ATI Career Training Centers In Texas Rips Off Students

ATI Career Training Centers In Texas Rips Off Students

ATI Career Training Centers in Texas were informed by the Texas Workforce Commission that they were to cease enrolling students in their programs as of 2014. ATI, a formerly $400 million company may have gotten away with ripping off its students and the taxpayers for several years, but with the closure of its 16 Texas-based campuses, Texas students will no longer become victims of this for-profit scam artist.

A former employee turned whistleblower led officials to investigate ATI and their discoveries about the company’s practices were quickly found to be true. Predatory enrollment practices were in place which had officials targeting strip clubs, homeless shelters, and low-income neighborhoods for prospective students. If students didn’t have the required educational backgrounds, no worries, ATI would simply forge any compliance documents required in order to make the student eligible for federal financial aid programs. Students unable to speak English were also enrolled in English-only classes to fill seats and meet the strict enrollment requirements set out by administration.

ATI committed fraud in several ways and was found to be fiddling around with grades, attendance reports, transcripts, and those who had never even set foot on campus found they had huge loans in their names which had been sent directly to ATI. If that weren’t enough, officials also discovered that ATI was lying about its job placement successes and job placement salaries. It was even found that companies listed as employing graduated ATI students had no such employees on site.

The investigation which led to this demand by TWC claims that ATI was lying about its job placement reports and that students were not even working in the places it indicated.  These false hopes came with a hefty price tag and left many students unable to find employment or pay off their student loans. Texas told ATI that current students must be allowed to finish the program at no additional cost or that ATI must arrange for students to complete their program at a comparable school at no charge to the student.

Why go through all that, you ask? ATIs fraudulent and predatory actions allowed them to dip into lucrative federal student loan programs and Pell Grants they could never have gotten their hands on otherwise without doing things by the book. The systemic, nationwide fraudulent activity got the company to a $400 million net worth but all it got students was huge debts and expensive fire starter.

Students enrolled in programs and failing were often recycled into other programs by the school in order to continuously receive federal student loan disbursements, maintain their eligibility status, and receive new funding. In the end, many of these students failed to meet course objectives, maxed out their federal loan amounts, and had no education to show for it. With tuition fees ranging from $13,741 to $46,744 per program, those dollars certainly added up quickly. Students showing interest in the predatory enrollment schemes were lured in by the rosy picture painted that they could escape poverty forever with ATIs guarantee of job placement with hefty salaries at the end of their programs.

While recent suits have resulted in settlements, none of them mean that ATI has had to admit to any wrongdoing. What’s $3.7 million to a company that defrauded the people and government out of $400 million, after all? Approximately $2 million of those settlements will go to refunding federal student loans for moneys ATI wasn’t entitled to, the remainder will go to other arbitration and a portion of what is left will go to the whistleblower that turned ATI in.  Those not part of the settlement are left to struggle with student debt for years to come, have few job prospects with their diploma, and many didn’t even manage to get out of it with the paper in hand. Those students who are affected by the settlement will still have to find another college, go through the entire program, and effectively start from square one.

If you feel you were defrauded by the school you attended or you are being treated poorly as a distressed borrower by your creditors, contact StudentLoanFAQ’s and speak to one of our advisors about student loan forgiveness. You may qualify to consolidate or even wipe out your remaining student loans.

Higher One Ordered To Compensate Students

Higher One Ordered To Compensate Students

Approximately 1.5 million students were paying fees in order to access their financial aid through Higher One Inc. The Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is now ordering Higher One Inc. to compensate these students. For the time that Higher One Inc. was falsely advertising their services, 570,000 students opened accounts. These students will now be able to receive part of the $24 million that Higher One Inc. must pay in restitution fees. The company will also need to pay $2.23 million for a civil suit. WEX Bank in Utah also worked with Higher One Inc. and combined, the two companies will have to pay fines in the amount of $31 million to another 900,000 students. WEX Bank will also need to pay $1.75 million for a civil suit.

Federal Governor Lael Brainard stated, “Deceptive marketing practices with respect to student loans will not be tolerated. This action ensures that students who were misled into paying fees to access their financial aid funds will receive restitution for those fees.”

The U.S. Department of Education has been taking steps to ensure that students are not required to pay fees to access their financial aid money. They are able to choose how they receive their money instead of needing to open the One Account through Higher One Inc. Higher One Inc. had neglected to tell students about these options, as well as not giving them any fee or limitation information for the One Account. Higher One also displayed school logos during presentations and meetings, which allowed students to believe that the college was endorsing the product that was offered.

FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg stated, “It is important that financial products offered to college students under the sponsorship of their universities are clear, transparent and trustworthy.”

Higher One Holdings Inc. stated on December 15th that it was planning on selling all of their assets and liabilities which includes One Account to Customers Bank for $37 million. The parent company of Customers Bank is Customers Bancorp Inc. and Chief Financial Officer Robert Wahlman stated in a phone interview that he expects all issues to be completed before finalizing the sale.

If you feel you were defrauded by the school you attended or you are being treated poorly as a distressed borrower by your creditors, contact StudentLoanFAQ’s and speak to one of our advisors about student loan forgiveness. You may qualify to consolidate or even wipe out your remaining student loans.

anthem-college-lawsuit-for-predatory-sales-techniques

How To Get Federal Student Loans Forgiven Based On Education Fraud

How To Get Federal Student Loans Forgiven Based On Education Fraud

Thousands of consumers have been duped, scammed, hustled and the like by schools across the country and now…finally…they have a chance to fight back.   A  petition program called the Defense to Repayment has been released by the Department of Education as a way to provide some reprieve to the rampant consumer fraud that has occurred in the education space.

Under the letter of the law, any consumer that feels they have been defrauded by the school they attended can petition the Department of Education under this provision.

The Department of Education cites the petition should include a comprehensive account of the fraud and deception that occurred, including specific acts of alleged misconduct of the school.  In addition, it should address the injury suffered by the borrower as a result of the school’s alleged misconduct.  And lastly, the petition should cite the state and federal laws that were violated while dealing with the school.

Do you know your consumer laws?

Unfortunately, submitting a successful petition is not as easy at it sounds.  Despite the sentiments from the Department of Education, the Federal Government is not really that motivated to discharge billions of dollars in student loan debt.   The Department of Education is required by law to respond to every petition, however without some knowledge of consumer laws and how they relate to the fraud that occurred, it would be easy to see a submitted petition getting improperly denied.

What Happens After A Petition Is Submitted

When  planning on submitting a petition, one can request their debt be placed in forbearance.  All the federal student debt that borrower has automatically goes into forbearance even if all forbearance has been exhausted.  This means the borrower would not have to make payments on any of their loans regardless if they are included in the petition or not.

In addition, if the loans are in default, any tax or wage garnishment stops.  This rule alone might be worth submitting a petition for some.  After the petition is submitted, the forbearance and the garnishment reprieve lasts for as long as it takes for Department of Education to respond to the petition. For those that may want to pay the interest while the debt is in forbearance or pay on the loans outside the petitioned loans, the borrower can do so.

 

Thousand Deceived By For-Profit Schools Can Now Petition Against Their Debt

If you feel you were defrauded by the school you attended or you are being treated poorly as a distressed borrower by your creditors, contact StudentLoanFAQ’s and speak to one of our advisors about student loan forgiveness. You may qualify to consolidate or even wipe out your remaining student loans.