On March 6, 2006, A female representative from Pioneer Credit called me at work (another debt collection agency) which I fully informed the rep of and advised that I can't have calls at works and advised them not to call my place of employment again she still continued with the call trying to verify my social which you have to do before continuing with giving specific account info. I never verified, but I did say that I wouldn't be able to make any type of payment arrangement right now (which does show that you are aware of the debt) and again repeated that I was at work and that it was an inconvienient time. She said well what time will you be home advised that I don't have a home number she said we have one listed, asked to have it repeated back and it was my cell phone. I then advised her that that is not a home phone that it is a cell and that they cannot contact me on that (you can not collect a debt by incurring debt FDCPA) Then a Male supervisor got on the phone.
Advised him that at this time there is no payment option available he restated the nature of the debt and somehow my $42k debt turned into $66K which is completley amazing in 3 year time since i just reconsolidated so if they try to tell you that somehow they don't over state loan amounts and they have other options, of course they do, but unless you're making $35-$50k per year they aren't really any good payment options. But a warning for Pioneer and some assistance to those who don't know about Debt Collection
A) Even if they make mention of knowing about the debt you still have to verify you are talking to the correct party (that's why most phone calls are not recorded and even if they are the tapes end up being lost)
B)If you tell a collection agency to stop calling work They Must STOP! (So please call me again at work it's been recorded by our phone lines and by a third party monitoring the conversation)
PS if someone tells you they work at a collection agency you MIGHT want to pay attention because most collection agencies have attornies on staff! HINT HINT
C)If you do have a student loan in default YES they can garnish your wages, but if it's not directly from the US Department of Education (who can garnish up to 15%) They are a collection agency and can only garnish up to 10% http://www.ombudsman.ed.gov/garnishment.html
Just to let the public know who are not aware of debt collection practice. Make sure you record or have a second party on the line, If they do call work or call home who can be a witness to the call if you do feel like you are being harrassed, also in all honesty if you do not identify yourself or acknowledge the debt they should not be giving you any account information and if properly recorded and witnessed will be a violation of FDCPA.
Also companies like Pioneer work on what is called a fee, so they can threaten that they are with the government, They Are Not! They are a collection agency who make money through a fee scale, and when doing collections on a fee scale for student loans, the fee scale they have to hit to make Bonus is incredibly large and if they want 10% from a garnishement on a person who makes $25.000 a year than that's fine, it's more laughable than anything if you do the math the garnishment is far more less than any payment option they may offer, and while that might be bad on your credit, if your credit is already down the drain (not saying that it can't be fixed) then it's more of laugh for you and a nuisance for them. So if may wages were to get garnished It would be annoying, but 10% on $25,000 a year hey have at it because most of the employees working at the company now if it's still in existence for 26.4 years won't benefit from the garnishment.
Just a friendly Heads up for everyone.