Webinar to learn about the SAVE Student Loan Replayment Plan

There is a NY State organization called EdCap leading a virtual webinar on the new replayment plan. Even if you are not in NY, I imagine this program can help.

“EDCAP is a program of the Community Service Society of New York (CSS). It was created to help New Yorkers struggling with student debt navigate the student loan repayment system and regain financial health. We are funded by New York State.”

I am hosting a program with them, but have also worked as a client of theirs.

I hope this serves as some relief to the payments starting up again.

Take care,


I have attempted more than once to bring to the attention of the Community Service Society an additional (and much worse) problem with student debt in the state of New York. But my attempts to contact CSS have been ignored, without even the courtesy of an acknowledgment.

In brief, the situation is this. For students attending any of the SUNY (State University of New York) colleges or universities, if students encounter financial problems and cannot pay tuition or other fees in full when they are due, SUNY advertises to the education community (and the press) that it has programs in place to help these students. This is a lie, and a rather bold one considering the huge gap between this claim and reality.

In fact, for such students, SUNY colleges first issue a perfunctory form notice that carries an ultimatum – a demand for full payment at the due date, and if students suggest any alternative that could keep them in school, all such discussions are categorically rejected. SUNY then expels these students, cancels all their previously earned (and paid for) college credit, and turns over their student “account” to New York’s Attorney General’s office.

The AG’s office accepts the account, and without contacting the student, or checking any information contained therein, and with no knowledge of who these students are (outside data on the account form), the AG sues them on SUNY’s behalf. (Virtually unique among state university systems, SUNY is considered a “state agency” and is therefore legally represented by the AG’s office.)

(Incidentally, this is the same AG’s office under Letitia James that has waited around for years to finally sue Trump. By contrast, the AG does not wait to sue students. It’s done automatically and quickly, like operating a machine.)

For these lawsuits, there is no judge involved, no court, no trial, and rarely any student legal representation. Virtually all these cases end up as quick default judgements against the student. The judgements are not even seen or signed by a judge, but by an assistant AG. So in effect the AG acts as both party and judge in its own case.

In the great majority of cases, students learn of the judgements against them well after the fact. They are never informed directly by the AG, by SUNY, or even by the court clerk (who files the case only); students must figure it out for themselves after their wages or tax refunds are garnished.

But this is not all. For additional punishment, the New York AG’s judgment tacks on a host of supplemental (and largely unexplained) fees. Offices not even involved (such as the Albany county sheriff’s office) get their cuts. Most of these are relatively small except for the fee the AG awards to itself, which is over 20 percent of the unpaid bill. Note that this fee is tacked on, not a part of the overall judgment based on the original bill. And the final thrust is the interest rate; after adding up all the fees, the whole amount accumulates compound interest at the highest rate allowed under New York law, 9 percent. (The law states, “up to 9 percent,” but the AG always uses the maximum.)

This is not a rare event. From 2008 to present, some 25,000 students have been sued by New York (data obtained via FOIL requests). I roughly estimate that about one in every hundred SUNY students gets sued. However, since these suits are against mostly impoverished students forced to quit, the state gains almost nothing financially. All the procedure does is to add further pain to people whose only crime is trying to earn a college education. .

I have apprised the Community Service Society of this unique New York phenomenon – no other state in the country sues its college student or treats them with such contempt – but so far CSS has neither replied or even acknowledged this disgraceful state of affairs.

Thank you for listening.

Greg Summers

Hi Greg,

I have so many thoughts! Firstly, thank you for sharing this with me.

“From 2008 to present, some 25,000 students have been sued by New York”
This is news to me and I appreciate you explaining the situation. I remember working for a school in NJ that said they would pay me back for a class I was required to take to be a school/media specialist and then I left the school at the end of the year. When I asked why I hadn’t been reimbursed at the end of the course, they said you didn’t work with us for three years, so we don’t reimburse teachers in your case. That was just ONE class. I felt duped. It’s unacceptable how students are treated in tough financial situations. They had failed to mention that…

This seems like for-profit college behavior. Just awful.
“cancels all their previously earned (and paid for) college credit, and turns over their student “account” to New York’s Attorney General’s office.” !!

I so appreciate you writing. It may be outside the scope of EdCap specifically, but I am working with teen librarians mentoring high school students to prepare for college and will bring this up with them to tell the students. I am thinking of some other ideas too that are still in the works.

Thank you for writing. Maybe others will see this message too and have ideas on how to fight this.

Danielle, thank you for your encouraging words and sharing a related experience of your own.

Right now I am still in the fact finding stage, with the possible goal of filing a class action lawsuit against SUNY and the AG’s office. This class action lawsuit would address SUNY’s cancellation of earned college credit for which student had already paid tuition.

Virtually all these 25, 000 former SUNY students cannot claim college credit on job applications, or transfer credit to attend another university. Again, I underscore that this is earned and paid for credit. It is simply cancelled by SUNY for any unpaid bill, with no hearing, no discussion, no attempt at a solution, only an form letter ultimatum and then lawsuit by the AG.

Thank you again, and if you or anyone else is interested, I can keep you informed of the status.

Greg Summers

Greg, keep us updated. I found this article about the lawsuits that really helped paint the picture: New York state sues students for SUNY debts

It is a couple years old, but a worthy read in case someone else was new to this side of student debt too.

Danielle, I shall keep you updated, and thanks for the article!