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Reporter doing story in TO

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Joined: 25/January/2003
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    Posted: 20/October/2005 at 7:43am
Hello there,
I'm a newspaper reporter for a major Toronto paper (who's also knee-deep in OSAP payments) and am working on a story about abusive collection agencies. I'd like to speak to some of you (esp. in the Toronto area) about your experiences as many experiences seem nightmarish. I want to bring attention to the problem.
My number is 416-947-2341. Hope to speak to some of you soon! Cheers!


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Joined: 03/November/2007
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Trudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/November/2007 at 8:26am

On April 6, 2004 I received a letter from ARC Accounts Recovery Corp. It was a letter stating I still owed $4760.30 on my Federal Student Loan. Not that much compared to other student loans but I was a single mother 2 children and living on Welfare. Soon after receiving this letter I started to get harassing phone calls saying that I had to start making payments. So I agreed to give them $50.00 a month hoping they would leave me alone but then they didn’t phoning me just about every week trying to get me to pay more. Even though I explained my financial situation they didn’t care that I could barely afford to pay rent and feed my children, they wanted me to give 150. a month.

 

But I continued giving 50.00 a month on Federal and 50. on my Provincial. Then on Feb 11/05 I received another letter from ARC stating that I owed $4760.30 after almost a year of paying into the loan I was surprised to see that my loan hadn’t gone down 1 cent…Hmmm. That’s when I gave them a call and asked what exactly have I been paying for over a year. Of course they said it was due to my high interest that that is what I was paying so my account didn’t go down. To me this didn’t make sense so I continued to give money towards the loan but I started to check my paper work. That’s when I realized both letters had the exact same amount but had different account #.

 

I called ARC and started to tell them that there was some mistake and that I think they were collecting me on the same account. But of course they told me I was wrong that one was Provincial the other Federal. I was getting everything wrong and they continued to try and get more from me. I decided to start giving them $100. a month as I found some work  but I was still getting the calls every month to try and pay more or take out a loan to pay off this loan.

 

Then on May 30/05 I receive a letter from ARC saying I owe $3278.68 Hmmm again that didn’t make sense in 3 months my bill went down $1481. How can that be as I was only giving $50. a month and after a year it didn’t go down...now after 3 months it goes down close to 1500.

 

I call them again (ARC) after checking all my receipts and letters and tell them again something is wrong that I believe I am making payments on the same account 2 x. Again I am told I am wrong and that I am the one that is getting my Provincial and Federal accounts mixed up. SORRY but after a year of paying and harassing phone calls and looking through all my paper work I knew that I was right… So I called RBC the original lenders. They check further and see that my account was given to ARC in British Columbia and the same account to ARC in Ontario… So I was right the same company was collecting twice on the same account…Finally after fighting with ARC I am being told that I was right…. After RBC notified ARC they then had the fun of going over all my payments over the years and interest and figured that the money that I had given OVER since I was paying twice on the same bill was enough to pay off my Provincial Student Loan and bring down my Federal Student Loan. On March 23/06 I received the letter stating that my Provincial was paid off SETTLED IN FULL.

 

Today I owe my Federal Student Loan $911.46. It was hell for me in 05 & 06 as I knew something was up. Leaving an abusive EX, living alone with 2 children on Welfare was bad enough for me but then to receive harassing phone calls from 2 ARC employees trying to collect on the same account. It was too much and I almost gave in to all the pressure of what was going on around me. But thank god I had my children because they were the only thing getting me through this… My advice to anyone owing on Student Loans.  KEEP ALL RECEIPTS AND LETTERS.

 

Though now the Government HRSDC has taken the Federal Student Loan what’s up with the interest?? My is all over the place

 

January - 11.90

February – 11.32

March – 9.61

April – 11.17

May 8.62

June – 8.96

July – 7.79

August - 7.75

September – 6.86

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