When I first came across this story I thought for certain that Comcast had gotten into the student loan business, but it turns out that this state which is near and dear to my heart is actually as crooked and ruthless as they come. When Marcia DeOliveira-Longinetti’s son was murdered she was not only forced to cope with the unimaginable loss of her son, but she also had to go through an enormous checklist of items that must be completed after a person dies: canceling cellphone contracts, rent, subscriptions, bank accounts, etc.
On that morbid list of items Marcia DeOliveira-Longinetti had to posthumously cancel in the name of her murdered son were his student loans, both state and federal. When she contacted the federal student loan administration she was met with condolences on the tragic loss of her son, but when she contacted the state student loans agency they basically told her ‘tough shit, sorry about your murdered son but you still need to pay us for his student loans‘.
When DeOliveira-Longinetti called about his federal loans, an administrator offered condolences and assured her the remaining balance would be written off.
But she got a far different response from a New Jersey state agency that had also lent her son money.
“Please accept our condolences on your loss,” a letter from that agency, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, said. “After careful consideration of the information you provided, the authority has determined that your request does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness. Monthly bill statements will continue to be sent to you.”
DeOliveira-Longinetti, who co-signed on the loans, was shocked and confused. But her experience with the authority, which runs by far the largest state-based student loan program in the country, is hardly an isolated one, an investigation by ProPublica, in collaboration with The New York Times, found.
New Jersey’s loans, which currently total $1.9 billion, are unlike those of any other government lending program for students in the country. They come with extraordinarily stringent rules that can easily lead to financial ruin. Repayments cannot be adjusted based on income, and borrowers who are unemployed or facing other financial hardships are given few breaks.
The loans also carry higher interest rates than similar federal programs. Most significant, New Jersey’s loans come with a cudgel that even the most predatory for-profit players cannot wield: the power of the state. New Jersey can garnish wages, rescind state income tax refunds, revoke professional licenses, even take away lottery winnings – all without having to get court approval.
“It’s state-sanctioned loan-sharking,” Daniel Frischberg, a bankruptcy lawyer, said. “The New Jersey program is set up so that you fail.”
RELATED: New Jersey Garbage Truck Explosion
I’ve spent many a fine weekend in New Jersey, in Princeton and at the Shore, but I’ve never loved the state of New Jersey. Maybe it’s because I’m a born and raised Floridian, and for whatever reason people from Florida spend their entire lives shitting on Jersey as the ‘Arm Pit of America’, or maybe it’s because it’s truly one of the most corrupt states in the nation and this student loan debacle is further proof of that. Furthermore, if you ever co-sign a loan or someone co-signs a loan for you just make sure that both parties have some sort of life insurance so this doesn’t happen to you.
The full read over on The Miami Herald on the ins and outs of New Jersey’s corrupt student loans system is really a mind blowing look at how much government can fuck over citizens when we let them overreach their boundaries. I HIGHLY SUGGEST each and every one of you bros read the full exposé by CLICKING HERE and heading on over to The Herald!
Changing gears a little bit, I want to make sure that ALL OF YOU know about the all new BroBible iOS app that was launched last week. It’s 100% free to download and it’s the latest/greatest way to get all of your BroBible content, so DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE BY CLICKING HERE!