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New Member
speechless
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-18-2012
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Student Loan Family Forgery Nightmare. Now what?

[ Edited ]

My story is complicated and pretty sad, and I don't know what to do. I've tried to make this as brief as possible.

 

My mother and stepfather encouraged me to enroll in the very best college I could get into. They took me on visits starting when i was 12 years old, and they gave me the gift of an education at a top school. They paid for it-- or so I thought. They told me that they were taking out some loans, and I told them that i would help them to repay them when I could afforrd to. They made it clear to me that THEY were taking out loans-- I was not. I had no knowledge of the specifics-- lender, amount, terms, etc. I never even saw my own financial statements, which were sent to my parents in my home state. I didn't feel entightled to my education-- it was a very generous gift that was as important to them as to me.

 

I graduated in 2007. In 2009, i was contacted by DCS about defaulted private student loans (CittiAssist) totalling $75K. I disputed this, talked extensively to my mom about it, who swore that they were supposed to be in their names. We wrote lots of letters to Citibank and DCS, but my mother wanted to handle it-- fix it-- because she felt she had dropped the ball since they were in default. I let her do this, which was my major mistake-- but i trusted my parents to look out for me, because  i had no reason not to. I'm leaving out a lot of back and forth here, but the gist is that for two years, she made calls and we both wrote letters, and it seemed like we were making progress until it became clear via my credit report that we were spinning our wheels. I followed her instructions, as she seemed confident she could fix the error.

 

My parents divorced, and it was ugly. In 2011 i heard from 2 CAs, six months apart, about the debt. I disputed; heard nothing. A legal aid lawyer told my mother that the only way to clean my record of these loans was to file an identity theft report (which i have been assured covers companies' clerical errors, which at the time I still believed this was) and go through the CRAs, which we did. Experian and Equifax blocked the debts, but TU did not. My mom is still trying to convince them to, and she thinks she will succeed. But even if she does, I'm not sure that solution will be permanent. 

 

I decided to do more myself, because it had been 3 years since I was first contacted, and still it was not resolved.  I called my college and asked if they had the promissory note, and they put me on hold, came back and said "no, but we called citibank, and they said they can send it if you call and request it."  But three months ago, I even had a lawyer write a letter demanding the agreement! Citi did not write back. But my college did furnish me the last year of  my financial records (they destroy everything after 5 years), and there were some fishy looking things on it, including a "refund" issued to me that I certainly never received.

 

My next step was to go to citibank again, but my  mom begged me not to. Why wake the sleeping giant,  we're 2 for 3 with the CRAs, just hang in there, etc. She gave me a long run around and a lot of emotion and denial, but it is finally becoming apparent to me that either my mother or stepfather forged my signature on thess loans-- perhaps, in their minds, innocently.  I think she doesn't want me to pursue citibank because she knows this, and if there is a co-signer, it would be my now ex-stepfather, of whom we are very frightened. He is a violent alcoholic and we have been estranged since the divorce.

 

In sum: If my name is on these loans, it was forged by family. But I DID go to the school where the money was sent. I'm scared to provoke the lender. Probably there was a cosigner, but we don't want to provoke him either. The debts are blocked from 2/3 of my CRAs, but I don't know-- maybe Citi can still sue me. The SOL in my home state is 15 years, the SOL is my college state is 6, and the SOL where I live now is 6. I make $20k per year, and my mother is nearly homeless.

 

What the heck do I do now?

Regular Contributor
Beasley12
Posts: 137
Registered: ‎06-04-2012
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Re: Student Loan Family Forgery Nightmare. Now what?

Two things about your story jumped out at me. (1) they forged your name (2) a refund was issued that YOU did not receive. I am lacking on advice other than to tell you that it seems like BOTH of your parents duped you and if you want a resolution then your mother as well as your dad will have to answer for it. If it were me, I would fight it regardless of who may get mad or hurt because you were obviously lied to. I realize that you did receive the education however had you known you would be legally responsible maybe you could have made arrangements to pay the loan. Instead you are now left with at least one damaged credit report, your future income tax refunds can be garnished for student loans, and the collectors will hound you.
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Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Student Loan Family Forgery Nightmare. Now what?

I agree that this goes deeper than just filing a police report.   You NEED To get copies of the original loan paperwork signed.   The DOE will not let this go quietly...and while the SOL may exist, having defaulted student loans can haunt you for years.  Many years.

 

Get to the bottom of it.  Stop letting your mom dictate what you will or will not do regarding this mess.   Ask your mom point blank about the loans.  Also, go get a copy of the divorce decree and property settlement.   The loans your parents took out should be clearly defined in the property settlement.  Who pays  what.  :smileyhappy:

 

Please keep us updated.

New Member
speechless
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-18-2012
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Re: Student Loan Family Forgery Nightmare. Now what?

Today I sent, through my school's legal service (I'm in grad school now, but don't worry, it was free), a more "persuasive" packet to TU with back up documentation of my protests to citibank, back to summer 2009. We'll see if that does anything. They agreed that this is a delicate situation and they see why I don't want to "poke the bear" by forcefully hunting down the prom note via citibank. I can't point my finger at my mother (criminally)-- I still have siblings at home, and I couldn't, emotionally, be responsible for that. Citibank has received letters from her saying that there was a mistake, these loans were never supposed to be in my name. At least she has tried to correct her mistake, and I have proof of that.

