Unwanted Calls from Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency? Here’s what to do.
So, you decided to actualize your life-long dream of becoming a qualified professional by going to college and specializing in your field of preference, congratulations. You must know by now that applying for college can be an arduous and financially tasking endeavor, one that you often cannot take on by yourself, hence the need to apply for a student loan from Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency?
Student loans are ranked as the second most common form of debt taken on by the average American citizen (second only to mortgage debt). According to recent findings, over 44 million Americans are in student debt, with over $1.5 trillion in defaulted payments to the government. So, don’t feel overwhelmed if you have defaulted on your payments, there are many other Americans who are in similar or worse situations, and we are here to help you.
The number of students going to college has never been higher than it is today; that is the American dream, after all. What you don’t know is that the American dream can quickly become a nightmare when debt collectors begin hounding you over student loans that you cannot pay.
What Happens if you default on your Student Loans?
If you fail to make payments on your student loan, then it will most likely be transferred to a Debt Collection agency. Your federal student loans will go into default if you have failed to make payments for nine months. The time limit on private student loans may vary from one loan to another.
Once your debt has been transferred to a Debt Collection agency, they will do all within their power to get you to resolve the debt. This may include ceaseless phone calls, messages, and letters, or even physical contact.
Often, Debt Collection agencies step out of the boundaries prescribed for them by law in a bid to collect a debt. Because your rights are protected by law, if the debt collection agency responsible for handling your student loan oversteps a boundary, you are entitled to a free lawyer and compensation north of $1000. What then are your rights?
Your Consumer rights under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collections Act (or FDCPA) was enacted in 1978 for the protection of consumers like you. The act shields you from the harassing tactics that your student loan collection agency may employ to get you to pay your debts quickly. The FDCPA provides a means by which you can tackle the abusive practices of debt collectors and validate your debt to ensure that it is accurate and that it is indeed yours.
The FDCPA stipulates guidelines that debt collectors must adhere to in the process of debt collection. If Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency breaks any of these rules, then you may have the right to file a valid case of debt collection harassment against them. Under the FDCPA, a debt collector is not allowed to:
- Call you repeatedly or ceaselessly: If debt collectors call you repeatedly or ceaselessly, they have violated student loan debt collection laws. The FDCPA considers repeat calls from debt collectors, amounting to the excess of 7 times a day as a case of harassment.
- Call you too early or too late: If debt collectors call you before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm, it may also be considered as a case of telephone harassment.
- Be rude or abusive: Being rude or using offensive words with the intent to intimidate you is considered harassment in customer relations. If you receive such calls, you are allowed to report to the police.
- Demand for additional payment: If debt collectors demand that you pay interest, fees, or any other expenses that are not stipulated by law, they are violating student loan debt collection laws. The collector is not permitted to include any extra fees that your original credit or loan agreement does not allow.
- Misinterpret the amount on your loan: Misinterpretation of the loan amount (which may lead to you making higher payments) is a mistake not permitted on the part of the collector.
- Make threats: Debt collectors are not allowed to threaten to sue you, harm you, or destroy your credit. Making such threats is considered an act of harassment.
- Use scare tactics: Collectors are not permitted to scare you into compliance with actions they can not or will not take. They are not allowed to keep you on your toes by threatening to sue or file charges against you, garnish your wages, take your property, cause job loss, or ruin your credit, as this goes against phone harassment laws.
- Call the wrong person repeatedly: If debt collectors keep calling the wrong person repeatedly, they have breached student loan debt collection laws.
- Conceal information about your options: If the collector fails to notify you of your right to dispute the debt, they have failed to act in accordance with phone harassment laws.
- Inform a third party about your debt: Information about your debt is to be kept within relevant authorities. If debt collectors illegally inform a third party about your alleged debt, they have violated student loan debt collection laws. They are only permitted to reveal such information to a third party if you have expressly permitted them. The only people authorized to receive information about your debt are your attorney, the creditor, the creditor’s attorney, a credit reporting agency, and your spouse or parent(s) (in cases of minors).
- Publicize your name or that of any other of their debtors: a debt collection agency violates student loan collection laws if they publicize the names of consumers who have an unresolved loan.
- Bypass your attorney: a debt collection agency must communicate with you through your attorney (if you have one).
Your Consumer rights under the TCPA
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (or TCPA) like the FDCPA was enacted to prevent debt collectors and telemarketers from violating your rights. Following countless consumer complaints about the increasing number of unwanted automated and marketing calls they were receiving, the TCPA bill was finally passed in 1991.
The bill stipulates that telephone solicitation representatives must provide their name, the name of the person or organization on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which the person or organization may be reached. Furthermore, telephone solicitation representatives are not allowed to contact you earlier than 8 am or later than 9 pm. If you have sent a request not to be contacted further, then the representatives must comply with your request.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act also prohibits:
- Automatic dialing systems
- Pre-recorded messages
- Unwanted SMS text messages
- Calls for which a charge is made to the account of the receiver
- Unsolicited advertisements by fax
Any person or organization using an autodialer or pre-recorded message when contacting you must also state their name, address, and phone number. If your student loan collection agency fails to comply with these laws, you may be entitled to $500 for each violation.
