Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Smacketh of the Down Commenceth

Originally posted 03/10/2007:

To whom it may concern:

As of this date, I am requesting your company to cease all telephone communication with me if you are unable to limit your calls to once every 24 hours. I have been receiving upwards of 8 calls per day regarding the status of my loans with Sallie Mae Services. This is unacceptable, and will stop immediately.

According to Federal and Oregon state collection compliance laws, any collection services done by any company to attempt to collect any debt may do so, as long as the person or persons owing said debt is not harassed. Harassment is referred to in legal terms pertaining to behaviors that are found threatening or disturbing, and beyond those that are sanctioned by society.

While it is understood that Sallie Mae services is a first party collector, Federal law prohibits ANY collector from calling more than three times per day to attempt to collect a debt. Oregon state law further protects its inhabitants by limiting the call to ONCE every twenty four hours.

FDCPA (the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) broadly defines debt collectors as "any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another.”.

§ 803. Definitions [15 USC 1692a]

(4) The term "creditor" means any person who offers or extends credit creating a debt or to whom a debt is owed, but such term does not include any person to the extent that he receives an assignment or transfer of a debt in default solely for the purpose of facilitating collection of such debt for another.

The following, notated here in bold, has been done by YOUR company to me over a period of 8 months. It is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated further.

§ 806. Harassment or abuse [15 USC 1692d]
A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.
(2) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural consequence of which is to abuse the hearer or reader.
(3) The publication of a list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except to a consumer reporting agency or to persons meeting the requirements of section 603(f) or 604(3)1 of this Act.
(4) The advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce payment of the debt.
(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.
(6) Except as provided in section 804, the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller's identity.

§ 808. Unfair practices [15 USC 1692f]
A debt collector may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The collection of any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law.
(2) The acceptance by a debt collector from any person of a check or other payment instrument postdated by more than five days unless such person is notified in writing of the debt collector's intent to deposit such check or instrument not more than ten nor less than three business days prior to such deposit.
(3) The solicitation by a debt collector of any postdated check or other postdated payment instrument for the purpose of threatening or instituting criminal prosecution.
(4) Depositing or threatening to deposit any postdated check or other postdated payment instrument prior to the date on such check or instrument.
(5) Causing charges to be made to any person for communications by concealment of the true propose of the communication. Such charges include, but are not limited to, collect telephone calls and telegram fees.
(6) Taking or threatening to take any nonjudicial action to effect dispossession or disablement of property if --
(A) there is no present right to possession of the property claimed as collateral through an enforceable security interest;
(B) there is no present intention to take possession of the property; or
(C) the property is exempt by law from such dispossession or disablement.
(7) Communicating with a consumer regarding a debt by post card.
(8) Using any language or symbol, other than the debt collector's address, on any envelope when communicating with a consumer by use of the mails or by telegram, except that a debt collector may use his business name if such name does not indicate that he is in the debt collection business.

I have been advised by representatives of your company that you are able to call as many times a day as you “feel like it” - that since you are your own collection company, and a private agency, you are able to do anything you want and are not governed by federal and state laws. I have been additionally advised that, as I was unable to make payments, it should be expected that I will get harassing phone calls, and only by making payments of an unreasonable amount will I end them. I was called a dead-beat and a liar, and was told that I had no rights in regards to my debt with Sallie Mae Services.

At one point I attempted to work with your company and file a forbearance, understanding that I would pay $50 at a specified future date - only to find that the payment was attempted prior to that date, which caused it to bounce, and then caused an overdraft fee with my bank. When called about it, I was told that Sallie Mae was allowed to attempt payment when they felt like it, and did not have to follow through with the date as originally promised.

I have been told that, even after I have filed a forbearance and a payment plan with your company, the collection calls will continue to come through to me until payment is received. I have been told that there is NO WAY to remove my phone number from the automated calling system, and I must simply accept that I will be contacted repeatedly until I repay my debt to Sallie Mae.

