Friday, August 5, 2011

PHEAA: Scandalous, Infamous, Corporate All American

The PHEAA is the infamous scandalous private student loan corporation that masquerades as a Pennsylvania State agency. They operate as AES (American Education Services) but use a PHEAA letterhead to intimidate loan holders into thinking they are a government agency. They send out bogus federal student loan default notices like this one to intimidate employers and debtors into signing over 15% of their paychecks to the PHEAA. Of course they also offer debtors an option to have a lesser amount deducted directly from their personal checking accounts, if the debtor has a personal checking account. And if the debtor does so, they have to sign an agreement with AES that AES has the right to share their personal banking information with any "third party" or "criminal justice agency" that requires it. Yet, they cite no law to support this mandatory agreement to infringe on people's personal banking information. If you have a direct deposit agreement between your employer and your bank, you have to sign the same kind of statement to allow "third parties" access to your bank account.

Here is a scenario that has happened to a friend. They had direct deposit. They owed some money to a creditor, which had gone to a collection agency, similar to AES. Because they signed this "third party" infringement of privacy agreement, the bank freely gave out their banking information to the collection agency. So the collection agency knew in advance how much money was deposited on payday and when. The collection agency proceeded to get a levy of the debtor's bank account and unbeknownst to the debtor (they failed to notify them in advance as required by law), they siphoned off the entire account balance on payday. So much for the convenience of direct deposit. It's convenient for the banks and for the creditors. Extremely convenient. Now you may say, well these people asked for it. They put themselves into debt. Oh really? So for that oversight they deserve to go for two weeks without any money at all, which would easily send many people into homelessness and unemployment. But at least the creditor gets their money and that's all we care about in America's corporate welfare state oligarchy.

If you ever face a similar situation you should contact your bank to see if you can have the situation reversed. Likely you won't get the money back taken by the creditor or the bank's fees (around $200) for aiding them to take all your money. But you may get the bank to reverse any overdrafts that occurred in the meantime.

Did you know that the U.S government has agreements with private corporate financial blood hounds like AES? Interestingly, By the way, the letter you see here was sent to a debtor who took out a college loan in California. What the freakin' hell does Pennsylvania have to do with it?  Good luck trying to find legal help against these mafioso-gone-legit government approved loan sharks. You'll do better to file your complaint and represent yourself.

OK. This is where we cue the Star Spangled Banner. Hold your hand over your heart and look lovingly at the American flag, and remember all the people who die for it.

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