Mr. John B. King Jr. – Why is the Department of Education Evading Questions Regarding Its Usage of Involuntary Servitude, Document Fabrication, Bullying and Abuse of Power?

In my previous letter to Mr. John B. King Jr. I asked for an explanation of the wrongdoings that have been documented on StopExtortion.org – deliberate usage of involuntary servitude, document fabrication, bullying and abuse of power by the Department of Education.

People at the Department of Education cannot deny the accuracy of the charges, but unfortunately, so far they have not had the integrity to address the wrongdoings. Further, they continue to keep the case open. So, the case continues.

Below is my letter to Secretary of Education John B. King Jr., addressing relevant topics.

  • The letter published below was delivered to the office of Mr. John B. King Jr., Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education, USPS Delivery Confirmation EK654186208US

Mr. John B. King Jr.

Secretary of Education

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue S.W.

Washington, DC 20202

Dear Mr. King:

Thank you for the response dated 03/30/2016 that your assistant sent on your behalf. 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.

Mr. King, I am not your adversary or an adversary of the Department of Education. I am an advocate for making improvements where they clearly have to be made. Further, I am forced to work on resolving the internal record making, usage and enforcement dispute addressed here. You chose to continue this dispute and to continue to force me to work on resolving this dispute. However, neither your response, nor any other correspondence that I have ever received from the Department of Education has specified the laws, statutes and/or regulations that give you the right to do so under the circumstances that apply to this case. The reason is simple – no such law, statute or regulation exists.

The Department of Education has been handling this dispute for over 4 years long period of time by disregarding the relevant laws. Further, based on your response I have to conclude that you are knowingly abusing power and will continue to do so, because you believe that nobody can do anything about it. Is this the correct conclusion?

If it is not the correct conclusion, then what makes you think that the Department of Education can cause harm and distress to a person by creating lending and borrowing related “internal records” without documents that relate these internal records to real life events, and then use the powers of the federal government for making monetary demands as if the “internal records” were actually based on real life events?

What makes you think that the Department of Education can rob 4.5 years of a person’s life this way without you, as the Secretary of Education, accepting any responsibility?

What makes you think that the Department of Education can threaten a person and force the person to work endlessly on a case that is intended to benefit the Department of Education and, thus, both you and your colleagues professionally and financially, without ever furnishing actual proof that your demands are valid?

Documented evidence exist that show that the Department of Education operates this way. Neither Congress nor any other institution has ever authorized the Department of Education to operate this way.

In my letter dated 03/21/2016 I asked you about the Department of Education’s usage of involuntary servitude, document fabrication, bullying and abuse of power. These actions have been documented on StopExtortion.org and unlike your demands, these charges against you and the Department of Education are based on real life events.

You did not respond to any of the questions. Instead, your response clearly demonstrated that you are trying to evade your responsibility to explain the Department of Education’s actions, including the ongoing usage of involuntary servitude which you are responsible for.

These are serious problems, not something that you can simply brush away. So, I will ask you the same questions again. Please respond to the questions listed in the “Questions for the Department of Education” section in writing by 06/24/2016.

By continuing this case without the necessary legitimate cause, you are forcing me to ask you the same questions AGAIN AND AGAIN, until you either respond to the questions asked or will leave the office, leaving these problems behind as part of your legacy. In that case, I will be forced to ask the next administration the very same questions as many times as necessary, AGAIN AND AGAIN, as part of your legacy.

Before we even get to that point, I will gather further evidence regarding other government agencies knowingly and willingly ignoring the Department of Education’s wrongdoings. Then, I will present the relevant information to the presidential candidates and the voting public via channels that get much more traffic than StopExtortion.org does. I will present the horrors of having the Department of Education that continues to use the current operating methods, exemplified by both what has been documented on StopExtortion.org and student loan debt crisis statistics, together with the fact that much better alternatives exist. From there, the case will continue until it is resolved.

As a side note I will add that based on both my case and the available information, the underlying problems, including the invalid internal record creating, seem to originate from how the Department of Education has been managed: with lack of accountability, entitlement mentality and enslavement mentality.

