Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Do You Prefer to Resolve Problems or to Prolong Them?

Handling Department of Education’s Unvalidated Demands and Turning Problems into Opportunities

Why does the U.S. Department of Education produce so little value for the vast amount of resources that this institution consumes?

  • One reason is that the Department of Education is managed so, that this institution is good at creating problems and prolonging them, but is not good at resolving problems.
  • Another reason is that people at the Department of Education refuse to take responsibility for the problems that they have caused.
  • Another reason is that for years the Department of Education and its business partners used extraordinarily unprofessional record keeping practices.
  • Another reason is that people at the Department of Education can get away with refusing to honor Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests and with refusing to provide debt validation, while making the same unvalidated monetary demands again and again. Further, people at the Department of Education can get away with supporting usage of document fabrication, mail fraud, honest service fraud, and usage of involuntary servitude and extortion, bullying and harassment.
  • Another reason is that the Department of Education as an institution has grabbed substantial powers, focuses on serving its own needs and operates without accountability and with very little oversight.

When the Department of Education as a big and powerful governmental institution makes monetary demands from a former student, people tend to assume that the demands are valid. People at the Department of Education and their business partners can explain why their demands are valid in their opinion, when looked from the perspective of the Department of Education. But what do we get when we question the validity of the demands made by the Department of Education, find out that the demands are not valid and encounter the problem causing areas listed above? We get a case like the one described below.

I graduated from state owned Rhode Island College in 1996. I attended this school as an honors student, which in part also paid my tuition. It is known, that I received Rhode Island College Honors Scholarship, Pell Grant and work-study financial aid while I attended Rhode Island College from 1990 to 1996 as an undergraduate student.

Since 2011 I have had a dispute with the Department of Education. We could call this a student loan dispute, but in order to have a student loan dispute, student loans must exist in the first place. That is not the case here. The Department of Education makes monetary demands that are not based on existence of student loans. Instead, the demands are based on existence of Department of Education’s internal records, that the Department of Education purchased from a guaranty agency over 10 years after I graduated from college. These internal records are supported with paperwork that was mostly created after I graduated from college.

Thus, this is not a student loan dispute. This is an internal record making, record usage and enforcement legality dispute.

The underlying principle is that the Department of Education as the party that is making monetary demands must prove that the demands are valid. The Department of Education has consistently failed to validate its demands, but keeps making the same demands, hoping that the outcome will differ.

Mistakes and Illegality of Department of Education Actions

Department of Education representatives insist that in this case student loans do exist. Yet, they have been consistently unable to validate their claims. Anybody can make mistakes, including the Department of Education representatives. The Department of Education representatives take mistake making to another level by refusing to honor Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests, by refusing to provide debt validation and by making the same unvalidated demands again and again. Obviously, making even more mistakes does not resolve any of the problems created by previously made mistakes.

No matter how we look at this case and no matter what any individual person involved in this case believes to be correct, one thing is certain – this case involves lots of mistakes made by the Department of Education employees and Department of Education business partners.

This case also involves actions that are at least borderline illegal, such as document fabrication, mail fraud, honest service fraud, and usage of involuntary servitude and extortion, bullying and harassment. If an institution other than the Department of Education would engage in such actions, these actions most likely would be deemed illegal.

Student loans typically start with financial aid applications and involve transactions that create both records and documents. Here’s an overview of this case:

