Despite the negative press it has received over the past several years, student loan giant Navient has essentially told its borrowers that it doesn’t have their best interests in mind because they are collectors. This revelation came out in a recent court filing in which Navient is seeking to have a multi-billion dollar lawsuit filed by the government dismissed. In their motion to dismiss, Navient boldly stated that, “there is no expectation that the servicer will act in the interest of the consumer.” What?
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First you should know the players involved. Navient is a spinoff of Sallie Mae. You should consider them to be the loan servicer for any student loans you took out with Sallie Mae to attend college. As the collection arm on these student loans they have long touted their desire to help its borrowers manage their sometimes-overwhelming student loan debt. Among other things, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) is charged with acting as a consumer watchdog to ensure that creditors aren’t taking advantage of or acting illegally in the collection of debts. As part of the CFPB’s responsibilities, it filed suit against Navient in a Pennsylvania Federal Court alleging that Navient is skirting its fiduciary responsibilities to its borrowers. Finally there are the student loan borrowers. There are over 44 million out there. And one in four borrowers are in default or struggling to make payments. So where do these struggling borrowers turn to for help?
The obvious answer would be to call your lender, right? Hell, even I suggested that while appearing on a local news segment this past year. It makes sense. If you are struggling to pay back your debt or have become so overwhelmed that you can’t make the payments any longer, you should contact your loan servicer. They know the options available to you under the various repayment plans set up by the Department of Education. But now Navient is singing a different tune. They claim that the expectations of the CFPB are unreasonable and they can’t be tasked with assisting their borrowers when their main function is collection. They claim that it is much easier and less costly to push borrowers into forbearances than to have them apply for income-driven repayment plans. The fact of the matter is that it’s cheaper for Navient to do this and takes them less time. But forbearance may not be in the borrower’s best interest. Especially if they could afford a lower monthly payment based on their income and eventually realize the benefit of loan forgiveness programs available to them.
Hogwash says Navient! Apparently they can’t be burdened with actually helping its borrowers. They’re in the business of making money. Never mind any fiduciary duties they may have towards their customers. So what is a scared borrower to do, turn to Google for answers? While search engines are a popular method to self-diagnose medical issues and get free legal advice, be careful what you pay for. It may be in your best interest to speak with a professional that has experience dealing with these giants like Navient. As a student loan debt attorney I have gone head to head with Navient, Great Lakes, FedLoan Servicing and NelNet. I know their scare tactics. I know the options that are truly available to you. And I know how to negotiate with them. If you are one of the millions of borrowers out there struggling to make your monthly payments or find yourself in default, I would encourage you to contact me for a free student loan debt consultation. I can review your particular circumstances and help you determine the best option to handle your student loan debt. Sure, you could do this on your own for free. But Navient has straight up acknowledged that they don’t have your best interest in mind. As an attorney, it is my ethical obligation to act in your best interest. It’s about time to give Navient the middle finger back!
Daniel R. Gamez, an attorney focusing exclusively in debt relief, is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in California and Texas. Mr. Gamez owns and operates the Gamez Law Firm in San Diego, CA. For more information, please contact Daniel Gamez at 858-217-5051, firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form. Stay updated with the latest debt relief tips by following on Facebook and Twitter!