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CookieSan74 karma

Is it safe to assume that when you marry and file taxes jointly, your spouses student loan debt is basically your obligation?

CookieSan1 karma

You may have seen the recent Last Week Tonight with John Oliver episode on debt buyers. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxUAntt1z2c) Though his focus is on medical debt, it got me wondering:

Since student loans are bought and sold all the time, is it possible to make a collector prove they hold the debt (eg. signed promissory note with all the transactions that ultimately gave them the right to collect it?)

CookieSan1 karma

If there is a married couple, partner A has zero student loan debt and a high paying job, partner B has a lot of student loan debt and a low paying job, and they file taxes jointly, are both incomes taken into account for IBR, PAYE, REPAYE, and ICR?

CookieSan1 karma

Hi Andy. My wife went through quite an ordeal with federal student loans. She requested to consolidate all federal loans held by Great Lakes, but because they serviced multiple loans, they for some reason only consolidated about 50% of them. Ultimately she defaulted (and later rehabilitated) the second half of these loans. What was interesting was that every transaction with this set of loans from here on out was (and still is) handled through the same parent organization, with the website www.greatlakes.org. Essentially, Great Lakes (the servicer) did not consolidate all loans, which caused the loans they kept to default. They then "sold" the defaulted loans to Great Lakes (the debt collector). After we rehabilitated the loans, Great Lakes (the debt collector), "sold" the loans back to Great Lakes (the servicer), at which time they tacked on an additional 16-18% "fee" to the principal.

It was confirmed to us in a recorded call with one of their top ombudsman people that Great Lakes (the debt collector) and Great Lakes (the servicer) are both "the same company" and the person who oversees both organizations is Richard D. George. I understand that fee is federal statute, but is this legal? If legal, is it ethical?