Student loans are tough. Neither the courts nor Congress make it easy when a consumer cannot afford to repay federal and particularly private student loans. There are limited ways to deal with Sallie Mae, and Consumer Rights Attorneys have had some success. A consumer should consult with an attorney to make sure he or she is viewing the situation from the right angles.
In PA, a resident does have some limited debt collection protections against a creditor such as Sallie Mae. It's called the Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act (FCEUA). It's limited because the consumer has to sustain actual (countable) damages as a result of creditor violations. Moreover, it may be wholly inapplicable because federal regulations (e.g., required debtor contacts, frequency of contacts, manner of contacts, etc.) may completely preempt (override) PA's state law.
Unfortunately, what you've been told isn't true. Sallie Mae can pursue the debt unless you're current on the original terms. If you suspect the debt or balance is no accurate, you can ask for an accounting or request validation of the debt. In addition, there are limits as to what methods they can take to collect the debt and you can demand that they only take certain approaches if you prefer. Check with a local attorney to review your options.
Evan A. Nielsen
1255 W. Colton Ave., #506 | Redlands, CA 92374
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Evan A. Nielsen is licensed to practice law in California. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for a particular matter. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult an attorney.