Friday, June 15, 2007

Scammie Mae

Scammie Mae and these exploitive sweatshops that feed off her swarth of destruction need to be stopped.

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Recent law grad:

I wish they had wined and dined me before they fucked me with these loans.

One student loan company took university financial aid directors on a junket to Disney World. Another paid $500 to be placed on a school's list of recommended lenders. And others showered tequila, wine and golf outings on college aid officers.Those were among what Senate investigators called illegal enticements from loan companies to university officials to drum up business, according to a nearly 600-page report issued yesterday.

The report offers the most detailed evidence yet that lenders offered perks to colleges with the explicit goal of persuading schools to steer students their way. Some employees described the arrangements as quid pro quos. The revelations came as Johns Hopkins University agreed to pay about $1.13 million to settle an investigation by New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo (D) into the school's financial aid operation. Previously released documents from the Senate investigation show that former university aid director Ellen Frishberg accepted more than $130,000 from eight lending industry companies during her tenure. Johns Hopkins, which has denied wrongdoing, agreed in the settlement to have its financial aid practices monitored for five years by the attorneys general of New York and Maryland.

Frishberg is the focus of a criminal and civil investigation by Cuomo's office. The review could result in charges of fraud, bribery, conspiracy or all three, according to people with knowledge of the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. Frishberg did not return calls seeking comment. The Senate findings are the latest disclosure of questionable financial arrangements between lenders, universities and regulators in the $85 billion-a-year student loan industry. "This investigative report demonstrates that inappropriate marketing practices, conflicts of interest, and back-room deals are found all too frequently in the student loan industry," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), chairman of the education committee, which conducted the investigation, said in a statement. "The findings underscore the urgent need for systemic reform in the student loan system."

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Another story. You often hear many similar tales of desperation down in the bowls of the document review basement:

I made a mistake and had two children without being married. Single mothers like me are vilified in this culture anyway, but I wanted to be different so I went back to college when my daughter was 2. I graduated law school in 2003 and passed the bar a year later. I financed my entire education with student loans. I had to take the bar exam twice so I took out a sallie mae law student loan to exist and support two children while i took three months off to study. When I finally passed I couldn't find a job and I have been living pretty much by the skin of my teeth for four years now. My beef with Sallie Mae is the fact that my student loans have already increased by $20,000 in the past three years. I have explained that I have no job and no steady income and offered to pay a smaller amount than the $450. they were demanding a month (as much as my rent). I said I would try to pay $150, to just pay something, but they turned their noses up at that. After going around and around, they were willing to give me a deferment, but you have to pay for it, a $150.00 "processing fee". I told them that I receive food stamps, which is pitiful enough, but they don't give a crap and call me probably 8 times a day, as well as harrassing my mother, my cosigner, who is 76 years old and lives on her social security. And are they rude. I try to keep in regular contact with them because I intend to someday pay them back, but everytime I call them or answer their calls their people are so shockingly rude it makes my heart pound.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just read through many of your blog posts. It seems to me that you failed to think through the decision to go to law school. When I was going through the cycle, I did not submit applications to schools from which I suspected I would graduate unemployed and face the prospect of temp or contract work. If you had done the same, you wouldn't be in the situation you are now. Since, in the end, you voluntarily put yourself in this position, I find it very difficult to feel sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous does have a point. Here in America there is an overall wage disparity where women earn 78 cents for the same dollar men earn doing the same job.

The single mom should have been aware of her American surroundings where she knows she will be discriminated against in the workplace. Some of my friends have formed legal practices where the attorneys are all-female so that there is no implicit nor explicit pay discrimination.

You are what you do: This person who couldn't even pass the bar the first time should realize that her job prospects are poor. "Thank goodness" for document review. Welcome to the ranks, lass.

Anonymous said...

hmmm, I wonder why there are so many top 50 grads on my projects, then?

Anonymous said...

"If you had done the same, you wouldn't be in the situation you are now."

Get real. The ABA and law schools deliberately lie, obfuscate, and use crap jobs like this to inflate their post-graduate employment stats. If you can't rely on official ABA stats, what can you rely on? We all know by now that those 98% employed figures are highly distorted. Administrators and law professors get rich by being able to raise tuitions multiple times faster than inflation, year after year. The loan companies make a killing off of interest and penalities that they know will eventually be imposed on people.

