I wrote about these loans here a year ago, but no one responded. I’m trying to reach out again as we have developed a new possible strategy for forcing their separation which we (a group of us who have been meeting on Slack and other social media platforms) are in the process of pursuing legal assistance for. We are interviewing lawyers now and are looking for ones who have expertise and interest in facing Navient (and others like Navient) and possibly the Dept. of Ed. in a possible class action or mass action lawsuit.
Joint Spousal Consolidated FFELs are no longer offered, due to their obvious problematic nature. These bonds of financial “commitment” survive divorce. They even survive permanent disability! (if one spouse or ex spouse is disabled, their portion of the debt will be removed from the ledger, but they will still be jointly liable for the remainder of the debt.) This is the definition of predatory lending. But that isn’t our strategy. Our strategy chiefly involves an inherent violation of the Equal Credit and Opportunity Act on the basis of marital status discrimination, among other issues with these joint spousal loans.
We aim to have these loans separated so their holders can convert them to the newer Direct Loan Program that offers many types of relief, including COVID, Relief and PSLF. Most importantly, if they are converted to Direct Loans, they will be positioned to be automatically abolished if there is ever a jubilee.
There is a small possibility that these loans could be abolished outright due to their inherent violation of the ECOA. In addition, actual damages could be awarded if the suit is successful. Yes these loans are privately serviced, government-backed loans, but since Navient et al. have a history of calling these loans “private” when needed for their aims and “government” when needed for their aims, a lawyer would have to create a more involved strategy to deal with whom to sue and how or if there is a more effective approach. We are working on all of this now. Feel free to join our Slack group. https://join.slack.com/t/separatespous-wot5359/shared_invite/zt-jcaxqamq-0EATGWb7T~6U~~yB6S2Qhg
Also please comment about these loans here—we need to build a bigger sub group for this action.