I was told at one point that if I paid less than the minimum monthly amount due, Sallie Mae would not accept it, and I would be “in trouble”. I was threatened with further harassment until I was able to pay the minimum monthly amount due on my private loan, and that Sallie Mae had the right to expect that and ONLY that - and that it would be the only way to stop the harassing phone calls.

I am hereby placing Sallie Mae on notice that I will do everything within my power to notify state and federal lawmakers of your inability to follow the fair debt collection act, and of the actions that your employees have made on your behalf, and in your name.

By receiving this fax, Sallie Mae Services hereby agrees that they will no longer contact me via telephone more than once every 24 hours.

Further - the person or persons contacting me will do so in a polite, positive, manner, with a willingness to work with my finances, and will not threaten, harass, jeer, use epithets, or otherwise demean me based upon past payment history with Sallie Mae Services.

This letter will be sent to both Sallie Mae Services complaints department, to Sallie Mae Services Legal department, to the Oregon State Better Business Bureau, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act department, and the Federal Student Loan Ombudsman’s office for a complaint filing.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

I have the same problem with sallie mae... can you help?
Can I sue salliemae?

Brian said...

I can't believe I'm reading this tonight because for the last 2 hours I've been on the phone discussing this same issue with Sallie Mae. I have the same harassment and have been told the same thing: that the FDCPA does NOT apply to them because they are a private lender. I was hung up on twice, sent a "charge-off" notice when charge offs are done after 180 days (I'm only 56 days past due) and get around 4 calls a day, sometimes more. This, all considering the fact that I spoke with them and had them note in their system 2 weeks ago that I would make the payment for forebearance by Aug 11. So even with this in their system, the harassment continues. It's unbelieveable the rights that this company is violating. Does ANYONE have any suggestions on how to correct this?

J Ken said...

Ditto! I'm getting ready to go on a tirade of such proportions myself. I'm finding it very ironic that my google searches are turning up such relevant responses to the same tactics I've been dealing with.

BC said...

As of this month my husband and I have started receiving multiple phone calls from Sallie Mae as well. Their calls are coming 3-4 times per day, and when I answer the call when at home, I am put directly into a que "on hold". Often the call is never answered because they auto phone service indicates their calls are too heavy to answer my phone call...crazy when it's them calling me directly about a deliquent student loan payment. Strangely enough our daughter is still in school full time and yet they feel we are in default of paying her student loan as a co-signer. The phone calls are making me ill over the stress of not getting any resolution to this problem. Our daughter has provided proof of her full time status multiple times within this month and has been told that the phone calls will stop when they receive the paperwork as proof of her full time status. However, this has not been the case. What can we do legally about this?

Anonymous said...

i had the same problem.a guy named john rocco and a lady name teresa..i told them to get f ed

Anonymous said...

Several years ago I cosigned for the last loan my son needed to finish his schooling. He had several prior loans with Sallie Mae. After a couple of years of his getting the loan payments delayed I started getting calls and letters from them. It got to the point, while I was on vacation, that I decided to just pay the loan off that I signed for.

Now two years later I am still getting calls from third party collectors demanding I pay off all the loans. The first time this happened I verified with Sallie Mae that I was clear and that my name was not on any of the loans. I refused since I only signed for the one loan. There seems to be a 6 month cycle when this happens.

I would recommend that everyone do whatever they can to NOT get any money from them. Their whole accounting system is hosed.

Anonymous said...

I had to delay with payment of my loans with Sallie Mae because I lost my job that I had for 8 years and without notice. This came just 4 months after graduating. Since then it's been 5-6 calls all day long starting at 8am all the way to as late as 9:30 at night. It's all day long my phone ringing off the hook. I wish they would flipping stop. I am barely getting back on my feet after having been declined for jobs due to either being underqualified or the positions were filled due to an overwhelming response. I got a letter recently with them threatening to tell all the major credit bureaus of my non-payment.

How can you pay if your finances only allow you to pay for your rent and lights and phone and by the time the middle of the month comes you have barely enough to put gas in your car. Sallie Mae is making life hell for those who only want an education.

