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Missy Broome

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The Up Hill Battle People Seeking Student Loan Forgiveness Face from the DOE and Its Contractors

According to federal law passed in 1993, people taken advantage of by education institutions may have their student loans forgiven under certain conditions. Besides the obvious factors such as death, or permanent disability, debt forgiveness is possible in cases where the institution misled students as to their accreditation and graduate job opportunities. One such person seeking relief is Yvette Colon of New York City. Colon, who worked for years in medical billing, was seeking to become a cardiac sonographer. She enrolled in the Manhattan campus of Sanford-Brown Institute over the period of 2006 to 2008. The price of tuition was daunting, but the school carried excellent accreditation and a good-paying job awaited her upon completion of her certificate.

In a manner of speaking, Colon was “had bad”. She racked up $51,000 in student loans via both private and federal loans, and that was a bit overwhelming for Brad Reifler to see. Sadly, Sanford-Brown Institute did not have the type of accreditation they touted having. Nor did Colon find the employment opportunities which she was led to believe existed. Since that time, she has returned to medical billing, but finds it difficult to pay her student loans. At this time, she has to take distributions from her pension in order to service the student loan debt. However, her application for relief was denied by Navient, a major company servicing Sallie Mae student loans. In addition, not only are people being denied claims by student loan contractors approved by the Department of Education (DOE), the DOE’s department handling debt forgiveness also seems to be indifferent as well.

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