Monday, October 27, 2014

The HESAA/NJClass Catch 22

 

Hi, Mark.  Love your site.  I have my own, strange story to tell:
I took out roughly $38,000 for 4 years through HESAA prior to graduating in 2008.  I was keeping up on the payments, and then in 2009, I went through a separation and subsequent divorce.  During this time, I had moved out of the house, and had no real permanent address (mostly sleeping on couches and staying with my parents) for about 9 months.  During this time, my (now) ex-wife would just throw out my mail, which included the bills from HESAA.  I figured it was an annoyance, but not a problem.  I could just call and check my account, right?
Wrong.  By the time I had found out about a delinquency on my FEDERAL loan, I made a call to HESAA to see if I was delinquent.  I was, and they said I could enroll in a program to get my account back on track and amended as if I hadn't missed a payment.  Turns out, they were only talking about the Federal-guaranteed loan, because when I was supposed to get a tax refund from NJ a few months later, THAT'S when I started getting notices from the Law Office of Russel Goldman that I owed money and had to pay immediately.
Fortunately, I was able to get another local attorney, Veitengruber Law, to bargain on my behalf.  Instead of my normal $98/mo payment, I went to $250/mo to $400/mo and now have to pay $500/mo.  Also, after 3 years of paying this arrangement, I'm being forced to apply for loans to pay off the balance that I know I'll get rejected for JUST so I can show that I'm trying to get them their money.  Every month, I have to show a new rejection and get another mark against my already low credit score.  $13,000 left to go, and I'm still looking at a 2-year repayment period.
It's very Catch-22. I get rejected for loans because of an outstanding delinquency, which is what I need the loan to repay.

7 comments:

  1. Russel Goldman is also the attorney we are dealing with regarding my son's NJCLASS loans. However, he happened to violate the FDCPA by demanding an attorney fee in the balance he claims is owed. HESAA collection attorneys work off a retainer agreement and only get paid a percentage of the amount they collect; albeit the collection fee can be up to 30%. However, he demanded $22,100 in attorney fees to his demand--NOT ALLOWED....cha ching for us because there is a case on point that you can find here: http://nj.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.20140123_0000102.DNJ.htm/qx
    I am making an appointment to see this attorney ASAP....also, I am in the process of hiring an attorney to fight the lawsuit. I will keep you guys up to date. However, Chris Christie will be on 101.5 tomorrow taking questions---bring them on...

    ReplyDelete
  2. My daughter and I are dealing with this too but with a firm called Solomon and Solomon and they have been sued by the state of NY by Gov Cuomo for their practices. I received a class action suit against them recently that I will sign on to. They are charging 22%. HESAA has confiscated by NJ Tax return for 2 years now and I don't know what to do. My daughter is making payment but they want more and more from us. How do I deal with this? Can anyone HELP!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Val,

      I've been dealing with the same company for a couple years now and it seems that trying to negotiate with them is impossible! They have ruined mine and my dad's (he's a cosigner on a few of the loans) credit and I have more anxiety over dealing with them than anything else. They've filed lawsuits and everything even though I've made payments bc they want more at once. I don't know what to do anymore! Just thought I'd write to a fellow borrower dealing with Solomon to say you're not alone.

      -L

      Delete
  3. It's a shame I don't see anybody taking responsibility for money they borrowed. Yes the cost of college is absolutely ridiculous. Frankly I think they should be taking a hard look at that. But I don't understand why people think when they have financial issues they don't have to pay their student loans. Everybody has struggles. Sometimes small sometimes larger. I've been there. But a lender has the right to expect to be paid. No credit card company, mortgage lender or auto lender is just going to sit back and let their customers pay when they're ready to, so why does everybody think a student loan lender should?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I pay my nj class loans....every month, on time, more than the minimum. They hold checks (so that more interest accrued), misapply funds, hand up or are rude when you contact them to fix their accounting errors, don't return calls or emails, I have had their reps laugh at me, lie to me and tell me I'm at fault when I have proof my bank delivered the payment 4 days previous and it still isn't applied to my account. Hesaa is awful even to people who pay. I am proof of that. I have filed complaints with the better business bureau, written to the governor and called and asked for supervisors. No one follows up, there is not accountability and somehow I am at fault for paying them on time every month, with more that I owe. Hesaa needs to be investigated and held to some standard

      Delete
  4. I just lost my job recently and had a death in the family that left me quite in the hole. I tried arranging a payment plan with HESAA and they ignored my repeated calls. When I finally got through to them they sent me a packet to fill out stating that I was unemployed and had no disposable income, I have a young son, which when you're unemployed, makes your budget even tighter if not almost impossible. They rejected my paperwork stating that they don't do payment arrangements. Then why send the paperwork that clearly states they do payment arrangements for extenuating circumstances such as loss of job? Now the loan is in default and I spoke with an attorney who gave me two options, file for a special Chapter 7 extenuating circumstances hearing where the judge may see my inability to pay and discharge that student loan and possibly others that may go in default or just ride it out because I have zero disposable income after household expenses including my son, so they wouldn't be able to garnish much of anything at all.

    I find it funny that people lambast those that cannot pay their student loans for whatever reason, but they are ok with businesses who do it all the time and call it restructuring bankruptcy. They basically discharge all of their big debt and continue with business as usual. Well guess what, we as individuals need to restructure our finances as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are absolutely right. Unless you deal with the horrible companies then u know. I just refinanced with a new company and it was one of the happiest days of my life. Yes! I am still in debt but now i have such a better company who isnt a complete ass when i call them and they are fair and homest unlike them rats. Fuck HESAA NJCLASS

      Delete