It's bad enough many of us have to deal with our credit being tarnished as a result of having to deal with Sallie Mae for loans while we're in school. Then to make matters worse they're constantly calling all day long and it's a headache. I just want to pay off my loan and to be done with them and if anyone out there is needing money for college look elsewhere do not deal with Sallie Mae by any means.

Erin said...

Want to get them back?!

The companies real name is GRC, or General Revenue Corp. They are owned by Sallie Mae and do all of their collections for the company. GRC's Info is below, along with 3 easy steps on how to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau for Illegal Practices.

The following link takes you to a site which outlines what collection agencies are and are not allowed to do (like calling you outside of normal business hours at work, or whenever you specifically say it is inconvenient for you) - ( They were recently sued for malpractice and if you read the link above you were probably a victim of malpractice, like myself. They are relentless!

General Revenue Corp (Owned by Sallie Mae)
Cincinnati Office
11501 Northlake Dr.
Cincinnati, OH 45249
Ph: (800) 234-6258
Ph: (800) 234-1472
Fax: (800) 234-5035
877-672-9950 (No response number or "Dummy Number")

Or call Michael Schneider of GRC...He responded to the BBB letter submitted below saying that their employees are "thoroughly trained" and my statements of harassment were unfounded...
His number is: (585)237-7000.

If Mr Schneider doesn't believe my claims, perhaps a few hundred calls will convince him of his "thoroughly trained" employees illegal practices.


Easy step to follow:

1. Go to Better Business Bureau Website:

2. Use the Info above for GRC City/State/Web info to file against Sallie Mae/GRC

3. File a complaint addressing your issue, similar to the one I filed, below.

BBB Representative,

I have mentioned several times to both to GRC (General Revenue) and Sallie Mae Representatives that it is both inconvenient and inappropriate when GRC (calling on behalf of Sallie Mae Collections) is calling me any earlier than 8am Pacific Standard time or on the weekends.

This morning (Sunday) as well as yesterday, I received several calls from phone number 877-672-9950 (GRC) without any voice message or contact information. All were received before 8am and another was received as early as 6:15am on Sunday morning! While at work I also received a phone message from a family member saying that GRC had contacted them. GRC not only disclosed the dollar amount that I owed, but that I was delinquent and they inferred she would be responsible if they were unable to get a hold of me. Obviously, this family member had no idea what the situation was and became frantically worried about me. She had no idea (nor had I at this point because no one had left a voice mail) that my account was only 10 days overdue and not one late fee had even been assessed yet! This family member is in no way related to these loans and was randomly called.

All of my information listed for Sallie Mae is both current and valid. I believe what GRC did by contacting someone about my debt and disclosing my financial information is bordering, if not blatantly illegal.

It is NEVER appropriate for any collections company to call my family member/neighbors/co-workers etc about my financial issues, nor do these have any influence in the situation. There would be no reason to contact them.

I have several Student loans through Sallie Mae and I have never made a payment more than 30 days past due.

I understand my rights and I have notified both Sallie Mae and GRC that I have reported them for poor business practices. If their employees do not know my rights they should have them review the following link:

Particularly Section 805(a): Collection calls to consumers. If it happens again, you may expect a call from my attorney.


Bobssm said...

Sallie Mae is a first party creditor. As such they are not governed by the FDCPA. However their collection arm General Revenue Service is a debt collector which is governed by the FDCPA. Also, Sallie Maw does send out notices without identifying themselves. This brings them under the FDCPA and makes them an easy target.

Dani said...

