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Citizens for an Educated and Democratic Republic

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     Citizens for an Educated and Democratic Republic (CEDR) has been established to provide a voice for student loan and educational reform. CEDR http://cedr.yolasite.com has authored a Bill, and has presented it to many members of Congress, journalists, and broadcast media. CEDR is trying to bring attention to the countless lives that have been exploited by legislators and private commercial interests in the area of student loan legislation. Current legislation past and pending are unsatisfactory and only help the student loan creditors. The present legislation has caused grave harm to many citizens and their families for decades.

    At the present time, there is no relief from student loan debt because principal balances are multiplied, with no accountability and are protected by law. Student loan debtors are too often manipulated into default and are preyed upon by viscous debt collection agencies who are empowered by unconstitutional means to intrude upon their lives, their professions, their income, and have no due process to fight it. Please write cedresq@gmail.com for a copy of the Bill in .pdf format. The Bill is replete with citations and resources to substantiate the need for reform. 

   Although the Department of Education brags that the default rate is at historic lows, the true default rate for people borrowing $15,000 or more is close to 25%.  They are underestimating the default rate to the public; this amounts to fraud and other deceptive practices.

   See:
Education Sector, Erin Dillon, October 23, 2007
"Looking for Relief: Americans' View of College Costs and Student Debt"
From Berkeley, CA, "The Project on Student Debt," May 4, 2006, which states, "Black students who graduated in 1992 93 school year had an overall default rate that was over five times higher than white students and over nine times higher than Asian students. In addition, the federal education department uses the broad-gauged cohort default rate primarily to identify and sanction colleges with extremely high default rates (over 25 percent), and to encourage default prevention among colleges, loan companies, and guarantee agencies). 

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See also: "Inside Higher Ed: The Education Department's 'cohort default rate'" -- this is the rate at which student loan borrowers default within 12 to 24 months after they leave college.  This study was initiated in the late 1980s largely to draw attention to institutions seen as preying on low-income students who may struggle to repay their loans. But changes Congress made in 1998 as to how the rate is calculated have rendered it a far less useful indicator either of students' indebtedness or of colleges' malfeasance, numerous government and other reports have agreed in recent years).

See more at: Inside Higher Ed:
Hechinger, John, "Managing Debt, Student Loans," Wall Street Journal, Jan 6, 2005).

  Congress passed legislation, which relinquished many citizen rights to the student loan industry collection powers, including, but not limited to, the right to garnish wages, social security benefits, disability benefits, and tax refund, stimulus monies.  They authorized the suspension of student loan debtors' professional licenses for failure to pay student loan debts.  Student loan debtors in default on student loans were denied the ability to secure financing to continue with their education or enter another field of study at an institution of higher education or trade school.
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See: 102nd Congress, 1st Session, Senate Report 102-58. Abuses in Federal Student Aid Programs, Report made by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Affairs, United States Senate Report dated May 17, 1991.

See also, Dillon, Erin, "Education Sector: Charts You Can Trust: Hidden Details: A Closer Look at Student Loan Default Rates," October 23, 2007.  Dillon is responsible for designing, implementing, and assisting with a variety of research and analysis projects, with a focus on quantitative data sets.
  
  The present legislation allows creditors to make tremendous profits at the expense of many citizens. These citizens have spiraled down to poverty level, and are under great stress because they do not see an end to their student loan debt problem. One issue is tied to a person's' inability to pay off his/her student loan debt. For many, their struggles have continued for decades, taking a toll on their marriages, health, and an increasing inability to live and survive in a worsening economy.   
   At the present time, there is no relief, where principal balances are multiplied and hostile collection practices are protected by law. Student loan borrowers default more often than not, through no fault of their own, and are preyed upon by viscous debt collection agencies which are allowed unconstitutional methods to intrude upon their lives, their professions, and to take away their income without due process. Many people have left the country, gone off the grid, and remain despondent.

   CEDR is advocating for the affected people and is bringing to the public's attention the marginalized, disenfranchised, and unrepresented in Congress.

See: Beacon Broadside: "The Economic Downturn and Student Loans: Some Practical Advice for Borrowers," January 13, 2009.

See also: Business Wire, April 23, 2009, whose Sallie Mae CEO Albert Lord states, "Core earnings (from) fee income, which consists primarily of fees earned from guarantor servicing and collection activity, was $239 million in the quarter, compared to $200 million in the prior quarter."

     The student Loan industry executives frequently use the argument that defaulted borrowers are "a drain on taxpayers."  In fact, the opposite is true.  Even the federal government MAKES (not loses) money from defaulted student loans, getting back $1.20 for every dollar paid out in default claims.

See: Les Leopold, The Looting of America : How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity-and What We Can Do About It. (Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing: Vermont, 2009).

See also: Alan Collinge, The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History (Beacon Press: Massachusetts, 2009).

See: the Congressional proposal for more lengthy citations. Write CEDR at cedresq@gmail.com.  If you agree, support it and send the Bill to your legislator.

See also: Citizens for an Educated and Democratic Republic through their website click here

 

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Dr. O'Lalor is the author of A The Never Realized Republic: Political Economy and Republican Virtue, and Shrouded in Mist: Physics and the Archaic Symbology of Metaphysics.

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