Who is Being Sued? Why? Can I Join The Lawsuit?
There’s a whole series of Student Loan Lawsuits underway, each of which could lead to significant changes in student loan laws and especially those revolving around student loan forgiveness.
There are four main categories of Student Debt Lawsuits:
- Student Loan Lawsuits against Schools
- Student Loan Lawsuits against Servicing Companies
- Student Loan Lawsuits against Federal Officials (like Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education)
- Student Loan Lawsuits against Borrowers (like you!)
This Guide will explain each of the types of student loan lawsuits, as well as how you may be able to use these lawsuits to earn loan forgiveness for yourself.
But if you’re in a hurry and just want advice about what to do with your loans, then feel free to skip all the legal discussions and simply head to the sections on how to get help with your debt:
Before I Dive Into Details…
Let me first give you some advice; one of the best ways to get rid of your student loans quickly, and affordably is to pay for an expert’s advice.If you're truly struggling with student debt, then you should also consider paying a Student Loan Debt Relief Agency for help. Why? Because the people working at these companies deal with student loans all day, every day, and they're your best chance at figuring out how to get your loans back under control.
I've interviewed all sorts of debt relief agencies over the past 10 years, talking to all sorts of so-called "experts", and I can tell you that in all honesty I've only found two companies I trust to offer actual financial relief to people struggling with student loans.
For help with FEDERAL Student Loans: Call the Student Loan Relief Helpline at 1-888-906-3065. They will review your case, evaluate your options for switching repayment plans, consolidating your loans, or pursuing forgiveness benefits, then set you up to get rid of the debt as quickly as possible.
For help with PRIVATE Student Loans: Call McCarthy Law PLC at 1-877-317-0455. They will negotiate with your lender to settle your private loans for much less than you owe, then get you a new loan for the much lower, settled amount. NOTE: McCarthy Law can ONLY help with Private student loans.
If you do decide to call one of these companies and you have a bad experience with either of them, PLEASE make sure to come back and let me know about it in the Comments!
Student Loan Lawsuits Against Schools
Many of the country’s biggest schools are currently being sued, including several gigantic schools and chains of schools that shut down in recent years.
And most of these lawsuits revolve around the same claim; that the schools used deceptive marketing practices to trick students into borrowing student loans for their higher education programs.
I’ve written up full Guides on each of the major Student Loan Lawsuits Against Schools, so for specific information on any individual school, please visit my Guides on:
- The University of Phoenix Lawsuit
- The Art Institutes Lawsuit
- The DeVry University Lawsuit
- The Westwood College Lawsuit
- The Walden University Lawsuit
- The Capella University Lawsuit
- The Full Sail University Lawsuit
- The ITT Tech Lawsuit
- The Corinthian Colleges Lawsuit
- The Everest College Lawsuit
- The Heald College Lawsuit
- The Wyotech Lawsuit
- The Le Cordon Bleu Lawsuit
- The Kaplan University Lawsuit
- The Anthem College Lawsuit
- The Brown Mackie College Lawsuit
- The Brightwood College Lawsuit
- The Argosy University Lawsuit
- The New Rochelle College Lawsuit
- The Concordia University Lawsuit
- The Green Mountain College Lawsuit
- The Marygrove College Lawsuit
- The Newbury College Lawsuit
Some of the lawsuits against schools have already been resolved, and in a few cases settlements have lead to forgiveness benefits and refunds.
How Can I Join The Lawsuit Against My School?
In most cases, you simply can’t.
Even if there’s a huge class-action lawsuit filed against your school, it’s going to be impossible to “join” the lawsuit, because that’s just not how these things work.
Instead, you’ll end up being part of the “class” automatically, and if there’s a disbursement or award when the lawsuit ends, you’ll automatically receive some of the money.
But even when these schools lose in court and judges determine that borrowers should be compensated, the awards are typically quite small.
For example, when the DeVry lawsuit concluded with a $100 million settlement, many borrowers received checks for just a couple hundred dollars. Even borrowers who had $50,000+ in student loans!
The point I’m trying to make here is that you should be looking for better options to deal with your student loans, as the big class-action lawsuits against the schools typically don’t help much.
To receive any real financial relief, you’re going to want to look at available Federal Student Loan Relief Programs and Private Student Loan Relief Programs, or at filing your own lawsuit against your school.
Student Loan Lawsuits Against Servicing Companies
Just like the schools, student loan servicing companies are also being sued regularly, and some of these lawsuits are absolutely massive.
Perhaps the biggest is the series of Student Loan Lawsuits Against Navient, stemming from claims that the company purposefully mislead it’s borrowers with bad information, leading to larger student loans and more money for Navient in the form of fines, fees, penalties and interest accumulation.
