Equitable Acceptance Student Loan “Forgiveness” Scam RICO Class Action

Plaintiff Vanessa Williams took out student loans totaling approximately $21,000 for her education. When SLF Center called her and told her it could obtain loan forgiveness for her, she was naturally interested. But according to the complaint for this class action, all that happened was that Williams was saddled with yet another loan, via Equitable Acceptance Corporation (EAC).

The class for this action is all individuals who have gotten financing from EAC for student loan assistance services.

Student loans can be difficult to repay, and forgiveness programs do exist, under certain conditions and only after borrowers have made payments on their loans for ten to twenty-five years. The US Department of Education and its associated loan servicers make these services available for free. Other services are available for free as well:

  • Loan consolidation: Taking out a new loan to replace multiple student loans; totals and interest rates are usually higher, and the borrower begins a new repayment history, so this may not be in the borrower’s interest.
  • Income Driven Repayment: Sets the borrower’s monthly payment as a percentage of discretionary income. Monthly payments may be very low, but the loans continue to accrue interest, so the actual debt amount may rise.
  • Forbearance: The borrower does not have to make any payments for a period of time, but interest continues to accrue, so that the debt amount will rise.

Unfortunately, EAC and its dealers, such as SLF Center and Integra Student Loans (who are also defendants in this case), charge to create these arrangements. And, according to the complaint, they do not tell borrowers that that’s what they’re getting; they promise loan forgiveness. At times, the dealers may indicate that they’re affiliated in some way with the Department of Education.

As part of the arrangement, they ask for the borrower’s studentloans.gov log-in information. Only borrowers are permitted to use this information to access their accounts, but dealers in this scheme use it to make changes.

For example, SLF Center used it to consolidate Williams’s loans and to change her e-mail address so that information on the account was diverted to SLF. Williams had a payment of $122.48 on her account, but SLF never told her about this, the complaint says; she did not make the payment and the account became past due.

Williams discovered the scam eventually and refused to pay SLF any further, but by then, due to higher interest rates on the consolidation and lack of payments, she owed $23,000 on her loans and has suffered damage to her credit rating.

The complaint alleges that EAC and its partners have violated RICO racketeering laws as well as the Truth in Lending Act, among other things.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Equitable Acceptance Student Loan “Forgiveness” Scam RICO Complaint

August 17, 2018

Plaintiff Vanessa Williams took out student loans totaling approximately $21,000 for her education. When SLF Center called her and told her it could obtain loan forgiveness for her, she was naturally interested. But according to the complaint for this class action, all that happened was that Williams was saddled with yet another loan, via Equitable Acceptance Corporation (EAC). 

equitable_acceptance_rico_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Equitable Acceptance Student Loan “Forgiveness” Scam RICO Complaint

August 17, 2018

Plaintiff Vanessa Williams took out student loans totaling approximately $21,000 for her education. When SLF Center called her and told her it could obtain loan forgiveness for her, she was naturally interested. But according to the complaint for this class action, all that happened was that Williams was saddled with yet another loan, via Equitable Acceptance Corporation (EAC). 

equitable_acceptance_rico_complaint.pdf
Tags: RICO laws, Student Loans, Truth in Lending