• Report: #41658

Complaint Review: Ameritrain and SLM Financial

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  • Submitted: Wed, January 15, 2003
  • Updated: Fri, April 04, 2003

  • Reported By:Charlotte North Carolina
Ameritrain and SLM Financial
1003 West 9th Ave King O' Prussia, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

Ameritrain and SLM Financial sneaky dishonest ripoff scams King of Prussia Pennsylvania

*Consumer Suggestion: Don'r Let Them Intimidate You

*Consumer Comment: They are still lying to you...

*Author of original report: They Said I am Trapped!

*Author of original report: They Said I am Trapped!

*Author of original report: They Said I am Trapped!

*Author of original report: They Said I am Trapped!

*Consumer Suggestion: Unbelievable

*Author of original report: I Got It On Tape

*Consumer Suggestion: Nope, They're Sure Not Supposed to Be Doing That

*Author of original report: SLM trying to get me attend another school

*Consumer Comment: SLM is Lying to You

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I had my resume on monster.com and was contacted by a Joe Eustace of Ameritrain, who called me for an interview per say. When I got there he offered me a position that he knew I wasn't qualified and told me if I could pass this hard test based on networking and telecommunication, he would reconsider the offer. So I sat in the room for about 45 minutes taking this difficult test. Well as expected I failed.

Joe told me, that I did better than expected, and if I would take one of their classes I would pass with no problems. He said they had a program where you were guaranteed a job if you could take the MCSE and A+ and Net+ within a year. He said even if I signed up for one session and couldn't attend I could sign up for another with no problems. He gave me the application for SLM financial to see if I qualified for the loan, but I couldn't get it alone.

Joe seemed very concerned and kept giving me options to get the loan approved. He would call every other day, just to follow-up with me. So I got someone to co-sign with me on the loan, and everything was on the way. As soon as I signed that paperwork, Joe Eustace never called me again. When I called him, he would be busy, and say he would return my calls, but never did. From that point I started getting a bad vibe.

I signed up for the bootcamp session for A+ and Net+, which was in session from June 24th- July 12th. Around that I time I began having family problems, and financial problems, so was unable to attend. I tried to contact Joe Eustace by email telling him that I would not be able to attend, but he did not respond. I got a little worried about that. I wasn't that worry though because Joe told me upfront if I had to choose a different session it would be no problem as long as it's within a year.

After being ignored by Joe Eustace I called SLM financial and told them of the situation with my not attending the session I was supposed to, and being dissatisfied with Ameritrain's service. They told me to get in contact with someone at Ameritrain. I called and called but could never get an answer and no answering machine.(when I first decided to attend Ameritrain they had an answering machine.) One day I finally got in touch with one of the instructors named Steve.

I told Steve my situation about not wanting to attend anymore because of being dissatisfied with the service and wanting a refund. He said he would forward my name to the refund department and I should hear something in a few days, but never heard a thing. I gave him two days or so, and then called again, but could not get an answer on the phone again, instead got a fast busy signal like the phone was disconnected.

I went to the Ameritrain site in Charlotte and spoke with Steve again, and re-explained the situation. He said he didn't forget, and that Steve Govia will call me back, and also gave me his number to call him. I called Steve Govia, and he instructed me to send him a letter stating my situation, which I did.

After I sent the letter I gave him maybe a week to respond. When I finally realized he wasnt going to respond I called him again. I spoke with a receptionist that told me that Steve Govia no longer worked for the company, and she never sau my letter cross her desk. She told me upfront that she didn't think that they would respond, nor give me a refund.

I then sent the same letter I sent before certified mail and got a certified mail receipt so I know they received it. No one ever responded to my letter. I still have the certified mail receipt.