This all sounds like a great big pyramid scheme to me.

I can see why people are pissed, and why they aren't willing to sit back and eat shit for the next twenty years in some rat infested sweatshop.

Anonymous said...

If the 6:18 pm Anonymous was "worth" more than document review s/he would have mentioned that this "all sounds like a great big Ponzi scheme."

Yet another example that just because you can graduate law school, the graduate can still be some ignorant, scholarship- or loan-dependent B student who will never learn anything and fail to thrive in any profession. Thanks to law, we barred attorneys can thrive in any profession, from Wall Street to Library science.

Sincerely,

Made An Affort

PS: Don't see the new sequel to Michael Douglas 1990 film "Wall Street". Your attitude is poorly suited to hard work and making things happen.

barbsright said...

I am the smartest person posting here as evidenced by the fact I DO NOT HAVE A LAW DEGREE! (LOL) Way too expensive! So here is my advice for this woman: Find a law firm full of single mothers who feel victimized by life, and they will hire you immediately. I am only half joking. How well you fit counts for a whole lot more than competence. The Bush administration is glaring example of this reality.

Anonymous said...

All of the above posters miss the point....what mafia-type shark-like loan is this that in 3 years a loan can increase to $20,000....this shit borders on criminal usury.....John Gotti, rest his soul, has nothing, and I mean zero, on Scammie Mae....
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My beef with Sallie Mae is the fact that my student loans have already increased by $20,000 in the past three years. I have explained that I have no job and no steady income and offered to pay a smaller amount than the $450. they were demanding a month (as much as my rent). I said I would try to pay $150, to just pay something, but they turned their noses up at that. After going around and around, they were willing to give me a deferment, but you have to pay for it, a $150.00 "processing fee".

Anonymous said...

What's an "affort"?

Anonymous said...

Really! These people are not attorney material. I truly believe these folks when they say that they do not have jobs (with which to pay a loan). The quality of critical thinking, along with their command (or lack thereof) of the English Language speaks to their difficulty. Their loan problems will get worse, and it has nothing to do with "the system." Some people are poor performers and cannot hold a reasonable paying job. As someone wrote earlier of document review, 'welcome to the ranks!'

Anonymous said...

Good job trolling this post.

Anonymous said...

"Really! These people are not attorney material."

All the more reason to shut down TTT diploma mills that rip off people who have no reasonable chance of success.

Sarah F. said...

Not for nothing... but I just graduated (May 20, 2006 - thanks in advance for your congrats) and I've spent HOURS (probably days at this point) on the phone with the loan servicing company to which Access Group sold my loan. The problem, my school told them that I graduated last year, so all my loans are coming due a year early!! The Loan servicing company (ironically named, the "Student Loan People") told me to get a certified letter from the registrar's office stating when I graduated. I did that, then made another call to them to see why I was still getting billed. They now want a certified letter from the registrar's office stating that "we made a mistake when verifying the information on the promissory note." The chances of me getting a letter from a law school stating that they made a mistake is just a likely as hell freezing over. I totally understand what people are going through! Predatory lending practices started with mortgage companies but have now spread to student loans. I applaud Andrew Cuomo! More AGs and gov't representatives should be acting!

Anonymous said...

2:46pm, your beef "is the fact that my student loans have already increased by $20,000 in the past three years?" When you took out the loan, did you not understand how interest works?

I'm sorry, but when you voluntarily take out massive amounts of debt to voluntarily enroll in a sub-par law school, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is immune. The guy across from me went to Harvard and there are guys here with over 20 years of practice that simply got canned. You might be next, show some empathy.

Anonymous said...

12:35pm: yes, I realize that it can happen to anyone. But, statistically, most people graduating from top law schools are not having problems finding jobs. My criticism is directed toward someone who saddled himself with massive debt to go to a school from which job prospects are bleak and then blamed everyone but himself when he found out that it was people at Harvard (and the other top dozen or so schools) that were landing the $160k/year jobs and that he'd have to work as a temp just to pay back his debt. Like I said before, I find it difficult to feel sympathy for someone who did this to themself.

