I went back to college after having a child. Our family of three has an income less than $30,000, so the college arranged for me to have a financial aid. I had a loan for more than $15,000 for one year of college that was split between Sallie Mae and PHEAA. I made the monthly payments of $50 for the first year, then payments got "lost".
There were problems that could not be resolved with Sallie Mae or PHEAA without an attorney. We were forced to file bankruptcy and the court sold our home. They paid all of our debts including Sallie Mae and PHEAA. We got what was left which wasn't much and now we live in a crappy fixer-upper home. The bankruptcy was completed in October 2006 and we thought our problems were solved.
We kept our old phone number and got harrassing calls from ECMC. I gave them my new address and requested a detailed explanation as to why they thought I owed them money. PHEAA turned over our debt to ECMC which is a collections agency. PHEAA was paid in full and we have the cancelled check for proof. ECMC doesn't care and continues to demand money, mess up our credit and steal our tax refunds!
Last year I filed an Injured Spouse Allocation form with the IRS for my husband to get his federal income tax refund that was claimed by ECMC to offset a debt. We managed to get our 2006 refund back after several months. I filed the form again this year for our 2007 tax refund (we planned to use to pay our property taxes). After months of communication, the IRS said they "may issue a partial refund of $705" next month pending our dispute resolution. We may never get our refund and we need that money now!
ECMC refuses to accept our proof by phone, fax and mail. They were rude to my attorney and myself. I gave them chances to correct their mistake which was probably the fault of PHEAA, but since they refuse to fix it, I think they just want my money and don't care about what is fair or correct. See http://www.studentloanjustice.org/problem.htm where this is a common problem.
I have reported ECMC to many organizations including the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection who said they need to see a pattern of wrong-doing. I feel I have provided enough information to show that I am one of MANY people cheated by the loan programs and collections departments. I do not blame the IRS for referring our refund to a state collections agency, but I blame ECMC and PHEAA.
DO NOT GET A STATE LOAN! They will lose your payments and make you pay for education for the rest of your life!
If you or someone you know can help me with this problem, please contact me. My attorney, the trustee and other people can verify that this information is true.