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January 25th, 2013

Epic Student Loan Advice: MUST Read for All Students & Graduates

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(Photo Source: SalFalko)

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“Debt is the slavery of the free.”
—Publilius Syrus

A Startling Revelation

Almost one year after graduating law school, Gary sat at his desk, mentally preparing himself for the tedious task of sorting through a large stack of motions, petitions, and other correspondence sent to the judge for whom he worked. It was the seventh month of his clerkship, a job which involved researching and preparing lengthy opinions disposing of issues in a broad array of civil cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, contract disputes, insurance coverage, and zoning issues.

Gary was confident that he had seen it all, at least until he came across a motion asking the court to enter judgment against the defendant in the amount of $250,000.00. This was a pretty common request—if a defendant does not respond to a lawsuit within a certain amount of time, the plaintiff can ask the court for a default judgment. Afterwards, the plaintiff can begin collecting on that judgment by levying on bank accounts and property or by garnishing the defendant’s wages from his or her job.

But this motion was different. The defendant was a recent college graduate who had taken out $200,000.00 in student loans but failed to make regular payments. The plaintiff was an infamous corporation that that buys the debts of others at a discount then viciously seeks legal recourse against the debtor to collect whatever they can. The amount requested included $50,000.00 in attorney’s fees.

“Oh shit,” Gary exclaimed in disbelief.

Disturbed, Gary logged on to his own Sallie Mae account. Although he had been faithfully paying the monthly required amount on his loans, he realized that the principal had not budged. In fact, the principal on many of his loans reflected a greater amount than what he had borrowed.

Gary realized that, although he was extremely knowledgeable about the law, he did not fully understand his student loans or general financial situation. Gary vowed to get to the bottom of this.

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