But Navient isn’t the only Federal Student Loan Servicing Company currently being sued, because there’s lawsuits against virtually ALL of them!
For details on these lawsuits, see my pages on:
- The CornerStone Lawsuit
- The Career Education Corporation Lawsuit
- The FedLoan (SallieMae) Servicing Lawsuit
- The Granite State Lawsuit
- The Great Lakes Lawsuit
- The HESC-Edfinancial Lawsuit
- The MOHELA Lawsuit
- The Navient Lawsuits
- The Nelnet Lawsuit
- The OSLA Servicing Lawsuit
- The ECSI Lawsuit
- The Aequitas Capital Lawsuit
- The National College Student Loan Trusts Lawsuit
Some of the lawsuits against servicing companies have already been resolved, with settlements reached and damages paid out to borrowers.
Unfortunately, just like we saw with the lawsuits against schools, the awards tend to be small, and only in a couple cases have any of these lawsuits offered complete student loan forgiveness benefits.
How Can I Join The Lawsuit Against My Servicing Company?
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to do that.
I’m regularly bombarded with questions from people asking how to join the lawsuit against their servicer, but this isn’t how those lawsuits work.
Most of the big lawsuits against servicing companies are class-action suits, and simply by being a borrower, you’ll end up being included in the “class”, and receiving a disbursement if funds are distributed as part of the settlement.
But don’t expect the suit to provide significant financial relief, because typically individual borrowers won’t receive a large amount of money, even where servicers are found guilty.
To receive any real financial relief, you’re going to want to look at available Federal Student Loan Relief Programs and Private Student Loan Relief Programs, or at filing your own lawsuit against your servicing company.
Student Loan Lawsuits Against Federal Officials
There are so many different people and groups currently suing Betsy DeVos, our Education Secretary, that it’s hard to keep up with all of the lawsuits filed against her!
She’s being sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), one of the country’s largest Teachers Unions, several states Attorneys Generals, and Class-Action groups from several of the largest schools.
Why? Because she keeps trying to prevent Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Benefits from being distributed, and has effectively shut down programs like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and the Borrower’s Defense to Repayment Program from issuing forgiveness and discharge benefits.
Unfortunately, Betsy DeVos has managed to hold off most of these lawsuits, and even when she’s lost and been told to start issuing approvals, her Department continues to drag their feet, denying borrowers who deserve benefits for the slightest of issues, and preventing these programs from distributing funds.
How Can I Join The Lawsuit Against Betsy DeVos?
These lawsuits are already ongoing, and if you’ve attempted to take advantage of any of the programs DeVos is being sued over restricting, then you’ll just automatically be impacted by the ruling when the case resolves.
Like we’ve seen with the lawsuits against schools and the lawsuits against servicing companies though, the odds that you’ll actually receive any significant form of financial assistance from a lawsuit that beats Betsy DeVos is quite slim.
Instead of hoping for a victory here, you’re going to want to look at available Federal Student Loan Relief Programs and Private Student Loan Relief Programs to see if you can get real assistance that way instead.
Student Loan Lawsuits Against Borrowers
Unfortunately, there’s also a ton of lawsuits going the other direction, with student loan servicing companies suing individual borrowers (like you!) to try and collect the money they are “owed”.
And these are the lawsuits that end up being the most damaging, because when your servicing company sues you, you’ll need to hire an attorney, pay them hundreds of dollars per hour to defend you, and odds are that you will lose the case in court.
If you do end up losing, then you’ll be ordered to pay even more money than you would have had to fork over for your student loans, including legal fees, fines, penalties and interest on the payments you missed.
If you end up getting sued by your servicing company, or by a Student Loan Debt Collection Agency who has purchased your debt from a servicer, then you need to take it seriously and hire an attorney immediately.
How Can I Protect Myself From Being Sued?
The best way to prevent being sued over student loans is to simply make your monthly payments so you don’t end up in Student Loan Delinquency of Default.
I understand that many people simply can’t do that, so they end up late on payments, but if it looks like you’re going to fall behind then you should contact your loan servicer to arrange a Deferment or Forbearance that’ll pause your payments and allow you time to get your finances in order.
If you still end up defaulting, then don’t just give up, but try to get enrolled in the Student Loan Rehabilitation Program, and get your loans back into repayment status.
Remember, as soon as you default, you open yourself up to all sorts of legal trouble and financial problems, including aggressive Student Loan Collections Activity, like Wage Garnishments, Tax Refund Garnishments, and even Social Security Payment Garnishments!