I wasn't making payments on the loan because I wasn't using the service, so why pay for the loan. SLM got in touch with me one day and explained to that Ameritrain was closing, but I would still be responsible for the loan, unless I get Ameritrain to refund them their money. I even faxed over to them the letter that I sent Ameritrain, per Kathy's (manager) request. She told me not to worry about the situation, and to keep records of my payments til the matter is resolved, but all she was doing was trying to squeeze a payment out of me, and even threatened my job at Citifinancial, saying "I know this wouldn't look too good on your credit, working at Citifinancial."

I kept calling SLM financial and then someone finally told me that I would be responsible for that loan, and a discharge is not an option. She put me into the manager's voicemail where I left my contact information for her to call me about the situation, but she would not return my call.

I really am disgusted with SLM financial because they have not tried to help me with this situation and are just as much at fault as Ameritrain. They gave out student loans for an uncertified school, when they should have done the research on Ameritrain before taking people's money. That doesn't say too much for SLM financial, what type of institution would do such a thing. They care nothing about customer satisfaction.

They even offered to send me to a different school since Ameritrain closed and said since I'm responsible for the loan anyway I might as well attend. I did not want to attend because I trusted the first time that they were signing off on a worthy and legit school, but did not; why be scammed again? I did not ask to go to that school, I was trying to go to Ameritrain. Who's to say that school was certified. Then if something would come about and we could get a discharge, they would try to say I received my services and need to pay my loan anyway.

I do not want your services anymore SLM, Sallie Mae Foundation, or any of the other affiliates.

Monique
Charlotte, North Carolina
U.S.A.

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Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on SLM Financial

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/15/2003 07:41 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Ameritrain-and-SLM-Financial/King-O-Prussia-Pennsylvania-19406/Ameritrain-and-SLM-Financial-sneaky-dishonest-ripoff-scams-King-of-Prussia-Pennsylvania-41658. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Don'r Let Them Intimidate You

AUTHOR: Marshall - (U.S.A.)

Monique:

I don't mean to keep badgering you on this point, but I must tell you you're not alone. Over 100 lawsuits from AmeriTrain students have just last week been filed against SLM.

There is no such order from NC Department of Education for you to pay the loan. That is just an outright lie that she told you. Her lauching into that accusation about trying to get out of your loan is an emotional pressure tactic she's using on you. You know that that bit about you not wanting to go to school is another lie. Of course you want to go to school.....you want to go to a school of YOUR choosing, not Sallie Mae's, and you have every right.

She's lied to you about your contract too. Go and look at your promissory note. Look for this wording:

ANY HOLDER OF THIS CONSUMER CREDIT CONTRACT IS SUBJECT TO ALL CLAIMS AND DEFENSES WHICH THE DEBTOR COULD ASSERT AGAINST THE SELLER OF THE GOODS OR SERVICES OBTAINED PURSUANT HERE TO OR WITH THE PROCEEDS HEREOF. RECOVERY HEREUNDER BY THE DEBTOR SHALL NOT EXCEED AMOUNTS PAID BY THE DEBTOR HEREUNDER.

This is called the FTC Holder Rule. In plain English, it means simply that you have an absolute legal defense against further payment, and Sallie Mae knows this.

As far as it being your fault for attending an unlicensed school.....that too is another lie. True, you assumed the risk by choosing AmeriTrain...but Sallie Mae assumed the same risk and deserves no special treatment. Beyond that, North Carolina law specifically states that banks are not to arrange loans with unlicensed schools. They know AmeriTrain was not licensed, they broke the law and arranged loans anyways, so they have no right at all to any tuition money they've taken from AmeriTrain students in N.C.

I know it's difficult, but you must fight this, otherwise Sallie Mae will make your life a living hell. Believe me, I've seen and heard about what they've done to people who don't fight back, and it's not pleasant. What you're getting now is just a sample of what's to come.

Please contact me and I can provide you with assistance if you want it.

I authorize Rip-Off Report to provide my contact information to Monique at her request.
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#2 Consumer Comment

They are still lying to you...

AUTHOR: J - (U.S.A.)

