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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I received a notice of intended wage garnishment by regular

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I received a notice of intended wage garnishment by regular mail from my employer. This is a debt that is at least 15 years old and I have been at my current address since September of 2006. The notice has 4 different names on it, only 1 of them is my correct legal name which has been the same since December of 1995. This is a debt from a college I attended over 15 years ago. Now I have no problem with paying what I owe, however I have been in a federal program to pay back student loans for about a year now. It a rehabilitation program of sorts which brings my loans into good standings. I'm also in the process of completing a debt consolidation counseling program so I can make arrangements to pay old debts that until now I did not have the money to do. I will be happy to set up a payment arrangement if I truly owe this debt, however I feel like I wasn't given proper notice to even find out or talk to the lawyer for the school in order to get it resolved properly. This is in cuyahoga county in the state of Ohio, what should be my next step?

William B. Esq. :

Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. I am sorry to learn of this unfortunate situation. While I may need some additional information to fully answer your question, I can provide you with some general information regarding these types of situations. The lender (either a school or a private lender) does not have to negotiate with a debt rehabilitation program as the lender is entitled to payment under the terms of the original contract (this is usually why students such as yourself get garnishments or other enforcement actions even though they have just entered repayment programs). HOWEVER, most schools will work with a rehabilitation program and with the student in order to ensure that they receive some payment, or some guarantee of payment going forward in a reasonable manner). Remember, both you and the debt rehabilitation program are working to offset the lender's rights to a guaranteed cut of your income.

If you are in a loan consolidation program however, where your loan is actually being paid off by another lender, and the original school or lender is being paid off, you will no longer be facing this type of garnishment. Check out the US Dept. of Education's website regarding student loans and repayment options for both federal programs, and information about private programs to get a better understanding of your rights and ways to avoid this type of future conduct.

I hope the above is helpful. If it does not sound like it matches your situation, please give me a little more information about your lender and the rehabilitation program and I will try to give you a more specific answer. If you have any questions, please ask. Best regards, Bill

Customer: Fed load servicing is the program and it deals with the stafford loan. The notice I received was from a debt collection law office representing Cuyahoga Community College
Customer: It says Cuyahoga community College c/o State of aphid Collections enforcement
William B. Esq. :

Are you in a "rehabilitation program" or a "consolidation program" for your loan?

Customer: Rehabilitation, the consolidation program was for my over all creditors mostly old medical bills. So that I can once and for all pay everyone I owe
William B. Esq. :

Has your rehabilitation company entered into a contract with the lender (the community college)?

Customer: i won't know that until I speak with them on Monday, they are gathering all the information needed to put me on a payment plan.
William B. Esq. :

Unfortunately, unless you actually have a contract between yourself and the community college (through the rehabilitation program) you will still be subject to collection activities, such as wage garnishment, by the community college. Many rehabilitation programs are helpful and can assist you in getting the collections actions stopped so that you can enter a traditional repayment plan. If you have difficulty I would recommend contacting the US Dept. of Ed.

Customer: The other thing is that the State of Ohio has been keeping all of my state tax returns for several years now. So if this is related to that they could have contacted me by now instead of taking my tax returns and trying to garnish my wages. Their has to be proper steps to go about this on their part other than springing on me that they will garnish my wages starting on the 25th of April. Notifying me through my employer with regular mail and not serving me with papers or sending mail directly to me.
Customer: Ok, that sounds good to me. That was also my next move I thought to make but wasn't sure.
William B. Esq. :

Unfortunately, with student loans the lender is not required to go through the normal steps to get a judgment and pursue the same collections methods that other creditors do, this does leave students at a severe disadvantage to other debtors.

Customer: Thanks again!
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