How to Get Help With Federal Student Loans
My advice to you is to avoid sitting around waiting for lawsuits to get resolved, because they could go on for years and years, and you probably won’t get much even if the suit against your school or servicing company wins.
Instead, I would advise looking at all of the existing Federal student loan assistance programs already available to you now.
I’ve spent the past decade writing up over 100 Guides on these programs, so make sure to look at the following pages on ForgetStudentLoanDebt.com:
- Federal Student Loan Forgiveness
- Federal Student Loan Bankruptcy
- Federal Student Loan Consolidation
- Federal Student Loan Delinquency & Default
- The Federal Student Loan Rehabilitation Program
- Federal Student Loan Wage Garnishment
- Federal Student Loan Deferment
- Federal Student Loan Forbearance
- Federal Student Loan Repayment Plans
How to Get Help With Private Student Loans
And if you have Private student loans, then you’ll want to take a look at my Guides to Private student loan assistance programs, which include:
- Private Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
- Private Student Loan Consolidation
- Private Student Loan Bankruptcy
- Private Student Loan Defaults
Other Legal Questions About Student Loans
I’ll try to cover some of the most comment legal questions about student loans below.
If you have any questions that I haven’t answered here, please post them in the Comments section below.
I review comments daily and I’ll do my best to get you a response within 24 hours!
Can I Sue my Student Loan Lender?
Yeah, you could, but that would require hiring an attorney, filing the lawsuit, then battling it out in court.
Odds are, you will lose this lawsuit, unless you have all sorts of incredible dirt on the lender proving that they’ve done something terribly illegal.
The good news is that if you do have the documents to PROVE that the lender wronged you, then you may have a chance at beating them and getting your debt forgiven.
If you’ve got a huge amount of student loan debt, then I might consider this option, but if you only owe tens of thousands of dollars, then it probably isn’t worth pursuing.
How Can I Legally Get Rid of Student Loans?
The way to get rid of them is to utilize one of the many assistance programs on offer, which I linked to above, or to hire an attorney and try to battle things out in court.
As I just mentioned though, that could be a long and expensive battle, so I would definitely suggest against trying to sue your servicing company because the odds of that strategy working are relatively low.
You’ll have a much better chance getting approval for some kind of forgiveness or discharge program than you will suing a servicer, and you won’t have to pay anything for the forgiveness or discharge programs, whereas lawyers bills for a lawsuit that you may not even win are likely to be huge.
Can I Get My Student Debt Dismissed in Court?
Possibly, but again, the odds are relatively unlikely.
I would seriously advise against trying this, unless you’ve got crazy amounts of evidence that the servicing company purposefully misled you or committed some kind of fraud or illegal activity against you.
If you think you do have that, then it may be worth pursuing, but only if your debt is so large that the legal bills for the attorney (which will be huge…) would be smaller than your debt.
Can My Servicing Company Sue Me if I Default?
Yes, they can, and in many cases, they will.
I covered this in the section above called Student Loan Lawsuits Against Borrowers, so make sure to review that section if you’re worried about defaulting and getting sued.
My advice is to do everything you possibly can to AVOID defaulting, but I know that’s not always the case.
Can a Lawyer Help Me With My Student Loans?
Absolutely, and in some cases, hiring an attorney is the best possible thing that you could do.
But let’s be clear about when that’s the best option: in my opinion, I only suggest hiring an attorney when you’re having problems with PRIVATE student loan debt forgiveness, because there’s very little an attorney can do about FEDERAL loans.
However, if you’ve got Private debt, and you owe quite a bit and are having trouble making payments, then I suggest calling McCarthy Law for assistance, as they are the experts in dealing with private student loan debt.
McCarthy Law regularly reaches student loan settlements for about 40% of whatever you currently owe, and they will do all the legwork to get your debt settled, then hook you up with a new loan for that lower settled amount (meaning much lower monthly payments!).
To get McCarthy’s help with your Private Student Loans, call them at 1-877-317-0455.
Finally, Please Help Me Out!
Running this website is like working a second full-time job, and I can only continue to dedicate the time and effort required to build Guides like this one if people like you help me out in return!
I will never ask you for a donation, but I do want to ask for your help in spreading the word that this site exists by sharing a link to it on Facebook, Reddit or Twitter.
The more people who visit FSLD, the more time I can dedicate to writing up Guides like this one, and helping borrowers like you!
Thank you for visiting, and thank you for your support.
Disclaimer:Information obtained from Forget Student Loan Debt is for educational purposes only. You should consult a licensed financial professional before making any financial decisions. This site receives some compensation through affiliate relationships. This site is not endorsed or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education.