They are lying to you, the NC dept of Education would not have made such an order (ask them to prove it) this is false in every way. The fact that the loan is unsecured means only that there is no collateral (like a car in a car loan for example) and therefore they have nothing to take away from you - which is the reason they want to scare you. They cannot garnish your wages without suing you in court, and winning. Tell them to go ahead and try - they won't do it because they know what they are doing is illegal. But hey, it sounds really scary and they count on that making you back down. Dont give them a cent.
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#3 Author of original report

They Said I am Trapped!

AUTHOR: Monique - (U.S.A.)

I spoke to a representative at Sallie Mae today and she told me that if my loan was a governmentloan it would be possible to get a discharge, but because the loan was she said an "unsecured loan" I am still responsible for the loan by the order of the NC Dept of Education. She accused me of trying to find the easy way out of my loan by trying to get a discharge. She said if I was really wanting to go the school I would attend the other school they offered for me to attend.

They said even if I do not go to the teach out and are refusing to pay they are going to begin the process of garnishing my wages and the wages of my coborrower. She said it was stated in my contract that if the school closes down I would still be responsible to pay the loan.

They said it was my fault for trying to attend an unlicensed school, and they are at a loss as well. I am not understanding how if they are forcing the students to pay the money anyway.
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#4 Author of original report

They Said I am Trapped!

AUTHOR: Monique - (U.S.A.)

I spoke to a representative at Sallie Mae today and she told me that if my loan was a governmentloan it would be possible to get a discharge, but because the loan was she said an "unsecured loan" I am still responsible for the loan by the order of the NC Dept of Education. She accused me of trying to find the easy way out of my loan by trying to get a discharge. She said if I was really wanting to go the school I would attend the other school they offered for me to attend.

They said even if I do not go to the teach out and are refusing to pay they are going to begin the process of garnishing my wages and the wages of my coborrower. She said it was stated in my contract that if the school closes down I would still be responsible to pay the loan.

They said it was my fault for trying to attend an unlicensed school, and they are at a loss as well. I am not understanding how if they are forcing the students to pay the money anyway.
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#5 Author of original report

They Said I am Trapped!

AUTHOR: Monique - (U.S.A.)

I spoke to a representative at Sallie Mae today and she told me that if my loan was a governmentloan it would be possible to get a discharge, but because the loan was she said an "unsecured loan" I am still responsible for the loan by the order of the NC Dept of Education. She accused me of trying to find the easy way out of my loan by trying to get a discharge. She said if I was really wanting to go the school I would attend the other school they offered for me to attend.

They said even if I do not go to the teach out and are refusing to pay they are going to begin the process of garnishing my wages and the wages of my coborrower. She said it was stated in my contract that if the school closes down I would still be responsible to pay the loan.

They said it was my fault for trying to attend an unlicensed school, and they are at a loss as well. I am not understanding how if they are forcing the students to pay the money anyway.
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#6 Author of original report

They Said I am Trapped!

AUTHOR: Monique - (U.S.A.)

I spoke to a representative at Sallie Mae today and she told me that if my loan was a governmentloan it would be possible to get a discharge, but because the loan was she said an "unsecured loan" I am still responsible for the loan by the order of the NC Dept of Education. She accused me of trying to find the easy way out of my loan by trying to get a discharge. She said if I was really wanting to go the school I would attend the other school they offered for me to attend.

They said even if I do not go to the teach out and are refusing to pay they are going to begin the process of garnishing my wages and the wages of my coborrower. She said it was stated in my contract that if the school closes down I would still be responsible to pay the loan.

They said it was my fault for trying to attend an unlicensed school, and they are at a loss as well. I am not understanding how if they are forcing the students to pay the money anyway.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Unbelievable

AUTHOR: Marshall - (U.S.A.)

Monique:

The students organized here in Virginia have done research. Tech Skills is actually another name for AmeriTrain. For all intents and purposes, it's the same "school". It's a set-up, coordinated by SLM. That's why the person you're speaking with says he got the number from the bank.