  • (1) Partial copies of signed financial aid applications exist, which demonstrates that I did apply for financial aid as a student 1990-1996.
  • (2) The Department of Education insists that I received bank loans, but no lending and borrowing documents or records exist that demonstrate that the alleged bank lending and borrowing transactions actually took place in reality.
  • Banks do not operate like Santa Claus, who drops gifts to people in a big bag. Bank lending leaves records and signed documents behind. None of it exists in this case.
  • (3) No records or documents exist that demonstrate that as a student I actually received the allegedly borrowed money either directly, or indirectly, as tuition support.
  • It is somewhat understandable, that decades after I graduated from college there are only partial records available about my receipt of Rhode Island College Honors Scholarship, Pell Grant and work-study financial aid that covered the cost of my attending college. These can be considered internal records, especially for the college involved here. However, the Department of Education is supposed to be in charge of the student loan system. Thus, it is not acceptable that the Department of Education is making statements about my alleged receipt of bank loans without existence of records and documents that clearly validate that I applied for and received bank loans either directly, or indirectly, as tuition support.
  • (4) The Department of Education claims that it holds legally binding promissory note debt instruments in this case. Yet, over the course of this dispute the Department of Education has not furnished any copies of legally binding promissory note debt instruments that meet Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements. Instead, the Department of Education is trying to suggest that partial copies of student loan applications serve the role of promissory notes, even though these partial copies of student loan applications do not meet Uniform Commercial Code requirements for legally binding promissory note debt instruments and only validate that I applied for financial aid and nothing else.
  • Banks are subject to Uniform Commercial Code requirements. Thus, if I actually borrowed money from a bank as a student, legally binding promissory note debt instruments that meet Uniform Commercial Code requirements would exist as well.
  • When the Department of Education takes over a bank loan, the Department of Education as a secondary holder of the alleged promissory notes becomes subject to the requirements that were applicable to the original lender. In accordance with case law, (citing)
  • as assignees, the Guaranty Agencies and other secondary holders step into the shoes of the lender from whom they have taken the promissory notes and are subject to any defenses that the student/obligee may assert against the assignor/lender. See Jackson v. Culinary School of Washington, 788 F. Supp. 1233, 1248 n.9 (D.D.C. 1992), reversed on other grounds, 27 F.2d 573 (D.C. Cir. 1994), vacated, 515 U.S. 1139, on reconsideration, 59 F.3d 354 (D.C. Cir. 1995).
  • So, if the Department of Education claims that it holds legally binding promissory note debt instruments, the Department of Education is in the shoes of the lender from whom the Department of Education has taken the promissory notes. Thus, the Department of Education must be able to furnish copies of legally binding promissory note debt instruments that meet Uniform Commercial Code requirements. Of course, if such documents do not exist, then the Department of Education is not able to furnish copies of them either and this has clearly been the case.
  • Legally binding promissory note debt instruments that meet Uniform Commercial Code requirements either exist, or do not exist. There is no room for middle ground here. Clearly, legally binding promissory note debt instruments that meet Uniform Commercial Code requirements do not exist in this case. Therefore, the conclusion is that the Department of Education’s claims that it holds legally binding promissory note debt instruments are false.
  • (5) According to the information received from the Department of Education, in this case a guaranty agency claims that it reimbursed a bank in 1997 and in turn submitted claims for reimbursement to the Department of Education 10 years later. The Department of Education then reimbursed the guaranty agency regarding the alleged bank loans. The Department of Education states that this reimbursement is the basis for the monetary demands that the Department of Education is making. Yet, the Department of Education has failed to furnish copies of documents submitted by the alleged lender bank to the guaranty agency for reimbursement. Similarly, the Department of Education has failed to furnish copies of documents that clearly demonstrate that the guaranty agency actually made any payments to the alleged lender bank in this particular case.
  • That is, no documents exist that validate that the alleged lender actually submitted any claims to the guaranty agency for reimbursement. Similarly, no documents exist that validate that the guaranty agency actually made any payments to the alleged lender.
  • Thus, the conclusion is that it is unknown whether or not any reimbursement to a bank took place. Any definitive statements about reimbursement to a bank are false.
  • The documents that the Department of Education has furnished are guaranty agency internal records. Apparently at some point after I graduated from college the guaranty agency in question created internal records for its own record keeping purposes about making reimbursements to a bank. Without any validation we do not know why these internal records were created. Perhaps these internal entries were created in error. Perhaps these entries were created because there was a need to balance the books. We don’t know. What we do know, is that any definitive statements about making reimbursements to a bank are false because no proof exists that any such reimbursements were ever made. Thus, a more accurate statement would be that the Department of Education reimbursed the guaranty agency, but we do not know whether or not 10 years earlier, in 1997, the guaranty agency had actually reimbursed a bank. Even more importantly, if the guaranty agency did reimburse a bank, we do not know why these transactions were made, because no documents exist that conclusively demonstrate that there was a need to make such reimbursements.
  • (6) Lots of paperwork and even documents exist that were created by third parties after I graduated from college. In several instances documents were clearly created after the dispute that is described here started and I requested debt validation. These documents were apparently created for the purpose of filling the void between the records and documents that existed and the debt validation documents and records that would exist if the demands were legitimate. All of this leads to one source: the guaranty agency involved in this case. The Department of Education that works with the guaranty agency as a business partner gladly peddles documents that were created as “copies of the original documents” after I graduated without existence of the actual verifiable original documents that would legitimately validate the claims that the Department of Education is making.

Thus, based on the existing information what do exist are (1) partial copies of my financial aid applications as starting points and (6) paperwork created by third parties after I graduated from college. What does not exist, are alleged lending and borrowing records and documents in between above (1) starting points and (6) post-graduation records. However, the above (2), (3), (4) and (5) are related to the transactions, records and documents that would actually create and validate debt. These do not exist.

If student loan borrowing took place, it must have taken place while I was a student, not after graduation. Records and documents that seem to fall in between above (1) and (6) that the Department of Education has sent me, seem to be related to financial aid without conclusive evidence that they are related to any actual bank lending and borrowing transactions. Obviously, records and documents that are related to financial aid without evidence that they are related to actual bank lending and borrowing transactions do not validate claims that are related to alleged bank lending and borrowing transactions.

To recap this segment, the documents that exist do not create or validate debt. That is, neither above (1) financial aid applications nor above (6) paperwork created by third parties after I graduated from college create debt. Actual bank lending and borrowing transactions create debt. Based on the available information such lending and borrowing transactions do not exist in this case.

Further, between 1990-1996 annual tuition at the state owned Rhode Island College ranged from $1,703 to $2,838 a year. The Department of Education claims that I borrowed over 20 times more than the average annual tuition, without providing any explanation where the allegedly borrowed money went to or how it was allegedly used.