Lack of accountability: No debt exists and no money is being collected. Despite of that, we have had 4.5 years of unvalidated monetary demands and an equally long internal record making, usage and enforcement dispute. This process is ongoing because the Department of Education employees still refuse to close the case.

It has been documented and established beyond doubt that throughout this process the Department of Education employees have engaged in numerous wrongdoings – yet nobody is accountable for anything.

On a larger scale, lack of accountability applies to failing miserably those, whose interests the Department of Education should serve – the traditional students, adult learners and employers who hire college graduates.

Entitlement mentality and enslavement mentality: Department of Education has been and is being managed as if this institution is entitled to cause harm, which it has done in abundance to millions of people over the last 7 years. My case is just one of many. Further, the Department of Education is being managed as if this institution is entitled to enslave people who want to attain higher education.

So, the question arises: does the voting public really prefer to have such an institution, while much better alternatives exist that very realistically can deliver substantially better results?

In addition, regarding my case, the Department of Education owes me substantial amounts of money for using my labor for over 4 (four) years in involuntary servitude conditions. I will continue to invoice you for as long as you continue to force me to work on this case by keeping this case open.

The Department of Education has not disputed this debt. Thus, I conclude that the debt is valid. Please note, that your debt of $229,397.37 is past due and delinquent.

Your refusal to pay a valid debt does not resolve the debt and does not in any way diminish your responsibility to pay the debt owed. As Secretary of Education, you should know this.

I offered to relinquish requests for the compensation that is listed in the enclosed invoice, if – AND ONLY IF – the Department of Education in return officially declares that it will relinquish usage of the operating practices that are being addressed in this letter. There is more information on this topic below.

I have been documenting this case on the Internet and will continue to do so. Further, please note that until this case is resolved, I need to keep records of the relevant correspondence. I am not able to record phone calls. Therefore, I can correspond in writing only, via regular mail.

Dispute Background

I graduated from Rhode Island College in 1996. In December of 2011 I received a collection letter and I have been requesting debt validation ever since.

So, this dispute with the Department of Education started out as a debt validation request. Department of Education insists that I owe student loans. The alleged loan principal is about 20 times higher than was the cost of the relevant average annual tuition. The Department of Education has been completely unable to furnish any documents that would show that I ever borrowed and received the alleged bank loans either directly, or indirectly, as tuition support. Similarly, the Department of Education has been completely unable to furnish any credible explanation on where this money allegedly went to or how it was allegedly used. Further, I received Rhode Island College Honors Scholarship, Pell Grant and work-study financial aid that covered the cost of my attending college.

The source of the problems is that the Department of Education is making monetary demands based on internal records, which were created without any documents that show that the relevant lending and borrowing transactions actually took place, and without any documents that show that I ever received the alleged bank loans, and without any documents that meet the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements for legally binding promissory note debt instruments.

It soon became clear, that no valid loans or debt exist in this case. Accordingly, in essence this is an internal record making, usage and enforcement dispute, that has escalated into the areas addressed in this letter.

The relevant dispute has been going on for over 4 (four) years. No loans or debt actually exist that the Department of Education could legitimately claim as assets and could legitimately collect money on. Thus, it should be completely clear to the Department of Education employees that in this case any monetary demands are baseless.

However, the Department of Education employees have decided that they want to continue to make monetary demands anyway, even though they cannot validate them. Because they cannot prevail by using legally acceptable means, they have been using other kinds of methods.

In order to prevail in this dispute, and to benefit from this dispute both financially and professionally, the Department of Education employees have been forcing me to work on resolving this case for 4 (four) years, while they have been fully aware that no valid debt or debt obligation exists. This process has intentionally been designed to be never ending.

BASED ON THE EXISTING EVIDENCE, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IS BEING MANAGED SO THAT THE EMPLOYEES ARE INTENTIONALLY AND MALICIOUSLY USING INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROFESSIONAL AND MONETARY GAIN.

As I stated in my previous letters to the Department of Education and other institutions that I have contacted, and will repeat here, I am not seeking any kind of debt relief.

I am seeking relief from being forced to work endlessly and without compensation on a case that is intended to benefit the Department of Education financially and its employees professionally, where valid debt and debt obligations do not exist and which, under the circumstances, the Department of Education should have handled completely impartially with its own resources, within a reasonable pre-determined period of time (for example, 3 months).