SLM's astounding claim that your loan was never approved sounds to me like yet another strong-arm coercive tactic. What they're saying to you is: go with Tech Skills, or else they'll drop you (and continue to obligate you to pay the rest of your "loan"). They're trying to force you into going with Tech Skills. A few months ago, I would have been aghast at what you're saying, but after all the other things I've seen SLM do, I'm not terribly surprised.

SLM's claim that your loan was never approved is, of course, 100% Grade A horse dung. Of course they approved your loan when you signed on, if they hadn't, they would have notified you. The loan had to be approved before SLM could obligate you to make payments. So what you have here is SLM in the incredible position of saying that you're obligated to make payments on a loan that they never approved in the first place!!!

See what SLM is doing? You just can't negotiate with these criminals. I strongly urge you to get an attorney. Also, please contact me. We have an organization of students that can assist you. [Editors of Rip-Off Report, please provide Monique with my E-mail address].

That letter SLM sent you stating that your loan was never approved is the perfect exit for you. You have written testimony straight from the bank that your loan was never in force. Present that in court, and there's no way they can obligate you.

If only the FBI or Congress knew what Sallie Mae has been doing....
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#8 Author of original report

I Got It On Tape

AUTHOR: Monique - (U.S.A.)

I have saved on my cell phone a message that Tech Skills left for me stating that they received my number from Amertrain, and the name of the guy I'm suppose to be speaking to about attending their school. He clearly states that he got my number from SLM financial.

I also have a letter that SLM financial sent to me stating I wasn't approved for the loan that I originally signed for, and gave another option... It said unless I want my request to be closed I should respond within 20 days. When it says for my request to be closed does that mean the offer is finalized or does that mean that the loan offer is no longer good? If it means that the offer would no longer be good my loan should never have gone through, because I did not respond.
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

Nope, They're Sure Not Supposed to Be Doing That

AUTHOR: Marshall - (U.S.A.)

Monique:

Your instincts are all correct. SLM is trying to funnel you into an arrangement where they can keep legal hold on your money.

Tech Skills is another scam operation, like AmeriTrain. My research has indicated that both schools (and others) are in reality fronts in a racket created and controlled by SLM. That's why SLM went to the extraordinary and grossly inappropriate length of trying to get you to go to that particular school, because the bank pulls all the strings.

SLM pulled a similar trick with former Solid Computer Decisions (SCD) students. SCD was yet another school associated with SLM that abruptly closed when SLM's multiple disbursement policy took effect. When SCD closed, leaving 2000 students in the lurch, SLM arranged teach-outs for them. Take a look at the teach out agreement SLM had those students sign at this link:

http://www.cpcctraining.org/
computertraining/SCD/Exam%2
0Reimbursement.htm

Pay particular note to Items 3 & 4 of the agreement. Item 3 was included by SLM's sleazy lawyers to get you to reaffirm your legal commitment to repay the loans. They put that in because they know the loans are bogus, and they want evidence to support themselves in court. Item 4 was included so that they can limit the venue for any legal action against them strictly to the court in Marlton, NJ, so they can manipulate which laws take precedence. Also, if you look at your SLM promissory note, you'll notice an arbitration clause and another clause that prevents you from joining in a class action suit against SLM. Those are designed to limit your legal options in the event the scam is revealed and you decide to sue.

SLM's lawyers rig every thing you sign with wording designed to entrap you. Whatever happens, don't sign anything they send you.

Yes, you should call them to tell them to stop harassing you. No, they most certainly are not supposed to be giving out your number to other schools; that's grossly unethical conduct on their part. And the time that the SLM person threatened your job at CitiFinancial was an attempt at outright coercion, and may be criminal.

As far as the AmeriTrain's "Guarantee Hire" program goes, it's everything but guaranteed. You never would have received a job, no matter what happened, because AmeriTrain didn't have one to give you. The hire program was yet another scam, run within AmeriTrain. It worked like this: you pay an additional fee to AmeriTrain, they put you through a "training" program, but then set the standards for completion so ridiculously high that it's impossible to pass. They get the fee money you pay them and you get nothing.