I too just had a terrible experience, they are calling everyone in my family even people I don't talk to and I have an agreement with them that I was to make a payment. I called to complain to a supervisor named James Carter. I told him I was calling to make a payment as I promised and that I wanted the harassing calls to stop or we will have to get an attorney. He said this " Let me get this straight. You are going to get an attorney. Attorneys cost money. Which you obviosuly don't have or you wouldn't be late or had to get a cosigner on your account because your credit wasn't good enough to get your own student loan. Am I getting this right? Talk is cheap and we will call you every hour on the hour until you deal with this." I asked his name and he said "James Carter... now make sure you write it down now!" I hung up on him and my husband called him back and said I thought you work for Sallie Mae, yet someone calls in to make a payment and you harass them to the point they have to hang up. He said " i could care less if she makes a payment, I wont lose any sleep at night". You had to hear the tone of his voice. It was like that sneery. I totally pictured that this guy is some short, bald guy, with a small you know what, who abuses his employees and his power. He cheats on his wife, his kids hate him, he prob. tries to look down the shirts of all the women in his office when he isn't talking down to them and intimidating them. So I had to call a different department to make a payment. My suggestion to everyone is this. RECORD YOUR CALLS!!!! I should have let the asshold keep going as I would have had more abusive comments because that is what he was doing. It was abusive and harassment and I am reporting them to every agency I can find. And if Sallie mae doesn't repremand this guy or fire him, I will default on my loans and leave the country. I would rather live in a box then let those people get one cent from me if they allow this man to abuse people like that. His name is JAMES CARTER and he is in the repayment department. I think everyone should call JAMES every hour on the hour and to tell him he is an asshole. lol

BTW thanks for the info in your blog!

Anonymous said...

Sallie Mae harrasses my husband several times a day. Basically the same as all of the above, but they also call MY dad several times a day and he has absolutly nothing to do with my husband's loans. They will not speak to me at all even though when the loans were first set up; it was based on my income-he did not work at the time. He had grants that were returned and he was forced to have his Mother cosign for supposedly one loan for like 3,000 and it turned out to be 9,000 and gave her the privilage of sallie mae calls reguarding all of his loans. Our income has declined by a lot because the place I was working closed and he STILL hasn't found a job to pay for all of his ITT Technical associates degree$50,000 DEBT. They call or the computer calls and it's not a once a day thing, more like 5-6 times a day and try for foreberance and whatever else "help" they offer but our income is to low to qualify for any of it.

Anonymous said...

There are obviously many people across the country who have fallen victim to the illegal actions and activities at the hands of Sallie Mae and Co. For this reason, it is important that the media and the government get involved at this time.

At this point, numerous remedies are currently being considered. If you would like to participate in a movement to end the abuse of firms like Sallie Mae and Co. via submitting your story, please contact me at Please have all proof, evidence and paper support for your claims (phone dialogues, letters, etc) available. Know that you do not have to be a victim. NO entity within the United States of America is exempt from regulation under the US Constitution. There are many strategies established by firms like Sallie Mae and Co. for marketing purposes that cross the line of what is legal and just practices when dealing with the American people. Please join us in fighting back.

Email your stories to

David said...

Here's one way to deal with Sallie Mae, "the harassment loan company." Sign up for a Google Voice account. It's FREE. You'll be assigned a telephone number and can direct all your calls from Sallie Mae directly to a voice mail that you can create just for the incoming Sallie Mae telephone numbers. Also you can record incoming telephone calls from Sallie Mae if you choose to answer the their calls. The incoming call records and recorded conversation can then be easily sent to your state's attorney general. Also I would recommend that you send Sallie Mae an email every single day. Just let them know you've got a loan and are saying hello. I'd just like to see them struggle with handling millions of emails every day.

del said...

I'm having the same problem with Sallie Mae. On going calls more than 5 times a day 7 days a week. I spoke to multiple representative that I am currently going to school. That I can't afford such payment. I was told via phone and emails to file for 'Forbearance' several times. I did just that & spent $50 for the processing fee. Guess what happened? I was denied. I was told that I didn't qualify since I have a Private Loan. I called to discussed the same problem with them, but then again, I feel like I was talking to the robots instructing me to file for Forbearance. I did for the 2nd time. They turned it down. So, now I have no interest on talking to any one of them. Today i received a UPS letter stating this in bold big letters " YOUR DELINQUENT PRIVATE CREDIT STUDENT LOAN WILL BE FORWARDED TO AN ATTORNEY FOR COLLECTION IF IT IS NOT RESOLVED BEFORE 4/29/2009." Today is 4/27/2009 What should i do?

