I cosigned some private loans for my son when he was attending the Art Institute of Portland, a private for-profit college, now defunct. The details are typical, but long story short, he left the school when it became clear that he wouldn’t be able to complete a degree there. The original holder of the loan was Sallie Mae, and is now Navient. The debt is over 100K. My son is overseas, and safe from Navient’s clutches. Meanwhile, I’m dealing with them.
I was paying over $670/month to Navient until I decided to stop. Because of the pandemic, Navient extended a couple of forbearances. When I told them I couldn’t resume making the payments they wanted, they extended an offer reducing the monthly payment to $74.57 (with only 305 more payments to go!). However, since AI was a fraudulent institution, I’m disinclined to make any more payments on the debt.
We have filed a defense-to-repayment through the Debt Collective, though so far there hasn’t been a reply. The Oregon Bar Association referred me to a lawyer whose advice was to follow my gut instinct to go ahead and default on the loan, since it would give me more leverage with Navient in negotiating a lower principal. I would prefer to see the loan abolished altogether.
In the meantime, I’m wondering how I should be communicating with Navient, and what I should expect to happen on their end. Is there anyone who has gone through a default process who would be willing to talk to me about it? I would appreciate it very much.
Best wishes to all in this struggle,