Are you getting unwanted calls from Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency over your unpaid student loans? Here’s what to do
If you are getting unwanted calls over your unpaid student loans, it becomes doubly important for you to know information about your rights and ethical debt collection practices in order to monitor and accurately judge whether or not your student debt collection officer is operating within ethical practices. Whenever a student loan collector violates your rights, you are entitled to monetary damages and a free lawyer. We would love to get you a free lawyer, contact us now on (877) 700-5790.
If you are receiving unwanted calls over your defaulted student loans, here are a few tips to guide you:
- Do not take contact and conversations with your debt collection officer lightly. Record conversations in which your consumer rights were threatened for the sake of evidence and to build a stronger case.
- If the collector is rude, using profane words, does not say anything, or refuses to identify themselves, hang up.
- Do not get scared by the caller or engage him. This is because many debt collectors make various threats in the hope that you will respond emotionally, and responding emotionally can cause you to panic and admit to a debt you do not owe.
- If your federal student loans are too high in comparison to your income, it may be advisable to repay them using an income-driven repayment plan, which sets your monthly student loan payment at a rate that is affordable for you. If your income is low enough, your payment could be as low as $0 a month.
- If you have expressly communicated your desire not to be contacted further, it is advisable to keep a copy of the letter you wrote to your student loan collections agency (especially if the loan agency has flouted your request). This can be instrumental in building a valid case.
- Validate your debt within thirty days from the date of initial contact. Debt collectors must also inform you about your right to validate the debt within five days from the date of initial contact.
- Do not disclose personal information to a debt collector, especially when you haven’t verified the identity of the caller or the legitimacy of the organization.
- Do not engage a debt collections company if you are sued; contact a lawyer immediately. We are always ready to help you solve your case of student loan harassment, call us now on: (877) 700-5790.
- Do not ignore a petition filed against you by a student loan collections agency. Doing so will result in a default judgment which can have serious consequences such as the garnishment of your income.
- If you have taken a private student loan, be aware of the statute of limitations on the debt to ensure that you are not paying a loan for which the statute of limitations has expired.
- Keep evidence of loans you have already paid to avoid being contacted for a repayment.
- Verify if the loan is indeed yours and that the debt collector has evidence to prove that it is. You may be able to attain a loan cancellation if your student loan collection agency is unable to provide documents that prove that the loan is yours.
- Check your credit report to ensure that there is no debt duplication reported there.
- It is advisable to bear in mind that the government has a right to garnish your wages or seize your tax refunds and social security payments if you have an outstanding federal student loan.
- Seek Legal help. It is extremely important to contact a lawyer experienced in handling cases of student loan harassment, and advisable to contact then early on in the case to avoid future complications. We have a team of experienced, qualified, and professional lawyers who are more than willing to help you solve your case of student loan harassment. All you have to do is reach out to us today on (877) 700-5790.
About Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency is a third party debt collector located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency is a debt collection agency.
1200 N 7th St
Harrisburg, PA 17102-1419
Phone: (800) 233-0557
How to get Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency to stop calling
The most effective way to get debt collectors to stop calling for good is to resolve your debt. If you still have outstanding debt, then the next best thing to do is to express your desire not to be contacted further by sending a cease and desist letter. If you do not know how to send a cease and desist letter, we will be happy to send one on your behalf, call us at (877) 700-5790. It is nevertheless important to bear in mind that a cease and desist letter does not mean that you do not have to pay the outstanding loan.
If your student loan collection agency is guilty of violating your FDCPA and TCPA rights, we can also send them a petition which will stop them from contacting you further. Call us now.
Are you getting sued over your unpaid student loans? Here’s what to do
If you are getting sued by your student loan collection agency over your debt, do not engage them; contact a lawyer immediately. Call us at (877) 700-5790, and we will be happy to provide you with qualified legal assistance.
It is equally important never to ignore a petition filed against you by a debt collection agency; respond accordingly. Do not flout your court dates as this can have serious consequences that are not in your favor.
When do you need a Lawyer?
If you have defaulted on your student loan payments and you are being contacted by a debt collection agency, if you are considering revising your repayment plan, or are simply wondering what your options are, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer.
A qualified lawyer who is experienced in handling cases of student loan harassment is an invaluable asset to your case. They will assess if your student loan collection agency is operating within ethical boundaries, give you sound advice regarding the range of options available to you, and represent you in court if you are sued. Give us a call on (877) 700-5790 to gain access to our team of qualified student loan lawyers.
About Student Loan Harassment
Student Loan Harassment is a platform that exists to give you all the information you need regarding your student loan and how to resolve it. We provide you with information concerning your FDCPA and TCPA rights, the range of repayment options available to you, and the various scare tactics that debt collectors use to collect a debt to prevent you from falling victim to shady debt collectors and their unethical debt collection techniques.
Here at Student Loan Harassment, we connect you to qualified legal assistance to help you win your case of student loan harassment, all for free. We believe that your rights deserve to be respected regardless of how much you owe and urge you to call us now at (877) 700-5790.
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