Pat said...

They called my house up to 8 times a week for 3 weeks, starting @ 8 am till 10 pm till my wife finally called them and established with them that it was not my wife they were looking for. They refused to even verify any info with me on my wife's behalf. My wife did indeed have a school loan with them in here maiden name before we met but I paid it off 8 years ago. There are 3 other women in my area code with my wife's name and 14 other women in my state with the same name. They admitted their error and told us we were being taken off their call list. They called again yesterday and my wife called them immediately to straighten them out. Get this, they said the account had been transferred to another office and there was NO RECORD of what was noted during the last call my wife made. They said they would take our number out of their system but they did not apologize for the mix up.If they can't track outstanding loans better then maybe they ought not to be in business. They clearly do not know what they are doing or care that they are harassing innocent people. I'm not looking for any compensation though I probably deserve it but if they were fined heavily enough by the states they do business in then they may be inclined to revamp their collection policies. In the Massachusetts, it's my understanding that if a debt is in collections and the agency speaks with the debtor they have to wait 7 days before the can speak with them again. Searching the internet for "Sallie Mae Harassment" there are all all kinds of horror stories and these need to be seriously addressed.

I just filed a complaint with the State Attorney General and the Pennsylvania Better Business Bureau and hopefully something comes from that.

Crystal said...

hi ..... if you don't pay your debt it works the same way has it you were past due on a car note or a light bill Sallie Mae and other student loan collections has the right to contact this money was loaned to you to get a better job and it states in fine print before going in to class once you have signed for the loans that it is not guaranteed you getting that "high" paying job or having 6 kids in between. You are responsible adult take advantage of the programs that they offer to defer least answer the phone if you don't OF COURSE there going to call just like everyone else your student loans are owned by the government every email you send and call you make will not matter. If you want to be smart and read in to actual real lawsuits then you will know loans cant be forgiven! at least consolidate yours for a better rate and as well has payment amount! or maybe get another job im a single mother and work two jobs and have no problem paying my student loans in the past now that I have my own office I would never want my kids to let them see this slander on a company that help YOU go to school!! If you answer the phone they want to help explore your options if you choose to abuse them and ignore the calls and become in default and you loans go in to charge off status the government will take your tax money regardless so all the hard "work" and waiting on the big income tax return... don't be sad when it doesn't come because you chose to ignore debt I wouldn't be surprised it you got a lean on your house or had lawyers calling you as well. Good luck and try to at least answer that's the least yo can do to help your own self out of your own hole.

Gurggles said...

I'm still a full-time student and I have been getting harassing calls about payment, and despite having sent proof that I am in fact still in school, they claim that since I am not in school this summer, that I am out of my 6 month grace period and must pay. I still have another year and a half of school. They have given me 3 days before they call the collectors and attempt to ruin my credit. Thanks Sallie Mae.

Phil Anderson said...

I feel for everyone's story. I really do. However, if you google Sallie Mae, you receive thousands of sob stories regarding the unfair practices of Sallie Mae.

When are people going to unite and decide enough is enough? It's all good and well to say you want to sue Sallie Mae, but will it work? Are you personally organized to take up this fight in court? Will you win?

I propose that we begin The People's Reform against Sallie Mae. From what I understand, Sallie Mae is acting within the legal confines of the Student Loan Laws--both federal and statewide.

If we're going to make an impact and stop these abuses, I think we need to push for change on a congressional level. At this point, we have no real protections to file bankruptcy, or work with attorneys. They are they key figures who will have to reform unfair practices implemented by Sallie Mae.

I'm in the same boat as most of you are in. We have a lot in common. And no, we're not dead beats. We are caught up in a corrupt system.

