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January 25, 2008

Class Action Claiming Bias in Loan Rates Filed Against Sallie Mae

Are you eligible to be part of this Class Action filed against Sallie Mae claiming students face race bias in loan rates?

Attorneys for the plaintiffs, who are seeking class action status, say they believe the suit could end up affecting "many thousands of students, if not more."

Rodriguez is a Hispanic woman who lived in Branford before moving to New Hampshire to attend McIntosh College. Gregoire is an African-American student from Tampa, Fla., who attends that city's International Academy of Design and Technology.

According to the complaint, Rodriguez was "coerced" into taking $19,500 in private student loans from Sallie Mae between 2003 and 2005.

Because of the 18.125 percent interest rate on her loan, her debt has increased to more than $33,000. Her monthly bill exceeds $500. The suit claims Rodriguez's rates are double what she was led to believe they would be.

Rodriguez, who could not be reached for comment, currently makes $10.40 an hour working at a Rite Aid pharmacy. She said in court documents that she cannot afford the loan payments and claims Sallie Mae calls as many as 17 times per day and also sends e-mails.

'Level Playing Field'

The suit alleges that Gregoire was told she would receive an interest rate of 7 percent when she agreed to a loan but was later informed of "a six percent supplemental fee at disbursement and an index of 5.5 percent over prime, which now equates to a 13.25 percent interest rate." She is now around $20,000 in debt.

"This suit seeks to level the playing field for minority students seeking higher education,"said Christa Collins, the managing partner at James, Hoyer, Newcomer & Smiljanich, a consumer action law firm based in Tampa. Collins is leading the team of attorneys handling the class action suit.

"Racially discriminatory lending practices like those alleged in the complaint create roadblocks to higher education for minorities and then put them at an economic disadvantage that can haunt them and severely damage their credit for years to come," added Collins. "Every student deserves a level playing field to pursue the dream of higher education, and this suit is aimed to achieve that goal."

Given the recent scandals with the Student Loans this is just repugnant to me.  If you think you may be eligible contact the attorneys mentioned in the first hyper-link.

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Comments

gupsab

Can somebody please tell me how to join this class action? I cannot find a link to "contact the lawyers".

Susan Cartier Liebel

The information is in the article. But in case you didn't see it:

Christa Collins, the managing partner at James, Hoyer, Newcomer & Smiljanich, a consumer action law firm based in Tampa.

I would imagine you can Google the information and make the contact directly to inquire. Good luck.

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