The Department of Education has suggested that I may have received student loans without realizing it. I do not believe that student loan transactions take place this way and that such operations are legal. Either way, the fact remains that no actual lending and borrowing transactions and documents exist, no legally binding promissory notes exist and no bank reimbursement transactions and documents exist. That is, transactions that actually create and validate debt do not exist. What exists are records and documents that were created after I graduated, as if debt existed.

Part of the problem is that in the past the guaranty agency in question created documents from PDF files, some of which are images of documents without any identifying information such as person's name, Social Security Number, document specific ID or any other identifying information. So, without existence of the original documents it is unknown to whom the documents actually belong to.

Based on the repeated shadowy marks on the PDF files it seems that copies of such documents that do not contain any personal identifying information were created from copies. Perhaps such document production practices helped to increase productivity at the time but they can also increase probability of error.

Now the Department of Education declares that these PDF files are related to me, without my name or any other identifying information on the document that was turned into the PDF file and without existence of the original documents.

Further, partial copies of the student loan applications that the Department of Education has furnished contain parts with dark shadowy rectangles, indicating that copies of the student loan applications were created by combining parts from different sources and making a copy that was subsequently turned into a PDF file. Now such copies are used without existence of the original documents.

These extremely unprofessional record keeping practices may have started the mistakes and problems described here.

Another possibility is that the unprofessional record keeping practices described above were at some point intentionally used in order to create debt where there wasn’t any.

The post-graduation record making processes described above may have started this way at the guaranty agency and continued at the Department of Education, when records were transferred from the guaranty agency to the Department of Education.

There is a lot that we do not know, one thing is certain: the guaranty agency and the Department of Education are responsible for creating the problematic situation described here. Instead of accepting responsibility for the problems that they have caused and acknowledging the realities of this case, so that we can find a solution, these business partners have opted to make the problems worse by continuing the case year after year. As a result, for as long as this case continues, I have to point out all the problems listed here.

As the Department of Education prolongs this case, I have to point out again and again that all of this goes beyond lack of competence and mistakes made by the Department of Education and its business partners. This case also involves potentially illegal actions taken by the people who work for and run the Department of Education.

I graduated from college in 1996. Based on the correspondence received from the Department of Education, in the case addressed here the Department of Education created its records in 2008, based on the guaranty agency records. Essentially, the Department of Education purchased the guaranty agency records without existence of any direct evidence that the guaranty agency records were based on actual lending and borrowing transactions, without existence of any legally binding promissory note debt instruments that meet Uniform Commercial Code requirements, and without existence of any actual bank reimbursement documents, which form the basis for the demands that the Department of Education has been making. Neither Congress nor any other institution has ever authorized the Department of Education to operate this way.

In the process of making monetary demands the Department of Education and its business partners have used different problematic approaches in order to try to force me to comply with their demands. This has been documented on StopExtortion.org.

The Department of Education Deliberately Uses Involuntary Servitude

Year after year the Department of Education has made the same monetary demands and has assigned new collection agencies to this case. When I request debt validation, the collection agency that handles this case fades away, the Department of Education assigns another collection agency to the case and the process starts all over again. The Department of Education employees are managed so that they deliberately repeat these cycles over and over again.

The Department of Education is also managed so that this institution deliberately violates Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests. Instead of honestly admitting that the requested documents do not exist, the Department of Education sends information that is not responsive to the request that was made.

This case has continued for years, because it is intended to benefit the Department of Education financially and the Department of Education employees professionally. Otherwise this case would not exist. In the process the Department of Education employees get paid by the taxpayer money, even though nothing gets resolved.

Department of Education should operate so, that this institution is able to validate its monetary demands and is able to resolve debt validation requests with its own labor resources. Instead, the Department of Education's operations have been purposefully set up so, that the Department of Education forces former students to work on cases that are intended to benefit the Department of Education financially and the Department of Education employees professionally, regardless of whether or not the Department of Education can validate its monetary demands.

For years I have been forced to work on the Department of Education debt validation case described here without compensation, against my will. I am not a property of the Department of Education. Thus, I have been invoicing the Department of Education along the way and will continue to do so. On the Department of Education’s past due debt I am using the same notoriously high 24.34% interest rate that the Department of Education is using.

At the time of publishing this article, the Department of Education owes me $647,813.18. The accumulated debt that the Department of Education owes me has not been resolved and is due in full.

This is accompanied with the “honor” of the Department of Education and the Secretary of Education being deadbeats. All of this will remain deeply engraved in Internet records for a long time to come.

This is a debt that the Department of Education has created. Department of Education's current administration inherited this case. However, the current administration is responsible for the policies that the Department of Education currently implements.

This case also amounts to modern era of slavery, where the Department of Education is deliberately and purposefully forcing me to work in involuntary servitude conditions for the sake of personal and professional gain of the Department of Education employees and business partners.

The Department of Education cannot pin its usage of extortion, document fabrication, involuntary servitude, bullying and harassment on the guaranty agency or any other agency, because it is the Department of Education that through systematic actions has caused the real problems in this case and knowingly keeps this case open.