Anonymous said...

To 9:02

Biglaw lays off TONS of people 3-5 years out of the gate. Once you fall off that biglaw associate track, your goose is cooked.

Unlike you, however, I do feel sympathy for these people. They were lied to by "non-for-profit (wink, wink), official looking institutions with career statistics generated by questionable accounting methods; they were saddled by massive amounts of predatory, non-dischargeable debt; and were graduated into one of the most saturated legal markets the world has ever seen. How does any of this benefit anyone other than a few highly paid law school administrators, and law firm partners who are provided with a steady stream of disposable, cheap labor?

Anonymous said...

10:12am: if I was intelligent enough to know that if I couldn't get into a good law school I shouldn't go to law school at all, so should these other people (I don't have lawyers in my family, I'm not independently wealthy, I'm not a privleged brat, rather, I simply did my homework).

Again with the debt. People took out this debt VOLUNTARILY. No one forced their hand. You know how interest rates work. C'mon folks, you're college-educated people, it's not that tough to figure this stuff out.

And yes, people do get laid off from biglaw. If I feel as though I'm not going to cut it in biglaw in the long run, I intend to jump ship to government or go in-house. Job prospects for those of us on law review at a top school aren't as bleak as you're trying to make it sound.

Anonymous said...

To 10:35-

Homework? Law School placement stats. are false and misleading. I am sure you could go out and shake down/interrogate 100 random attorneys, but I think this is too much to ask for your average, naive 22 year old.

When those fraudulent placement statistics were measured up against proposed debt loads, the situation didn't seem so bleak.

Only 5% of law graduates ever land in biglaw? Maybe you were the exception, which begs the question, why are you trolling this board?

Anonymous said...

10:44: I found the link to this board off of another forum. I'm "trolling" because after reading through many comments and posts I felt compelled to respond to the "blame everyone but yourself" attitude that seems to pervade this blog.

5% of all graduates? I have no idea if that's true or not, but I won't argue. All I know is the percentage is much, much higher if you went to a good law school.

In terms of discovering true placement stats, I got much of my information on message boards like lawschooldiscussion and autoadmit which, despite their ills, can be somewhat useful.

I simply can't believe that so many college-educated people were supposedly duped into thinking that every lawyer graduating from every crappy law school is going to land a $160k job. Even without knowing more, the idea itself sounds preposterous.

Anonymous said...

"that every lawyer graduating from every crappy law school is going to land a $160k job."

More like $80-120K. Those are the figures that those shysters put out.

5% is documented: http://www.jdunderground.com/thread.php?threadId=1824

Anyway, it sounds like you crawled out of that autoadmit cesspool. If so, this hell clearly doesn't apply to you (or so you think). Why don't you go back to autoadmit and anonymously harrass/torture/threaten rape against your fellow classmates? It's a good sadistic training ground for those spoiled 25 year olds who are going to be entrusted to run some of these doc. review horror shows.

Anonymous said...

11:57: whether or not I found y'all from autoadmit is unimportant. I am a female law student at a top school heading into biglaw and I certainly haven't anonymously threatened anyone with anything. I've used that board---among others---to help me find out what pretty clearly it took you guys 3 years of struggling and a heck of a lot of debt to figure out.

Just because I made smart life choices doesn't mean I'm spoiled; I paid for my education with debt (and biglaw summer earnings) the same way you did.

My point is only that you guys made *your* life choices voluntarily. You're colleged-educated and presumably intelligent so the fact that you think you got "duped" is a little much for me to swallow. There's nothing special about me so if I could see through the "shysters," it seems to me that you should have been able to as well.

Anonymous said...

hmmm, a female law student from a top school who hangs around a board where other female top law students are threatened with anal rape, and savagely slandered? And then you have the nerve to come on to a blog like this, get up on your soap box, and at 24 proclaim that people deserve to be treated like day laborers in third world conditions? Lady, get a grip. Obviously, you are sick.

Anonymous said...

I'm older than 24.

I don't "hang around" any boards; I occasionally check them for useful information.

