This company provides student loans to students as well as retrieves unpaid student loans from unsuspecting people.
I came into contact with this company 2 years ago, long before I knew about this site.
I had student loans out to another company about 15 years ago. I had filed a bankruptcy back then with the student loans enclosed. Apparently the loans never got paid off from the bankruptcy.
However my complaint is not that. The complaint is that ECMC apparently sometime in the last 10 years recieved my student loans from the orginating company. The amount they recieved was about $3200.00. After finally "finding" me two years ago (the student loans at this time were about 10 years old) the balance owed was $12733.00. This balance included interest and ECMC's "fees".
The way I found all this out was my employer sent me the garnishment papers that my wages were set to be garnished with information of the garnisher, two days AFTER I recieved the garnishment notice from my employer I recieved a letter from ECMC telling me they were garnishing my wages.
I called the general customer service line several times and finally spoke with someone after about 4 days. I asked them for the original loan records and any contact they had tried to make with me over the last ten years. I was told that I couldn't have the "orignal" loan records because they were recieved from another company and that all I could have were copies of the papers I signed.
Since I didn't have long to do anything I decided to contact a attorney. My garnishment hearing was coming up fast. Upon the request of my attorney I contacted ECMC again by certified mail asking for any paper work they had on the orignal loans, when ECMC recieved the unpaid loans, and any corrospondence they tried to have with me. My attorney or I never recieved any answers to the certified letter except for the orignal loan papers. All we can guess is that ECMC held on to them for close to 10 years accruing their fees and interst of 8%.
Then my attorney and I had a confernece call with Michelle at ECMC and Rosie Estrada with the US dept of education.
During this call my attorney asked several time why ECMC had contacted me over the last ten years. If they had I wouldn't be paying back $12733.00 dollars on a $3200.00 loan. The company representative essentially said that it was my job to tell them of my wherabouts. The attorney asked how I would know I needed to tell them since that loan apparently had not been paid off in the bankruptcy as I once thought. The company then backtracked and said they sent notifications to my existing address. We asked and they had a address from almost 18 years before that. Mind you I have lived in the same place for the last 13 years, had the same job for the last 9 years and I have other student loans I have been paying on for the last 10 years.
To make a long story short, my attorney asked if we could setup a payment program and was told sure, over and above the $300.00 we will be taking from her check.
Since I have been being garnished I have recieved two letters for other people with similar names threatening garnishment. The first letter I called ECMC and spoke with Michelle again, who basically was not only rude but especialy flippant. Her answer: we make mistakes. Well now I think I know why I never heard from them, some other Tammy xxxxx was recieving my letters. Makes you wonder if it is intinial or not.
The complaint is not because I didn't want to pay the loan off, if I had known about it I would have paid it, after all I am still paying on a much higher loan now.
The complaint is the company is rude, they choose not to work with you, it takes forever to get a response even with a attorney call on your behalf and they screw you out of more money then what you actually owe..
My fear is that I still have a year to pay (including federal tax that they take) but I am still accruing interest on the amount they say I owe. This interest has accrued over the last two years. Essentially I could be paying on this for a fair amount longer then the next year. They also take a flat fee of 10%, as this is what the goverment allows. They don't care if you can afford it or not. If you don't fall into the "goverment" guidlelines of reasons not to garnish then basically they don't care.
They say that their fees were close to $4000.00. I am not sure what for, apparently for sending out bogus letters to address's that don't exist. You would think the company would be able to find the people they are harrassing, they obviously found my employeer why couldn't they find me?
Belle Plaine, Minnesota