I have no desire to cause problems to the Department of Education or any of the people working there. However, as long as the institutions involved refuse to address the problems related to this case and the Department of Education refuses to close this case, I am in a situation where I must continue to work on this case. So, the case goes on and on.

This case will not get resolved until people at the Department of Education who have the authority to resolve it will actually want to resolve it. Thus, over the years I have sent lots of letters to the Department of Education administration and, as needed, will continue to do so.

Turning Problems into Opportunities

I also have to add that working on this case has benefitted me a lot because I have been able to turn frustration into a creative outlet.

I am a developer by nature who likes to create constructive solutions that benefit people as application users. I also like turning problems into opportunities. In the process of working on the non-existent student loan case, I started to look into the Department of Education’s operations and their impact on people’s lives, analyzing the gaps between what is needed and what is provided. This started with creating effective higher education concept and evolved into a much more significant technological project that I am working on and has the potential to benefit many people and companies.

I noticed that increasing number of people conclude that higher education is not a good investment of their time and other resources. This prompted me to ask, how do we know whether or not getting higher education is worthwhile? (When seeking answers to this question we have to disregard the longitudinal studies that make an implicit assumption that future is going to be just like the past was. This assumption, which works for a decreasing number of people who attain higher education, is in current circumstances flawed and misleading for increasing number of people.)

So, how do we define a worthwhile education, that is, an effective higher education? Further, what kinds of solutions are needed that can help students to attain effective higher education in a personalized manner and cost-effectively? What kinds of solutions help to relate fulfilling career development to individual educational choices in a personalized manner and cost-effectively, validly and reliably?

The technological project that provides answers and usable solutions belongs into self-improvement domain and has little overlap with the Department of Education’s operations, but it can among others also benefit the Department of Education as an institution.

I have to admit that I gained the initial insights and impetus to find solutions because I was researching higher education related areas. I did so because I was forced to work on the non-existent student loan case that is described here and goes on and on.

Further, especially during the initial stages of the technological project that I am working on, I continuously turned the frustration associated with having to work on the non-existent student loan case into energy that fueled me and helped me to keep going in the process of finding viable technological project development solutions. Motivation that you can constructively put into good use is very valuable, especially if you can maintain it over a long period of time.

At this point the technological project is being developed further and may become a business venture. Now the sustaining source of motivation is the interest in materializing this venture and the benefits that it can create. So, this development trend is way more important than is the dispute with the Department of Education.

As far as the dispute is concerned, if the Department of Education is willing to admit the realities of the case described here and wants to find a mutually acceptable solution, we most likely can do so. If not, we just keep going with the process where the Department of Education makes unvalidated demands by abusing the powers granted to this institution, the Department of Education’s liabilities continue to increase and nothing gets resolved. Whom would that benefit? Perhaps only these Department of Education employees who get paid and who do not care whether or not they accomplish anything constructive. A paycheck is a paycheck, right? But then again, do people who manage the Department of Education and work for it really want to keep going this way? Let’s proceed differently, more constructively, so that people at the Department of Education actually respond to the FOIA requests and proceed from there, admitting the realities of the case.

There is another, related aspect that illustrates this case. We have two different sides and approaches related to handling problems:

  • The Department of Education and its business partners, an institutional system that has been designed so that it produces and prolongs problems, while feeding on taxpayer money.
  • An individual who operates by turning problems into opportunities and designs solutions and systems that can benefit people in the career development processes.

This is where we are now. Preferably, these two approaches would not be as far apart as they are now. My guess is that there are many people who work for the system led by the Department of Education, who would want this system to benefit people much more than it has been able to do. The currently used system was designed with fundamental flaws. Thus, substantial portion of the resources poured into it will inevitably be wasted. It is not a good idea to devote substantial resources to trying to fix a system that was designed with fundamental flaws. This applies on both personal level and on micro and macroeconomic levels.

So, perhaps time will come when the Department of Education will have a leadership that will change how this institution operates, so that the primary focus will be on finding and supporting solutions that actually benefit students, employees and employers, instead of focusing primarily on maintaining its own operations and influence and in the process creating and prolonging problems on both personal, microeconomic and macroeconomic levels.

Further, perhaps time will come when we can point to this case as an example of how to resolve constructively certain types of disputes, by turning frustration into a creative outlet that produces solutions and, better yet, a venture that produces products and services that can benefit many people, companies and organizations.

Open Letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

Below is an open letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos that addresses the case described here.

  • The letter published below was delivered to:
  • The office of the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education, USPS Delivery Confirmation EE226316569US

The Honorable Betsy DeVos

Secretary of Education

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue S.W.

Washington, DC 20202

Dear Secretary DeVos:

I am contacting you about the U.S. Department of Education's usage of mail fraud, honest service fraud and involuntary servitude. The case addressed here is also related to usage of extortion, document fabrication, bullying and harassment by the Department of Education employees. Verifiable proof exists to back up each of these charges.

Please note that this is an open letter that I will publish on the Internet, on StopExtortion.org and may also publish on other websites.