You can't trust SLM, and they're scheming you. Get a lawyer to fight back.
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#10 Author of original report

SLM trying to get me attend another school

AUTHOR: Monique - (U.S.A.)

About a week ago I received a message on my answering machine for me to call a guy at tech skills, which is a school that Ameritrain is trying to get me to attend in place of Ameritrain. I do not want to attend the school for the simple fact that I trusted them the first time to supply money to a school which ended up being unlicensed. I do not want to take that chance again. It apparent that they do not research the schools that they supply money for, or just don't care about consumers being satisfied, and deliberately cheating us out of our money.

I was suppose to be going through Ameritrain's guarantee hire program in which I would have become an employee of Ameritrain once completed. I do not have that option with tech skills, so why should I attend the school. I was CHEATED. I had a goal in mind which was to get the certifications required and join Ameritrain's team. Even though I got cheated out of my money, I always say everything happens for a reason. I'm glad I did not get hired with a dishonest and heartless company like that; that place could have ruined my name without me even knowing it was coming. I would have been an innocent bystander, trying to make a way for myself.

Should I call SLM financial and tell them not to have any schools call me trying to offer to me take classes with their schools? Was SLM Financial suppose to give my number out anyway?
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#11 Consumer Comment

SLM is Lying to You

AUTHOR: Marshall - (U.S.A.)

SLM is lying to you, just like they've been lying to all former AmeriTrain students.

AmeriTrain never obtained a license to operate in North Carolina. Under N.C. law, all contracts and promissory notes arranged with unlicensed schools are "null and void". Here's a copy of N.C. statute 115D-97:

"All contracts entered into by proprietary business, proprietary technical, proprietary trade, or correspondenceschools, with students or prospective students, and all promissory notes or other evidence of indebtedness taken in lieu
of cash payments by such schools shall be null and void unless such schools are duly licensed as required by this Article."

SLM is well aware of this law and what it means, just like they're aware of similar laws in all the other states in which AmeriTrain operated. Just like in North Carolina and other states where AmeriTrain was unlicensed, they deliberately ignored the Virginia unenforceability statue in Virginia when Solid Computer Decisions (SCD) also closed, just like AmeriTrain did.

SLM is also deliberately ignoring the FTC Holder Rule, which holds loans unenforceable when the seller of the services disappears.

On top of that, SLM keeps giving the students different dates on when their policy of multiple disbursement of tuition funds was supposed to take effect. But, of course, the date they give you will always be AFTER you signed on, so they can continue to hold you to the loan. Nevermind the fact that by paying out in one huge lump sum, they're the ones who caused this mess in the first place.

As far as the harrasment goes, you're not alone there either. Back in September, SLM granted Virginia students a 60 deferment on payments, until our teach-out option was completed. Sixty days came and went, no teach-out in sight, so I refused to pay. SLM called me no less than six times in December to demand payment, which I refused. Now, suddenly, SLM generously (note sarcasm) grants us a 90-day deferment. The question I have is: if they knew all along the teach-out wasn't finalized, what was up with that period there where they were trying to squeeze a payment out of me?

I invite you to search the Net for an article titled "A Sordid Tale of Corporate Greed: Loan Company Caught Fleecing Students in Several States". After reading the article, you'll see what SLM has been doing. Basically, they're running a scam operation from start to finish, with AmeriTrain and other schools as fronts.

I also invite you to join the AmeriTrain student organization fighting the corruption here, if you've not already done so. Because of necessary protections administered by Rip-Off Report at this site, I can't provide you with the specific name, but I'm sure you can find it doing a Net search.

I'd also find a lawyer too. SLM won't stop coercing you to pay unless you do. There are at least 30 lawsuits in the works against SLM at the moment, with more to come.
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