How to Beat National Collegiate Trust in Court

Paul Salvatoriello

July 27, 2020

Summary: Sued by National Collegiate Trust? This guide will help you figure out what to do next. You can use SoloSuit to win the lawsuit.

It is an understatement to say that we are in challenging economic times, and the issue of student debt is a massive problem for people throughout the United States. In fact, American borrowers owe over $1.4 trillion on student loans, and $100 billion of that is in private student loans that come with very few consumer protections.

One of the nation's largest holders of that private student-loan debt is a company called National Collegiate Trust, and it has a reputation for using aggressive, even unscrupulous, tactics to collect on those private loans.

If you are currently facing or think you may soon be facing a collection action initiated by National Collegiate Trust, then you may feel that you have no leverage. You may feel scared to even respond to correspondence about your student debt, thinking that you are not able to fight back against National Collegiate's strong-arm collection tactics.

Think again. You are not powerless. You can fight back.

In this article, we are going to tell you all about what National Collegiate Trust is; about the mistakes that the company has made recently; and, most importantly, how you can beat National Collegiate Trust in court. If, after reading this article, you have more questions about how you can fight back against National Collegiate Trust, or any debt collector, we welcome you to contact us at solosuit.com. We are here to help those with debt stand up against debt collectors.

What Is National Collegiate Trust?

Generally speaking, National Collegiate Trust is an entity that holds private student-loan debt, and then packages the debt into securities that investors can buy.

Investors make money on those securities when the student debt is paid off by the student who borrowed the money. So, National Collegiate Trust has a huge incentive to make sure students pay their loans back, which of course leads to its aggressive debt collection practices.

Why is National Collegiate Involved in My Student Loans in the First Place?

If you wonder why National Collegiate Trust is sending you correspondence when you initially got your student loan through another lender, don't worry, you are not alone. National Collegiate Trust does not provide student loans, it just buys them from other lenders after the loan is given out. Here is how the process typically works.

When you first take out a private student loan, you do so through what is called a loan originator. That could be a bank like JPMorgan Chase, Charter One, or Bank of America. Then, once the originator lends you the money, it will sell the loan to a depositor. While the mechanics are complicated, National Collegiate Trust is essentially a depositor of private student loans.

In order to get the loan paid back by students who have graduated, depositors like National Collegiate will engage servicers who send billing statements so that students can make their loan payments. Normally, the servicer's name, not the depositor's name, is on the bill. The depositor, however, still is the owner of your private student loan.

If you fail to pay your private student loan back, it is the depositor who hires the debt collectors to demand payment. National Collegiate Trust is one of the biggest depositors of private student loans in the country. So, if you are receiving collection demands or you received a lawsuit in connection with your private student loan, then you will likely see National Collegiate Trust as the entity trying to collect.

(Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.)

National Collegiate Complaints

A little over two years ago, National Collegiate Trust found itself in deep legal trouble of its own for forcefully going after borrowers in connection with loans that were legally uncollectable. Specifically, federal regulators from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) went after National Collegiate Trust in 2017 after finding that National Collegiate was suing student loan borrowers for

  • Loans that National Collegiate could not prove it owned, or
  • Loans in which the statute of limitations (i.e., the deadline for collecting on a loan) had passed.

(Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide. )

Because of its actions, National Collegiate Trust was forced to pay over $19 million in penalties and had to agree to set aside $3.5 million for refunds to 2,000 student loan borrowers.

National Collegiate Trust's Legal Problems Show You How to Beat Them in Court.

What is most helpful about the CFPB's enforcement action is that it reveals precisely how student loan borrowers can fight back against National Collegiate Trust and other aggressive loan holders. In short, it gives you a roadmap on how to beat National Collegiate Trust in court.

First, in order for National Collegiate Trust to win a debt collection lawsuit against you, it must prove that it, in fact, owns your student loan. The proof must come in the form of documentation showing that National Collegiate bought the loan from the originator and currently holds it. As the CFPB has demonstrated, National Collegiate Trust has some difficulty with keeping its records in order.

Second, in order for National Collegiate to win a debt collection lawsuit, it must prove that it attempted to collect the loan during the time allowed by law. Each state has what is called a “statute of limitations,” which essentially gives a certain length of time for someone to collect on a debt. For example, if your state's statute of limitations is five years, then National Collegiate cannot legally try to collect on your loan if it is more than five years overdue.

What does that mean for you when you receive a collection lawsuit from National Collegiate Trust? It means that you should stand up for yourself against the lawsuit and force National Collegiate to prove its case. To do that, you need to do the following:

  1. Upon receipt of a lawsuit in the mail, respond right away by filing an Answer. You can get help with filing an Answer in your home state by going to solosuit.com. In fact, SoloSuit makes it easy to file an Answer to a collection lawsuit in any jurisdiction.
  2. In the lawsuit, you should demand that National Collegiate Trust prove, with documentation, that it actually owns your particular student loan.
  3. Assert the statute of limitations as a defense when you file your Answer. It is highly likely that the statute of limitations will have run out with regard to your student loan.

What is most advantageous about confronting National Collegiate Trust, rather than trying to hide from their collection efforts, is that you have a good chance of getting your entire student loan debt dismissed. You do so either because National Collegiate Trust will be unable to come up with the documentation to prove ownership of your loan, or because the statute of limitations period has passed.

It is well worth the effort to fight back because having the debt dismissed entirely will do wonders for your credit rating, and for your peace of mind.

(Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?)

Get SoloSuit to Help You Fight Back Against National Collegiate Trust.

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit. SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that will ask you all the necessary questions to complete your answer to a complaint. When finished, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts. Or, even better, you can pay SoloSuit a small fee to file it for you, and also have an attorney review the document.

Respond with SoloSuit

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>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance

Conclusion

National Collegiate Trust does not hold all the cards, even if they try to sue you in court for payment of student loan debt. You can fight back. With the help of SoloSuit, you can easily respond to a collection lawsuit. Given National Collegiate Trust's track record of poor record keeping, you may have a good chance of winning your case in the end. Get started at solosuit.com today.

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