I received correspondence from the Office of the Secretary that was dated 09/05/2019 and was signed by Arthur Caliguiran. This correspondence was a response to my FOIA Request No 19-00009-PA. The correspondence contained a disc with 164 scanned pages of materials. None of it was responsive to my request. Thus, I must submit yet another FOIA Request. By the time you receive this letter I have already submitted it to FOIA Service Center (USPS Express Mail EE226316572US). Attached is a copy of the Request submitted.

Secretary DeVos, we cannot find a solution to the case addressed here for as long as the Department of Education employees keep sending me materials that are irrelevant to my request. If the materials that I request do not exist, the Department of Education must admits that the documents that correspond to my request do not exist, which is obviously the case here. Admitting and taking into consideration the obvious would be steps in the direction of finding solutions. So, the choice is yours: do you want to resolve this case or do you want to prolong it?

For as long as the Department of Education employees refuse to admit that the requested documents do not exist, but at the same time also continue to make unvalidated monetary demands, we are in a loop and simply repeat the same actions over and over again. In the process your and the Department of Education’s debt to me keeps growing.

Solutions Needed vs Problems Offered Instead

If the Department of Education continues to insist that I owe student loans, the Department of Education must provide clear and solid proof that:

  • (1) Lending and borrowing documents exist that demonstrate that the alleged bank lending and borrowing transactions actually took place in reality.
  • (2) Records and documents exist that demonstrate that I as student actually received the allegedly borrowed money either directly, or indirectly, as tuition support.
  • (3) Because the Department of Education claims that it holds legally binding promissory note debt instruments, the Department of Education must furnish copies of these legally binding promissory note debt instruments that meet Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements.
  • (4) Because the Department of Education claims that it reimbursed the guaranty agency regarding the alleged bank loans, the Department of Education must furnish copies of documents submitted by the alleged lender to the guaranty agency for reimbursement. Similarly, the Department of Education must furnish copies of documents that clearly demonstrate that the guaranty agency actually made any payments to the alleged lender bank in this particular case.

The Department of Education has consistently failed in all four areas. Third party documents, internal documents and internal records that were created after I graduated from college are not substitutes for the actually requested records and documents. Similarly, copies of old financial aid applications are not substitutes for alleged bank lending and borrowing documents.

Documents presented so far indicate guaranty agency involvement in this case after I graduated from college. This connection seems to be the origin of these documents as well. It is unknown what, when and how triggered creating these third party documents and records. Similarly, it is unknown, which parts of the PDF files are actually related to my documents. Many of the documents presented as PDF file do not contain any identifiers such as IDs or person’s name. As this case has already demonstrated, documents can be mixed and matched and that can create additional problems.

What we do know is that the Department of Education together with its business partners has been creating documents on as needed bases after I requested them. What we also do know is that no proof has been provided that the third party documents provided are related to actual lending and borrowing transactions. Thus, we are dealing with an aggregate of conditional statements that obviously do not amount to debt validation.

Curiously, we have partial copies of old financial aid applications and third party support documents that were created after I graduated from college, but we do not have any documents that demonstrate that any bank lending and borrowing transactions actually took place and I actually received any of the allegedly borrowed money.

Equally curiously, the Department of Education reimbursed the guaranty agency even though no claim documents exist that were submitted by a bank to the guaranty agency for reimbursement. Similarly, no documents exist demonstrating that the guaranty agency actually made any payments to a bank.

Further, the amount that the Department of Education claims I borrowed as a student is over 20 times higher than was the annual tuition at the state owned college that I attended. No explanation has ever been provided for where this money allegedly went or how it was allegedly used. It is known that I received financial aid that covered the cost of my attending college. Thus, the probability is extremely low that the conditional statements presented by the Department of Education are based on real life transactions and are accurate.

It seems that the Department of Education employees are being ordered to furnish whatever documents they have and have been created after I graduated, so that the Department of Education would not have to admit that they do not have the actually requested documents. However, this way you keep prolonging this case, instead of finding a solution to it. Prolonging this case only forces me to point out again and again the incompetence and illegality associated with it. Thus, prolonging this case does not benefit you or the Department of Education.

In the process you and the Department of Education force me to work on this case and on the problems that exists because the Department of Education together with its business partners created them and continues to prolong them. You and the Department of Education force me to work in involuntary servitude conditions for the sake of personal and professional gain of the Department of Education employees and business partners.

Accordingly, I keep invoicing you and Department of Education for usage of my labor resources in involuntary servitude condition. This debt obligation will not go away. Instead, if not resolved, this case together with all the incompetence and illegality involved in it will become part of your legacy.

I expect the Department of Education to follow the laws that pertain to this case. Accordingly, because no valid debt exists, please note that the Department of Education has no legal right whatsoever to demand that I have to work with a collection agency in order to resolve the problems that your predecessors created and are being perpetuated under your administration. It is your responsibility to resolve the mail fraud, honest service fraud and involuntary servitude usage related problems caused by the Department of Education. I can and will continue to call attention to these Department of Education operating practices, but I cannot resolve these Department of Education wrongdoings for you.

Please note, that if you will allow the current operating practices to continue at the Department of Education, then most likely your representative will simply send me a standard letter stating, that the relevant problems have already been addressed – which is completely false. This will neither resolve anything nor will it help the Department of Education in any way.