I'm not on a soap box. I'm simply making observations about the victim mentality that seems pervasive around here. I certainly wish working conditions were better for y'all, and I wish you could all find the job of your dreams. I don't wish ill upon anyone, but I don't buy that the situation in which you find yourself isn't entirely your fault.

I am sympathetic to the idea that some law schools are misrepresenting employment statistics, and I wish they wouldn't do that, but I dispute that the information necessary to make an informed decision isn't available somewhere. My bigger problem is with the complaining I hear about loans. No one has given me a satisfactory explanation for how your debt situation isn't your fault. If you take out a loan, you're expected to pay it back. Pretty simple.

Anonymous said...

One more thing: I do hope that y'all are able to improve things for yourselves. I think the fact that some of you have talked about organizing and trying to implore employers to improve conditions is promising, and must better than sitting around blaming everyone than yourselves.

I don't want to give the impression that I hope that all of you stuck in unfavorable conditions won't improve your situations---because I most certainly hope that your situations improve---it's just that you're smart people and I don't get how you can blame anyone but yourselves for your plight.

Anonymous said...

I normally relate to other attorneys burdened with student loan debt, but for some reason I don't feel any sympathy whatsoever for the single mother of two. I'm actually surprised she had to take student loans out in the first place. It's funny social services didn't just pick up her tab like they usually do for those kinds of people.

I'm in debt, too, graduated at the top of my class, passed TWO states' bar exams on the FIRST try, and now I'm a temp with no benefits, but you don't see me living off food stamps and telling Sallie Mae "take pity on me, I get food stamps! Waaaa! WAAA!" You get absolutely NO sympathy from me.

Here's some advice: Get a job like the rest of us. Any job will do. In fact, welfare recipients should be first in line to be sent off to Iraq, not the poor working men and women trying to do something with their lives.

Anonymous said...

Fuck her kids!

She should be forced into the Cadwalder basement every night until 11 pm like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

"You're colleged-educated and presumably intelligent so the fact that you think you got "duped" is a little much for me to swallow."

I remember in 2002 and 2003, searching the Internet for signs that the legal profession wasn't all that it was chalked up to be. I honestly can't remember ever coming across low starting salaries, tales of abuse, and horrendous student debt.

I've always lived by the general guideline that if something is too good to be true, it probably is. This saved my ass -- $135k/year seemed too good to be true. Hell, then 70-80k/year that most lower ranked schools were trumpeting as average salary sounded WAY too good to be true. So I chose an inexpensive public university.

I can see how some people were duped though. The information necessary to make an informed choice wasn't easily available.

Anonymous said...

She should be forced into the Cadwalder basement every night until 11 pm like everyone else.

She should be ashamed of herself. Here, we're working and paying taxes to keep food on that b!tch's table! Oh, and we pay her "$150" to Sallie Mae, too.

Welfare sucks. GET A JOB LIKE THE REST OF US. Oh, and don't have any more kids out of wedlock pleeeassse. We don't want to have to pay for any more food stamps!

barbsright said...

The female law student should read my comment (Barbright said (6:56AM)) which supports her viewpoint, somewhat. There are indeed a lot of intelligent, educated, smart people out there. I know some of them, but a number of them also have 'personal bankruptcies' on their credit reports. A physician is among those people. A Christian gentleman said to me that he wanted 'wise' leaders, not 'smart' ones. He was, and is, right. Wisdom in handling money is a rarity in the USA today because companies make money on peoples debt. The fact that student loans are non-dischargable encourages these disgusting enterprises to loan money to people who would otherwise, justly, be denied a loan. This woman obviously has problems, which proves just how corrupt the education system is in the USA. The female law student is right that you will have to fight for better working conditions. I would suggest you use the Screen Actors Guild as your model. Focus on agreements with law firms that represent unionized companies like Fedex, UPS, and GM etc. to begin with. I think a lot of you are in denial and believe you will limit your opportunities by being part of a labor organization, but you will only improve them. The world has changed and you must change with it.

barbsright said...

