I'm Being Sued For A Defaulted Student Loan And I'm Scared

I finished law school in 2010 and didn't pass the bar exam...twice. While studing for the bar I was in such turmoil (mental and emotional) that I decided the only way to keep myself from jumping off of a bridge was to ignore the constant collection calls from my various lenders. I owe about $200,000 in student loans. There must have been 10 different lenders involved.
Fast forward to 2012 I took a break from the bar and decided to take a job as a paralegal at a small firm where I make pennies! But I didn't mind because I got to take a break from studying and figured that with my income I could now at least make payments (minimum of course!) towards my loans. in fact I learned that I could consolidate most of my loans and was granted income-based payments for a whole year! The private loans that I could not consolidate also allowed me to make small affordable payments.  I was on a roll!
Then in March 2012 I received a summons from one lender who I owe $30,000. They are suing me for the entire amount. I tried to speak with them directly to set up a payment plan but they were not interested in hearing from me. I guess I can't blame them since I kept them in the dark about my situation for the past two years. Its a wonder than I'm not being sued by all my other lenders. But I digress.
Now I'm scared and I'm lost. I feel like such a failure. I'm being sued by a lender who is threatening to garnish the little bit of wages I earn. I'm not contesting that I owe the money I just want to enter into a reasonable payment plan. They want me to pay $800 per month! I don't have that money! I have to answer to the summons 20 days after service. My last day to hand it in is in a few days. I intend to submit an answer but I'm scared because I don't know what to expect. Has anyone out there gone through this? If so I would greatly appreciate to hear your story.  

This whole debt collections thing is getting to me and I can't help but to feel that if I wasn't so stupid to fail the bar twice I wouldn't be in this predicament. To top it all off I've been toying with the idea of not practicing law at all because I can't stand the litigating and the adversarial nature of this profession so I don't even know if I want to take the damn bar again. but then what will people say?????? I feel like I'm such a let down and waste of space sometimes and that everyone hates me because I'm lazy and stupid. **** I hate myself for it! I even cried this morning about it.
livingforfridays livingforfridays
26-30, F
8 Responses Apr 6, 2012

I hope this message reaches you in time to be useful. I can help you. The explanation runs too far to present here. To discuss a solution, call Lee at (760) 708-5414.

Don’t be cowed. Educate yourself about predatory debt. You’ll feel better about yourself.

I’m looking for people to interview while keeping their anonymity. Would you like to share more about your experience with debt?

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We need to start standing up to the whole practice. University rates will fall, student loans will no longer be necessary, if we can just hold tight. Stop feeling like a failure, you are not. There are millions of us who are in this boat with you. Fight them, always fight for your right to not be taken advantage of. How can a very poor college kid around 18 just out of his home ever say "no" to a little check box on some web site saying they will give such and such amount of money just to put your initials in a box? This whole practice is disgusting. College is a given right, free, for many other nations in the world. You are not a failure, you are a victim.

You know what to do I'm pretty sure. File your answer then negotiate with the lender's attorney for reasonable payments you can make. They would much rather get something than nothing. You are not a failure. I work with attorneys and the majority of them would not do it over again but would pick a different career altogether.

I hear ya. I wrote final letters to all of my student loan creditors and told them that all I can afford is $50 a month and I will continue to pay $50 a month to each creditor until my situation changes. I mean, it's all I have that I can afford. I can't even afford my own place or health insurance at the moment so I have to take a job as a part time live in nanny so that I don't have to live with my parents. You know, the way I see it, I'll never try to run from my loans altogether. I'll always pay what I can until I die. If that is not enough for them, then I'm sorry. Ruin my credit and take me to court. You're not going to ruin my day over it. We all do what we can. In the meantime, don't forget to live your life.

If there's a Legal Aid in your area, maybe they can help explain what to expect. From what I understand, they can't help with resolving student loan issues, but maybe they can at least offer information, if not advice. <br />
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What concerned me about your story, far more than the debt, is your emotional state of mind. First of all, you're not "a failure." That's so untrue, I don't even know where to begin! A lot of successful lawyers have taken the bar more than twice. It's a challenging exam, and most people don't even get far enough in their education to even qualify to take it. You should be proud of what you've accomplished so far, and the hard work that you're doing as a para legal en route to achieving your goals.<br />
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Second, you got into debt because you were trying to invest in your education. It's not as though you went out and bought two hundred thousand dollars worth of shoes and a wide-screen television. And it's not as though you majored in basket-weaving. It was a reasonable assumption that investing in a law degree would pay off. Above all, with or without the degree, the collection's agency can't take back the knowledge you've gained from your education. With or without the degree, you can apply that knowledge, and succeed going forward. <br />
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Third point: please don't worry yourself about what other people will think of you, or what they will say about you. That's the absolute worse thing you can do in this type of situation. You know who you are, and that's what matters. There are thousands of people dealing with student debt issues, so you're not alone, even though you may feel that way. I know you're not trying to make excuses, but you have to admit, the interest rates on private loans are excessive, and school tuitions are way too high. This is a huge problem in itself.<br />
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I understand when you say you don't like the itigation and adversarial nature of law, but aren't there different things you can do with a law degree? At this point, are you limited by your area of specialization? <br />
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You're so young, and I hate the idea of you feeling so miserable over money. I don't have pragmatic advice about how to resolve this situation, but what I do know is that you'll be able to see your way clearly if you feel better about yourself. If a good friend were in your shoes, would you call her "lazy and stupid"? Really? Probably not. So why treat yourself that way?

Hi Dalmations. I can't tell you how thankful I am to ou for taking the time to respond to my post. But more importantly you hit the nail right on the head when you pointed out that I need to change the way I perceive myself and should not let this issue define me. I struggle so much with this. I am constantly criticizing myself and putting myself down even when nothing is wrong. I now understand its a learned behavior I picked up from my mentally and physically abusive father. Although he is physically out of my life, his behavior is not, as I have adopted it in my head and continue to batter myself mentally. I'm trying really hard to change this about myself. I accept that some things I can't change but I have to learn to take control of my own emotions and how I talk to myself. I guess deep down I feel worthless and my whole life I've attempted to gain confidence through external sources that do not and cannot define me. For the first time in my life I'm forced to re-evaluate the way I have been living my life. The process seems so overwhelming at times, but I have no choice. I can't keep living like this.

I read your other posts, and you sound like a very intelligent and together woman. Sorry to hear what you went through with your father. It's good that you've identified that much of the problem comes from allowing him to rent space in your head. As you pointed out, unlearning that behavior is both a choice and a process. It sounds like you're on your way. I hope you'll post another story when you pass the bar, so we all can celebrate!

This situation has moved pass the collections phase? have you received a judjement or just a threat of judgement? If it is just a threat of judgement than you have some options. You will need them to validate the debt. Do this is writing state that you want to see copies of every document that you signed. The promisary note, be specific ask for how they calculated the debt. <br />
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Familiarize yourself with Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. You went to law school you should know this. I learned this from my credit guy. Who got me out of a hugh problem.