Case Summary

  • This is a student loan case where the alleged bank loans were created as internal records after the student graduated from college in 1996. The internal records were created first by guaranty agency and then by the Department of Education in 2008.
  • No lending and borrowing documents exist that would demonstrate that the alleged bank lending and borrowing transactions actually took place in reality.
  • No records or documents exist that would demonstrate that the student actually received the allegedly borrowed money either directly, or indirectly, as tuition support.
  • Further, no documents exist that meet the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements for legally binding promissory note debt instruments.
  • While the Department of Education reimbursed the guaranty agency, regarding the alleged bank loans no claim documents exist that were submitted by a bank to the guaranty agency for reimbursement. Similarly, no documents exist demonstrating that the guaranty agency actually made any payments to a bank.
  • Thus, the Department of Education has no legal basis for making monetary demands from the former student.
  • Under the circumstances the Department of Education does not have any legal right to demand that the former student must work with a collection agency in order to resolve the problems that the Department of Education and its business partners have created. Yet, the Department of Education has continued to make such illicit demands, instead of resolving the problems as has been requested.
  • The Department of Education is legally obligated to provide this case related information and to validate its monetary demands, but has consistently refused to do so, and under the current management continues to refuse to do so.
  • The Department of Education is allowed to keep unvalidated student loan cases open in perpetuity and has found it advantageous to refuse to close the case that is being addressed here. As a result, the Department of Education has created a de facto modern era slavery case by deliberately and purposefully forcing the former student to work in involuntary servitude conditions on the nonexistent student loan case for the sake of personal and professional gain of the Department of Education employees and business partners so far for over 8 (eight) years.
  • Most recently the Department of Education has been trying to cover up previously made mistakes by using mail fraud and honest service fraud.

Systemic Problem Areas

I attended Rhode Island College 1990-1996 and graduated in 1996. I received Rhode Island College Honors Scholarship, Pell Grant and work-study financial aid that covered the cost of my attending the college.

Based on its own admission, in 2008, which is 12 years after I graduated from college, the Department of Education created internal records based on a guaranty agency records, stating that I received bank loans as a student.

Based on the available information in 2008 the Department of Education created these consumer lending records without existence of the actual consumer lending transactions and corresponding actual consumer lending documents. Neither Congress nor any other institution has ever authorized the Department of Education to operate this way.

Subsequently, the Department of Education started using these internal records as if these records were based on actual, real life lending and borrowing transactions. When I requested debt validation in 2011 after a collection agency contacted me, the Department of Education's case quickly fell apart. Instead of providing actual debt validation, the Department of Education provided partial copies of my financial aid applications and copies of internal records that were created after I graduated.

Everything that I have seen that supposedly validates the debt was created after I graduated. Further, currently the Department of Education keeps this case open by using mail fraud and honest service fraud.

There are fundamental problems with how the Department of Education managed infrastructure works:

  • As this case demonstrates, within the Department of Education managed infrastructure consumer lending and borrowing records can be created without existence of any actual consumer lending transactions and documents. Further, consumer lending and borrowing records can be created years after a former student graduated from college, even though the actual lending and borrowing transactions were supposed to take place while the former student was in college.
  • Within the Department of Education managed infrastructure a guaranty agency can create loan reimbursement records without any actual loan reimbursement requests and documents from a bank, without any actual records that show that any payment was made to a bank, and without existence of any actual consumer lending and borrowing transactions.
  • Further, guaranty agency can get reimbursed by the Department of Education without the existence of any actual loan reimbursement requests and documents from a bank, without any actual records that show that any payment was made to a bank, and without existence of any actual consumer lending and borrowing transactions.
  • After creating fictional lending and borrowing transactions as internal records, bullying, harassment and extortion-like techniques can be applied by using a nationwide network of debt collectors in order to collect the nonexistent debt. Government authority can be used in the process to make the requests seem valid, even though they are clearly invalid.
  • Further, the system is allowed to operate without having to provide qualifying proof that the alleged underlying lending and borrowing transactions actually took place and that the alleged borrower ever actually received the money in question either directly or indirectly, as tuition support.
  • Further, the system is allowed to operate so, that the Department of Education and its business partners can use clearly non-qualifying pieces of paper as legally binding debt instruments, without ever having to validate their claims.
  • Further, the system is allowed to operate so, that the Department of Education can ignore case law that clearly applies to the Department of Education.
  • Further, the system is allowed to operate so, that the Department of Education and its business partners can fraudulently create and back date documents.
  • Further, every communication document that is produced in the alleged debt collection process will become evidence that the person who is being targeted owes money, including debt validation requests made by that person.
  • Further, the system is allowed to operate so that the Department of Education can keep the case open in perpetuity even though the Department of Education clearly is not able to provide validating proof that the alleged lending and borrowing transactions ever took place or that it has any actual legally binding debt instruments in its possession.

There is ample of documented evidence presented on StopExtortion.org that demonstrates that all of the above applies to the case addressed here.