The female law student should read my comment (Barbright said (6:56AM)) which supports her viewpoint, somewhat. There are indeed a lot of intelligent, educated, smart people out there. I know some of them, but a number of them also have 'personal bankruptcies' on their credit reports. A physician is among those people. A Christian gentleman said to me that he wanted 'wise' leaders, not 'smart' ones. He was, and is, right. Wisdom in handling money is a rarity in the USA today because companies make money on peoples debt. The fact that student loans are non-dischargable encourages these disgusting enterprises to loan money to people who would otherwise, justly, be denied a loan. This woman obviously has problems, which proves just how corrupt the education system is in the USA. The female law student is right that you will have to fight for better working conditions. I would suggest you use the Screen Actors Guild as your model. Focus on agreements with law firms that represent unionized companies like Fedex, UPS, and GM etc. to begin with. I think a lot of you are in denial and believe you will limit your opportunities by being part of a labor organization, but you will only improve them. The world has changed and you must change with it.

Anonymous said...

Ok. The woman with the kids clearly was not a rocket scientist. She definately made not 1 mistake but 3. The first was the first kid out of wedlock. The second was the second kid. The third was believing the myth that most laypersons believe: that if you can graduate from ANY lawschool and pass the bar EVER, (not only on the first attempt), YOU TOO can step right into a minimum of a six figure salary!

It is all a pyramid/ponzi scheme! It matters not how intelligent you are or if you went to a good school or got good grades. Lawland is bizarro world! Nothing makes sense nor conventional wisdom. From the fraudulent employment statistics that the law schools spew out to them being bribed by the student loan companies to the false claims of Lawland's professionalism, morals and ethics that the teachers and law firm partners/owers make to the shady billing practices of firms....It's all a scam. You just have to figure or stumble into a way to profit from the scam.

There is no training! No mentorship. There is no rational thinking. They just throw you into the fire and bill the client at $400 for your incompetency.

And, now, if you are a hetrosexual white male at a large firm in manhattan, YOU are the n-word!. The misfit. The retard. Women and their gay surrogates are taking over law schools and the good jobs. Soon, when the old white men's network members begin to retire from their "grand" profession of days gone by, the Hillary Clintonista feminazis with their gay male surrogates will rule lawland and all will be exposed for the normal folks to see. Then, clients will rebel, and look for ways not to overpay.

There is a reason that normal americans HATE and I mean HATE lawyers. It's because, they are overwhelmingly ASSHOLES. If you are not a priviledged, spoiled brat W.A.S.P. or Jew and now, preferably, white woman, who has connections and who's mommy and daddy (or boss whom they are sleeping with) are paying your rent and expenses....YOU should not go to law school or be a lawyer.

Clearly this poor thing bought the myth...I mean LIE that many smarter people have bought and has been sold down the river of massive debt and misery.

Anonymous said...

The top 10% get the jobs. Everybody knows that. Why weren't you in the top 10%? Too busy enjoying "bar" reviews?

Anonymous said...

if the job statistics are cooked why not sue the law schools for fraud? if the loans do not properly disclose interest rates etc. why not sue under TILA? if there is no debtor's prison and the loans aren't dischargeable in BK, why not just refuse to pay them back a penny and obtain no nonexempt assets? lawyers should be creative in dealing with these issues. the law is nothing more than a tool.

Anonymous said...

Because many so called "non for profits," including law schools, are exempted from FTC false advertising rules.

Anonymous said...

this is for the first two responses in this string: its absolutely a shame that you so callously judge this woman for wanting to "better" her life and go back to school. we were all sold this dream (read lie) that advanced education was the way to go, I bought it and some of you on here did. Like someone else above above said, have some empathy b/c life has a way in one way or another of biting everybody in the butt.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:01 pm:

No one is judging: It is a proven fact that promiscuous people (those with children born out of wedlock) make less money over their lifetimes than those who live a life with ANY Western system of values, be they Mormon, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. ( www.bls.gov )

Poor decisions are usually met with poor results. This is analysis, helping our fellow contract attorneys, not vilifying them.

Best Regards,
Accept Responsibility for Your Actions

Anonymous said...

My husband and I both went to law school and have TWO sets of law school loans.... One good thing, the creditors were so greedy and were calling so often and making threats (violating state and federal cllection laws) that we had counter claims against them and negotaited a settlment that reduced our loans by 50% and removed all of our negative credit..

Worth a try ...

Feel free to email me
- Becky

BalancedLifeForWomen@yahoo.com