There are many congressional leaders who believe and will fight for this cause. Now it's time to organize. While I'm happy to help head up some action, I need support from you guys and girls. We need to come together to fight for this reform.

If you want in, please pop me an email at panderson1129 at Let me know what areas and skills you can put to the table. I'm not asking for money. But let make real reform; I'm tired of hearing stories of ruined lives.



DiverK said...

I was looking for a street address to send my "Cease and Desist" letter to Sallie Mae and found this site. In one way, I feel better knowing it is not just happening to me, however looking at the dates of the comments, I am very saddened that this is still happening. Apparently , nothing has worked. I co-signed a loan for my son. He has been out of work and still trying to go to school and I have caught up the loan. My loan is CURRENT and they still call me several times a week "updating me on my account". I have filed a complaint on the FTC website and will continue, even more so after reading these posts, to stop this unfair practice. Thanks!

SigmaCenturion said...

I have been going through mostly the same shit. They are calling my ex girlfriend, my sister and my home phone number which is at my dad's place. None of these people have anything to do with my loan. My mom cosigned for my loan. We have been getting phone calls all days of the week. Most of them that are answered no one responds or it is a automated telephone call. They have just recently started calling on the weekends. The other night i got 5 phone calls in 15 minutes. I have spoken to multiple people telling them I DO NOT HAVE A JOB and they try getting debit card information from me like dipshits. My email is if anyone has any recommendations.

james said...

I have been dealing with the same thing from sallie mae for years now. I have made attempts to pay what I could, even offering to pay upwards of $300 a month and that is not enough! They call me daily more than 5 times and threaten to ruin my credit (which they already have) and to take my mothers house as she co-sighed. What this company does is unethical at best and should be illegal.

Anonymous said...

Same here to basically all of the above...atleast 3 calls before 11 every single day they will not cease- no jobs so how are we supposed to get out of default.If anyone knows of a class action lawsuit please let me know. e-mail me at
yes, they have called names. threated, want to garnish co-signers wages the stress is unbearable has been going on for a very long time.Have 6 loans they wont consolidate- paid money as agreed and they only applied it to 3 loans when they were supposed to be making my payments to all of the loans- credit is so screwed because of them and Ive tried everything- there has got to be help and answers out here somewhere-all of us cant be wrong on the sleezy practices of sallie mae...must we be in debtors prison throughout all eternity? Who elses nerves are shot-they can be so intimidating.What are we to do people? Can we sue them for making us ill healthwise? geesh this is unbearable. thanks for any info anyone can share and thanks for the above info. Together maybe we can make a difference in their horrible terrorist tactics..

Anonymous said...

Two address a couple points re: the legality of what Sallie Mae does. Most of the things people are referencing directly re: collections practices etc are in fact perfectly legal. Most of the annoying, harassing, fee charging things they do were specifically set up to fall within the laws, most of which were lobbyed to death in order to let SM and other lenders make as much money as they can. This does not mean Joe Schmoe has to sit back and LIKE the fact that the system is screwing him. Complain away!! But I agree that you should be prepared to do something to change it. Keep blogging. Be old fashioned and write a letter to all of your political reps. Trust me, if they get enough letters and it seems like a big enough issue, they’ll think about getting on board just out of self -interest. How do you think the banks finally got beat back on the overdraft “protection” scheme?

Second. That all said. Is anyone really going to be surprised when at some point something comes out that proves that somebody (high up) at Salle Mae or any other lender WAS doing something totally illegal? C’mon. Look at this!

And for the “stop with the sob stories”. A: why do you care? B: Yep. Plenty of people have been/are/will be irresponsible. Others, like yourself, may at some point have the experience of my best friend with perfect credit, plenty of money and pays bills on time, yet one weekend racked up $400 in OD fess thanks to mix up at his bank. That’s when the light bulb went on for him and he realized that when I told him about it happening to me and how they set it up to rack up those fees, I was not just BSing because I was being a dipshit with my money.

Sh*t happens. But people are complaining because it rolls downhill and we don’t have to like it.