Information that Is Needed

At this point we need the four types of information listed below:

  • (1) We need validation that Fleet National Bank submitted one or more requests for reimbursement and that actual payments were made to Fleet National Bank for all the alleged loans that are related to this case. So far only guaranty agency created documents have been presented. However, these documents may have been produced fraudulently at a later date, similarly to the way Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statements were produced in 2012 and Indemnification Agreements were produced that suddenly surfaced in 2015 but were backdated to 2007. Further, the documents that guaranty agency produced do not in any way validate that Fleet National Bank actually submitted any claims and that any claims were actually paid to Fleet National Bank for all the alleged loans that are related to this case.
  • For the sake of clarity I will state that the Department of Education has never provided validation that Fleet National Bank submitted a request for reimbursement and actual payments were made to Fleet National Bank for all the alleged loans that are related to this case. The Department of Education may have reimbursed the guaranty agency, but that does not in any way validate that the guaranty agency actually made any payments to Fleet National Bank. The Department of Education reimbursing the guaranty agency does not in any way grant the Department of Education the rights to make monetary demands from me if no evidence exists that Fleet National Bank actually submitted claims to guaranty agency and guaranty agency actually paid claims for all the alleged loans that are related to this case.
  • Given, that the requested documents do not exist, the Department of Education must explicitly state that the requested documents do not exist.

The claim reimbursement documents requested above, that Fleet National Bank would have submitted, would have been created after I graduated from college in 1996.

The rest of the requested documents requested below would have been created before I graduated from college in 1996.

An important aspect is that if I received any bank loans as a student, then that must have taken place before I graduated from college in 1996. Thus, the Department of Education should not send me documents and computer records that were generated by third parties after I graduated in 1996 as “proof” on bank loan lending and borrowing transactions that allegedly took place before I graduated in 1996.

Similarly, if the Department of Education claims that I borrowed money from Fleet National Bank, a commercial entity, as student loans when I attended Rhode Island College 1990-1996 and that the Department of Education holds relevant legally binding promissory notes, then the Department of Education must furnish copies of the actual legally binding promissory notes that meet the Uniform Commercial Code requirements. Sending out financial aid applications in lieu of actual legally binding promissory notes that meet the Uniform Commercial Code requirements is fraud.

  • (2) We need signed copies of alleged student loan lending and borrowing documents that validate that the underlying alleged lending and borrowing transactions actually took place while I was a student from 1990-1996.
  • For the sake of clarity I will state that the Department of Education has never provided validation that the alleged lending and borrowing transactions actually took place.
  • Given, that the requested documents do not exist, the Department of Education must explicitly state that the requested documents do not exist.
  • (3) We need copies of signed documents that validate that I actually received the allegedly borrowed money either directly, or indirectly as tuition support while I was a student from 1990-1996.
  • For the sake of clarity I will state that the Department of Education has never provided validation that I actually received the allegedly borrowed money either directly, or indirectly as tuition support.
  • Given, that the requested documents do not exist, the Department of Education must explicitly state that the requested documents do not exist.
  • (4) We need copies of signed original documents that meet Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements for legally binding promissory notes and were produced while I was a student from 1990-1996.
  • For the sake of clarity I will state that the Department of Education has never provided validation that the alleged lending and borrowing related legally binding debt instruments exist.
  • Given, that the requested documents do not exist, the Department of Education must explicitly state that the requested documents do not exist.

The Department of Education is Legally Obligated to Provide the Requested Information

The Department of Education has had over 6 years to work on this case and has dragged me along. As of today, I have not received any documents that demonstrate that the alleged student loan lending and borrowing transactions actually took place, that I actually received the allegedly borrowed money either directly, or indirectly as tuition support, and that the corresponding legally binding valid debt instruments exist.

The Department of Education is making monetary demands in this case. Therefore, it is the obligation of the Department of Education to furnish qualifying proof that the monetary demands are valid.

The Department of Education claims that I borrowed money from Fleet National Bank, a commercial entity, as student loans when I attended Rhode Island College 1990-1996. Further, the Department of Education claims that it holds relevant legally binding promissory notes. The Department of Education is responsible for validating such claims and the corresponding monetary demands. In accordance with case law, (citing)

  • as assignees, the Guaranty Agencies and other secondary holders step into the shoes of the lender from whom they have taken the promissory notes and are subject to any defenses that the student/obligee may assert against the assignor/lender. See Jackson v. Culinary School of Washington, 788 F. Supp. 1233, 1248 n.9 (D.D.C. 1992), reversed on other grounds, 27 F.2d 573 (D.C. Cir. 1994), vacated, 515 U.S. 1139, on reconsideration, 59 F.3d 354 (D.C. Cir. 1995).

The above citation is applicable to the time period when the alleged loans were made. Thus, the Department of Education is in the shoes of the alleged lender, Fleet National Bank, a commercial entity. Of course, the Department of Education is in a peculiar situation here, because no loans exist. So, the Department of Education could claim that the above case law does not apply to it because no loans exist. However, then the aspect that there is no valid base for making any monetary demands would become even more obvious.