Objectives

This case is one of many problems that the Department of Education has created and is unwilling and unable to resolve. While this is just one case, it is a good example of what bad management can do – problems are created and are intentionally being prolonged, while taxpayer money continues to be wasted in the process. The same is being done on national level, causing grief to millions of people and problems that affect the entire economy, while much better alternatives exist. These issues have to be addressed, because ignoring them will not resolve anything.

This case has been and continues to be documented online, on StopExtortion.org. So, different individuals and institutions can evaluate the relevant material and decide for themselves, what conclusions should be drawn.

Questions for the Department of Education

In order to reduce confusion regarding this case and to avoid allegations over lack of impartiality, please clarify the Department of Education positions in the areas listed below. Further, in order to avoid putting me in a situation where I will have to contact the Department of Education repeatedly, please address all the questions so, that you specify the relevant laws, statutes and regulations that the Department of Education positions are based on.

  • (1) Involuntary servitude usage. The internal record making, usage and enforcement dispute that is addressed here 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 and its business partners have made threats that I have to take seriously. Thus, I must work on this case until it is resolved.
  • Further, I do not have any security and safety in this case. Even though the Department of Education employees have not furnished the requested validation that their records are based on real life transactions and the alleged debt actually exists, based on their statements, they can force me to pay them through garnishing wages.
  • Based on the existing information, the Department of Education employees should be fully aware that no valid debt or debt obligation exists in this case. Based on the available evidence, the Department of Education is managed so, that the employees can continuously make monetary demands and try to prevail in the process, whether or not their demands are valid.
  • In the process, the Department of Education employees have forced me to work on this case for 4.5 years and the same process is ongoing endlessly.
  • For example, in December of 2015 the Department of Education assigned another collection agency, Immediate Credit Recovery, Inc., to this case. The outcome was the same as before: there is no valid debt or debt obligation.
  • Instead of providing the legitimately requested debt validation, Immediate Credit Recovery, Inc. disappeared. Just a few months later, in March of 2016, the Department of Education assigned yet another collection agency, Central Research, Inc., to this case. The outcome was the same as before: there is no valid debt or debt obligation.
  • Instead of providing the legitimately requested debt validation, Central Research, Inc. disappeared. Just a few months later, in May of 2016, the Department of Education assigned yet another collection agency, Windham Professionals, Inc., to this case. The outcome will be the same as before: there is no valid debt or debt obligation.
  • Thus, the same processes are knowingly, intentionally and maliciously repeated, over and over again. If this is allowed to continue, we can expect the Department of Education employees to repeat the same actions or to try to find new ways for repeating the same actions, even though it is clear that no valid debt or debt obligation exists.
  • Because the same steps are repeated over and over again, and the conclusion is always that no valid debt or debt obligation exists, the objective of the Department of Education employees actions CANNOT LEGITIMATELY BE collection of the alleged debt. The objective seems to be to exhaust me, so that I would give up and would pay the perpetrators, even though no bank loans actually exist.
  • QUESTION 1.1: In this case, does the Department of Education find the federal government employees actions that force me to work on this case endlessly in involuntary servitude conditions to be legitimate?
  • QUESTION 1.2: Is it the position of the Department of Education that involuntary servitude is not being used in this case? If so, what is the basis for such conclusion?
  • QUESTION 1.3: Is it the position of the Department of Education that the Department of Education can make monetary demands endlessly, without officially closing the case, even though no lending and borrowing transactions documents exist, and no documents exist that would show that I ever received the alleged bank loans either directly or indirectly, as tuition support, and without any documents that meet the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements for legally binding promissory note debt instruments?
  • (2) Financial transaction document fabrication. I graduated from college in 1996. In 2012 the Department of Education sent me what they claimed to be copies of my original Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statements. However, it turned out that these statements were generated in 2012 by entering my current information into a computer system in 2012 – more than 15 years after I graduated from college.
  • QUESTION 2.1: In this case, does the Department of Education find it legally acceptable that financial transactions related official documents were generated more than 15 years after the alleged lending and borrowing transactions should have taken place, by simply entering a person’s current information into the computer system, so that the newly generated documents would help to support the monetary claims?