 

BUT: I also had a phone consult with a lawyer (referred by a friend) who said that the "poke the bear" thing was a false fear-- that in a huge corporation like Cit, these departments are far enough away from each other that me getting my prom note isn't going to "flag" me or cause them to sue me any faster.

 

The SOL will do that-- and we don't know the SOL yet for me, because my permanent residence at the time of the loan, the location of the school to to which money was disbursed, lender's headquarters, and my current state of residence are all different states. And one has a disastrously long SOL-- 15 years. He says getting the paperwork via Qualified Written Request will clear this up.

 

He says I need to write a Qualified Written Request to the creditor as it appears on my CR. What do you all think?

 

Should I try to do this from a lawyer's office, in case cit doesn't have my current address?

 

IOBA: I was at the divorce trial. There's nothing in the settlement. My mother's lawyer didn't deal with them (we both told her), and my stepfather perjured himself about several matters.

Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Student Loan Family Forgery Nightmare. Now what?

The SOL is usually for the state you are currently residing in.   

 

I personally think you need to get to the bottom of this - regardless of the consequences.   No one is going to prosecute your mom or step dad unless the DA decides to.  The DA has choices.  It has to get to the DA, usually from the police.   You are no where close to that step.

 

The way your mother has acted during this - I think she intentionally committed fraud and thought she could get away with it.   Now she's scared you are going to find out.  If she did this to you, what else has she done?   It's, IMO, important to confront her with this behavior and get it to stop.  Guilt alone may be enough.  But you need to know.

 

If the loan was not discussed or mentioned in the property settlement, then it sounds like both parties (mom and step dad) knew that the loans were never in their names.

Regular Contributor
Steelersfan904
Posts: 150
Registered: ‎05-04-2012
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Re: Student Loan Family Forgery Nightmare. Now what?


IOBA wrote:

The SOL is usually for the state you are currently residing in.   

 

I personally think you need to get to the bottom of this - regardless of the consequences.   No one is going to prosecute your mom or step dad unless the DA decides to.  The DA has choices.  It has to get to the DA, usually from the police.   You are no where close to that step.

 

The way your mother has acted during this - I think she intentionally committed fraud and thought she could get away with it.   Now she's scared you are going to find out.  If she did this to you, what else has she done?   It's, IMO, important to confront her with this behavior and get it to stop.  Guilt alone may be enough.  But you need to know.

 

If the loan was not discussed or mentioned in the property settlement, then it sounds like both parties (mom and step dad) knew that the loans were never in their names.


I agree with this part. I had an old room-mate still my identity YEARS ago and when I found out I was told I had to file fraud charges so I did but the cops nor the DA would touch it since we lived in the same household



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New Member
speechless
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-18-2012
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Re: Student Loan Family Forgery Nightmare. Now what?

I submitted the QWR to citibank using the legal services office as the return address. If they don't have my home address, I'm not giving  it now. They have either 20 or 60 days to respond with all the documentation-- can't get a sure answer on that either. But they didn't answer my lawyer's letter, so we'll see.

 

I submitted the refund inquiry to my college. Who they made the check out to or what account they directed deposited it in will tell me a lot.

 

Now I wait.

 

My dad (my real dad, uninvolved in any of this) came this weekend, and i told him the whole thing. I guess i was hoping he would say, "hey, she's not perfect, but there's no way she would do that. there's got to be a mistake." He said he wasn't surprised, and then told me a lot about her that I sure wish he'd told me when i was seventeen, instead of now. But even knowing (and caring about) the people involved, he feels very strongly that i have to see this through, and that i can't protect her from something she did. I'm just devastated, frankly. 

 

Anyway-- i'll keep you posted on the paperwork.

 

 

Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Student Loan Family Forgery Nightmare. Now what?

speechless - it's not easy.   And would you have listened to your bio dad when you were 17 if he had told you any of this?

 

Follow this through.  If it was done to you, it might be done to your siblings.

 

Yes, having a copy of the front and the back of the check will help you learn a little more about the fraud.  I am sorry you are going this.  I went through something horrible with a bio parent that actually prevented me from buying my first house.  I found out after I was under contract.  I was devasted.  But it was a valuable leasson.  I can share in email, but not here.

 

Please do keep us in the loop.  Many people have been screwed by family members and friends.  It's important to share information and stories.

Regular Contributor
DM6410
Posts: 131
Registered: ‎02-15-2010
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Re: Student Loan Family Forgery Nightmare. Now what?

@ speechless, you have a very sad but real story. I have a cousin who stole her daughter's credit identity since her's was so bad. She choose not to fix her own credit but destroy her daughters. Her dgtr doesn't spk to my cousin til this day because she can't get cable, a car, school loan, credit card, or even utilities without being put through the ringer. It is real that parent's sometimes steal their kid's identity to gain money or their credit for self serving purposes. I am sorry to hear you are in this situation. Good Luck and don't give up.

As far as my credit goes, I am a work in progress...
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speechless2
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎07-02-2012
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Re: Student Loan Family Forgery Nightmare. Now what?

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