will offer no assistance. The current state of affairs is that they are lions devouring peoples incomes, hopes and dreams. They represent everything that is wrong with the student loan system and must be stopped. I hope the State Assembly “leaders” Jasey and Schaer read this because they have no idea how hard it is to deal with this rotten “Authority.” They aren’t doing nearly enough and need to get with Senators Cunningham and Ruiz and support HESAA Abolition.

This is must read for anyone who wants to know what’s still wrong with HESAA even if they made it possible for the parents of dead kids not to pay, which is a small fraction of borrowers. Now we need relief for those of us still living.


To whom it may concern:

You're likely a person just trying to get by, like me. I get it. But I am at my breaking point.

HESAA has been garnishing my minimum wages since March, I believe. Isn't that enough? I mean, this is after me spending YEARS trying to get assistance with ADJUSTING my payments, not even eliminating them. Just helping me to pay them, since I work a minimum wage job part time and I CAN'T afford to pay my entire month's salary of $600 a month to student loans. And please don't tell me to get another job - because I am the
primary caretaker of a child and of two cancer patient parents, so there is no time. I've begged HESAA to meet me halfway, but they refuse. So I finally said, whatever. Let them take 10% of my wages. BECAUSE I CAN'T DO ANYTHING ELSE. If I was sitting on a mountain of money, I'd give HESAA what I owe just to get them out of my life.
That being said, for the love of all that is good, STOP SENDING ME AND MY COSIGNER MAIL about my loans. Please. Do you honestly think that I can manage to pay the bill other than through wage garnishment? You have my social security number - look up how much I make. I don't understand your logic. You're already slowly bleeding me dry, but now you want to treat me
like I actually have OPTIONS? What are those options? Enlighten me. Oh wait, there aren't any. Why? Because your organization falsely advertises itself as being a state entity (with the implication of government backed repayment), only to rope in people and enslave them for 20-30 years of their lives, all while lying and saying "we have options." Consolidation? Tried - didn't qualify. THAT'S IT. That's your huge wonderful customer service capacity. That's what you've told me.

I'm already giving you what you said you'd take. So do me a favor, and STOP SENDING ME AND MY CANCER PATIENT COSIGNER FATHER LETTERS before I sue you for years of on going  harassment. Trust me, I've been working on a lawsuit.

And you know what's even worse about all this? I used to work for HESAA. I gave four years as a temp, in honest full time work, all the while promised a permanent job. I know all the word games that are played in your brochures, because guess what? I once wrote about half of them, along with press releases and op-ed articles for HESAA. And just like all of your other empty promises, that full time job never came to fruition either.
In a way, I'm glad, because at least I don't have to lie on a daily basis to earn a paycheck, however small because of HESAA.

Chances are no one will bother to respond to this, but I feel a lot
better now. If on the extremely slim chance you'd like to have an adult conversation about readjusting my monthly payments to reflect my disposable income, I'd gladly talk to you. Otherwise, have a nice day.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Single Mother's Bank Account Drained by NJCLASS Payments

I want to thank this writer for contacting me. When you take that first step and tell your story, you demonstrate you are not going to tolerate this terrible and unjust treatment. My hats off to everyone going through this and not silently suffering. We need to show up for ourselves and start organizing! Don't give up the fight!

All writers (unless otherwise noted) are kept anonymous for the protection of the borrowers against HESAA retaliation. Contact Mark:

Hello Mark-

I came accross your blog today, I was looking for negative reviews of the NJ Class loans. My two children are living the Hesaa nightmare, it is absolutely horrific. I had no idea when we took out these loans the hell they would bring. My son's monthly payment on an approximately $42,000 balance is in excess of $800.00 per month. He can't get a full-time job  he works only part-time at the moment and all of his money goes to pay student loans, his anxiety level is so high he feels that he will never get ahead and certainly not be able to move out of my house. It is so depressing. Just this week my daughter's bank account was drained by NJ Class she also can't make the monthly required payment. They don't care that they took all of her money and left her with nothing to pay her rent and buy food for her single mom household.

It is absolutely disgraceful that they are allowed to do this. Both of my kids have had endless phone calls with their representatives trying to negotiate lower payments or a refinance and nothing can be done. I will be reaching out to the senators that you mentioned in your blog. Something must be done!

Thanks very much for what you are doing.