  • QUESTION 2.2: The Department of Education is currently one of the largest financial institutions in the United States. Is it the position of the Department of Education that all financial institutions and all other companies and organizations can generate financial transactions related official documents in the manner similar to what is described above? If so, what is the basis for such a conclusion? If not, is the Department of Education an exception, so that Department of Education employees can generate any financial transactions related official documents at will, any number of years after the alleged lending and borrowing transactions were supposed to take place, without existence of documents that demonstrate that the lending and borrowing transactions actually occurred and any resulting debt obligations actually exist?
  • (3) Usage of bullying. In June of 2014 I found out that the Department of Education had reported the unvalidated, non-existent student loans to Experian North America credit bureau, as if these were actual loans in collection. This process started in 06/2012 and ended in 08/2013 without my knowledge.
  • I started requesting debt validation in December of 2011, when I received a collection letter. The fictional loans were entered into my credit report starting 06/2012. At that time it must have been completely clear to the Department of Education employees that no documents exist that validate their monetary demands. Thus, it must have been obvious to the Department of Education employees, that they cannot prevail in this case by using legally acceptable means.
  • The Department of Education employees should be professionals who are fully aware, that neither Congress nor any other institution has ever authorized the Department of Education to report internal records as actual loans to a credit bureau without existence of any documents that demonstrate that the lending and borrowing transactions actually occurred and that the resulting debt obligations actually exist, and without existence of any legally binding valid debt instruments.
  • Thus, I have to conclude that the Department of Education employees knowingly chose to report these fictional records as actual loans to a credit bureau for the sake of bullying. People at the Department of Education wanted to show how powerful they are and what I can do to me.
  • QUESTION 3.1: In this case, does the Department of Education find it legally acceptable that the Department of Education has been trying to create debt by creating internal records, and then tried to reinforce its demands by reporting these internal records as if the records were actual loans, even though it was known that no lending and borrowing transactions documents exist and no valid legally binding debt instruments exist?
  • QUESTION 3.2: In this case, does the Department of Education find it legally acceptable that federal government employees use bullying for the purpose of monetary and professional gain?
  • QUESTION 3.3: If the Department of Education finds that no wrongdoing occurred and if the Department of Education employees truly believe, that the loans and the debt actually exist in this case, and that Congress has authorized or even mandated them to report these records as actual student loans to credit bureaus, then why did the reporting end in 08/2013, even though nothing had changed?
  • (4) Abuse of power. Department of Education employees have been pursuing this case, even though neither Congress nor any other institution has ever authorized the Department of Education to create consumer lending records without existence of documents that show, that the relevant lending and borrowing transactions actually took place, and without documents that meet the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements for legally binding promissory note debt instruments.
  • Further, the Department of Education employees have demanded that I must demonstrate that the non-existent debt does not exist, even though neither Congress nor any other institution has ever authorized the Department of Education to operate by forcing former students to prove that unvalidated debt obligations are indeed invalid, after the Department of Education has created lending and borrowing related computer records without having any actual lending and borrowing related documents, and without documents that meet the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements for legally binding promissory note debt instruments.
  • QUESTION 4.1: In this case, does the Department of Education find it legally acceptable that the Department of Education employees claim that Congress has granted them the authority to pursue this case, even though no Congressional authority exists that allows the Department of Education to create consumer lending records without existence of documents that show, that the relevant lending and borrowing transactions actually took place, and without documents that meet the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements for legally binding promissory note debt instruments?
  • QUESTION 4.2: In this case, does the Department of Education find it legally acceptable that the Department of Education employees claim that Congress has granted them the authority to pursue this case, even though no Congressional authority exists that allows the Department of Education to operate by forcing former students to prove that unvalidated debt obligations are indeed invalid, after the Department of Education has created lending and borrowing related computer records without having any actual lending and borrowing related documents, and without documents that meet the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements for legally binding promissory note debt instruments?

