Sallie Mae Loan Question.
Hello, I have been paying on a defaulted Sallie Mae Loan #11 for 2 and 1/2 years now to a collection agency, Integrity (816-335-6704) with no problems which was bank check electronically transffered each month.
Recently, I noticed that after receiving a letter from the collection agency(dated 3-19-2013) that my usual payment of $131.00 would be taken out on 3/29/2013. After a couple of weeks, I noticed the payment was still not taken out of my checking account and called to inquire. I was told that the account was transferred back to Sallie Mae (no apparent reason given). I was also told by the collection agency that they could no longer talk to me about the account and referred me directly to Sallie Mae.
After several phone calls I was told a "Cease and Assist" has been applied to my account at Sallie Mae. Noone at Sallie Mae would tell me "who" requested this and would not send me a copy of the written request.
My question is 1) Don't I have a right to a copy of written requests supplied to Sallie Mae and 2) What are my rights concerning Integrity Collection Agency in turning this account back over to Sallie Mae when I have been paying?
I should also say that my mother co-signed on this account and I have inquired with her as to IF she requested the CEASE and ASSIST and she did not, stating why would she do this if I was already paying?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Your rights concerning Integrity are zero. If Sallie Mae owns the account and sent it for collection then they have the right to recall the account as well. Any deals made by Integrity going forward may or may not be honored.
Regarding your rights to correspondence, you do not have a right to demand that Sallie Mae supply you with correspondence. I am not sure who could have placed this on your account other than you but even if you did you have a right to revoke the cease and desist. Usually, you would send a written letter advising Sallie Mae that you now wish to revoke the cease & desist and speak to them about the account. You also could reiterate that you had a deal with Integrity and would like to continue the same arrangement with Sallie Mae.
Giving anyone permission to raid your bank account when they feel like it is always a BAD idea. I suggest going forward that you consider other alternatives. You might want to use a billpayer service - that way you direct who is paid, when they are paid and by how much, but you do not give anyone the authority to raid your account. Even if a creditor is honest and well intentioned, by giving them the ability to go into your account, if they make a mistake and type in $1310, then you will be fighting to get your money back (assuming you had it in your account) or fighting your bank regarding overdrafts. Better not to give the creditor this power.
Ms. Hunter makes some valid points and I agree with her answer. What may have happened is that Sallie Mae itself put a cease and desist on further collections on your account at its own decision. The only other way a "cease and desist" could have been placed is if you previously sent one to Sallie Mae or if you gave the authority for someone else (a debt settlement company, student loan counselor, etcetera) to request one.
Hopefully, you have a copy of the written agreement that confirms the terms you made with the collection agency. Depending upon what the agreement said, it might be enforceable against Sallie Mae or any new collection agency.If there was no written agreement, you may be out of luck with that.
If you get any new bills or collection letters, you will need to send a written dispute letter certified mail, return receipt requested, explaining your dispute in order to preserve your rights.
I also suggest that you pull your credit report now if you have not done so recently, see how the loan is being reported, and make sure all of your payments were accurately reflected. You can get a free credit report from each of the Big Three agencies once per year by going to www.annualcreditreport.com.