Mail Fraud by Usage of False Documents for the Purpose of Potential Monetary Gain

The Department of Education employees have stated that they and their collection agency business partners have sent me copies of promissory notes for student loans. This is incorrect. I have never received any copies of promissory notes of the alleged bank loans. I have received partial copies of my financial aid applications. Obviously, promissory notes of bank loans and financial aid applications are different documents.

The financial aid applications that I filled in and signed are approximately half a page long and do end with a short section that is labeled Promissory Note. Below that section is the only place on the application for a signature and that is where I signed my financial aid applications as a student. Based on these financial aid applications I received Rhode Island College Honors Scholarship, Pell Grant and work-study financial aid that covered the cost of my attending Rhode Island College 1990-1996.

My signing the financial aid applications below the section that is labeled Promissory Note does not in any way make me a borrower. A bank actually lending money to me and my accepting the loan would make me a borrower. In that case, the relevant documents and records would demonstrate that lending and borrowing took place.

According to the information received, the alleged student loan lender was Fleet National Bank, a commercial entity that is subject to Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements. As I have found out through my research, actual legally binding promissory note documents must contain the following information in order to meet the UCC requirements:

  • The exact principal amount that has to be paid.
  • Specific interest rate.
  • Due date, and when and at what frequencies any money has to be paid.
  • Document must be an unconditional promise to pay.

The financial aid applications that I signed do not contain any such information, because these are merely financial aid applications. No lending and borrowing transactions took place. Without lending and borrowing transactions relevant documents and information do not exist and no valid debt obligation exists either.

Another UCC requirement is that a legally binding promissory note must be an unconditional promise to pay. The financial aid applications that I signed fail this requirement as well, because they do not state with certainty that the financial aid applicant will receive or has received any loan amount at all. Similarly, the financial aid applications that I signed do not in any way demonstrate that I borrowed any money whatsoever.

Honest Service Fraud by Refusing to Fulfill FOIA Request

The Department of Education has never furnished the requested documents and information. Instead, the Department of Education has sent me following types of documents:

  • Partial copies of my financial aid applications.
  • Internal documents which seem to have been generated after I had graduated from college.
  • Computer screen snapshots of records that seem to have been generated after I had graduated from college.
  • Copies of my letters to the U.S. Department of Education regarding this case.

The documents that the Department of Education has sent me fall into the following categories:

  • 1) partial copies of my financial aid applications, and
  • 2) internal records and documents that seem to have been generated after I graduated from college, and my correspondence (starting 2011) to the Department of Education that was also created after I graduated from college.

Vast majority of the documents that the Department of Education has sent me have been copies of my correspondence to the Department of Education, requesting documents addressed here.

For example, if the current operating practices will continue, the letter that you are reading now, will also become part of additional "evidence" that I owe money to the Department of Education. The Department of Education employees will make an electronic copy of it and when I will request documents identified in the above subsection Information that Is Needed, then instead of sending me the requested documents, they will send me copies of my correspondence to the Department of Education and other institutions, together with other material that was generated after I graduated and with partial copies of my financial aid applications.

However, if the current operating practices will continue, the Department of Education will once again refuse to send me any actually requested material, or admit that the requested documents simply do not exist. This way, this case continues. In the process, the Department of Education and its business partners force me to continue to work on this case.

What we need instead, are the documents and information listed in the above subsection titled Information that Is Needed. Equally importantly, if such documents and information do not exist, the Department of Education must admit that they do not exist.

Your and Department of Education's Debt Obligation

Department of Education's operations have been purposefully set up so, that the Department of Education forces former students to work on cases that are intended to benefit the Department of Education financially and the Department of Education employees professionally regardless of whether or not any debt obligations exist.

For over 8 years I have been forced to work on the Department of Education debt validation case without compensation, against my will. I have been invoicing the Department of Education along the way and will continue to do so. Enclosed is a copy of the latest invoice. At this point the Department of Education owes me $647,813.18. The accumulated debt that the Department of Education owes me has not been resolved and is due in full.

This is a debt that the Department of Education has created. Department of Education's current administration inherited this case. However, the current administration is responsible for the policies that the Department of Education currently implements. Accordingly, as this case continues, I am holding the current administration personally responsible for forcing me to work in involuntary servitude conditions for the sake of personal and professional gain of the Department of Education employees and business partners.

A Case of Modern Era Slavery

I am a human being. I am not a property of the Department of Education.

This case amounts to a modern era of slavery, where the Department of Education is deliberately and purposefully forcing me to work in involuntary servitude conditions for the sake of personal and professional gain of the Department of Education employees and business partners for over eight years – as of now. Who knows how many years it will total before we finally will be done with this case.

The Department of Education cannot pin its usage of extortion, document fabrication, involuntary servitude, bullying and harassment on the guaranty agency or any other agency, because it is the Department of Education that through systematic actions has caused the real problems and suffering in this case and knowingly keeps this case open.

At this point I have to stress again that I have no desire to cause problems to the Department of Education or any of the people working there. However, as long as the institutions involved refuse to address the problems related to this case and the Department of Education refuses to close this case, I am in a situation where I must continue to work on this case. So, the case goes on and on.

Thomas Eklund

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