My Situation in a Nutshell

As is stated elsewhere in this letter, the Department of Education has been demanding money from me for an alleged debt. Despite of my repeated requests, no validation has been offered, that any corresponding lending and borrowing transactions have actually taken place, and that I have ever received any of the alleged loans either directly or indirectly, as tuition support.

Instead, it became evident that the Department of Education demands are based on internal records which do not correspond to any real life lending and borrowing transactions. The Department of Education is managed so, that even when the monetary demands turn out to be invalid, the Department of Education employees continue to make monetary demands.

In the process the Department of Education has assigned different collection agencies – business partners to the case. Both these Department of Education business partners and the Department of Education employees have made various kinds of threats that I must take seriously. Because of these threats, I have been working in involuntary servitude conditions on trying to resolve this case.

This way, this case has been going on for 4.5 years. No end in sight. The only progress that has been made, has been made because I have been working on this case.

Case Resolution Seeking Related Record Keeping So Far

As you can see below, I have contacted the Department of Education numerous times. The information and the evidence that have been gathered overwhelmingly indicate that the Department of Education has been making monetary demands based on bad record keeping, which it tries to cover up. The relevant information and evidence have been gathered due to my work and efforts.

Because the Department of Education employees have no motivation and interest in resolving this case, I have been contacting other institutions. So far I have contacted the individuals and institutions listed below. All the letters mentioned here were sent by either via USPS certified mail, USPS Priority Mail or USPS Express Mail. StopExtortion.org contains additional, more detailed information on this.

U.S. Department of Education Business Partners

I have contacted the collection agencies that have worked on this case as the Department of Education business partners, numerous times starting 12/16/2011, disputed the amount demanded from me and requested debt validation. In response, I have not received any meaningful information whatsoever from any of the Department of Education business partners. Instead, I have received threats and other totally useless correspondence.

Further, the first debt collection company that was assigned to this case, FMS Services (aka Financial Management Systems, a private collection agency), hired an attorney, so that I would not contact them again. That is, this collection company first demanded $133,696.48 from me. After I repeatedly requested debt validation, and FMS Services apparently examined the merits of this case, FMS Services decided to invest their own money into hiring an attorney so that they can request from me not to be contacted again, and I can only contact their attorney instead.

FMS Services attorney, Mr. James K. Schultz of Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Israel, L.L.C. law firm, sent me a letter dated 09/13/12 and asked not to contact FMS Services debt collection company any more. After that, I had to contact Mr. Schultz on 09/17/12, 10/06/12 and on 10/26/12. http://www.sessions-law.com/

This link provides additional relevant information: http://www.stopextortion.org/profiles/blogs/open-letter-to-arne-dun...

Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Education

I contacted the Office of the General Counsel of the Department of Education on 1/16/2012. I did not receive any response to this letter.

The Honorable Martha Coakley, Attorney General of Massachusetts

I contacted The Honorable Martha Coakley, Attorney General of Massachusetts at the time, on 04/14/2012. After speaking with Attorney General’s representative, I sent to Attorney General’s office additional information on 05/14/2012.

FMS Services, Department of Education business partner, who was contacted by Attorney General’s representative, refused to answer Massachusetts Attorney General representative’s questions. That also ended my communication with Attorney General’s representative, who was decidedly impartial, but very helpful.

Mr. Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

I contacted the office of Mr. Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, on 04/14/2012, 06/23/12, 08/28/12, 10/06/12, 11/26/12, 02/16/13, 04/27/13, 06/15/13, 07/29/13, 08/25/13, 10/14/13, 12/16/13, 02/18/14, 04/28/14, 06/23/14, 08/18/14, and on 12/15/14.

In the process I requested that the Department of Education validates that (1) I received the alleged student loans and that the relevant debt exists, and (2) that the Department of Education holds relevant valid legally binding promissory note debt instruments, and (3) that the Department of Education is the legal owner of the relevant alleged debt.

Throughout the 4.5 years long dispute, the Department of Education has repeatedly failed in all three areas. Instead, I received responses with both false and misleading statements, as is described in the sections below.

U.S. Department of Education FOIA Unit

I had to submit Freedom of Information (FOIA) request to the Department of Education several times, and I had to send out a complaint, before the request was processed. Twice the Department of Education FOIA Unit invented reasons for not processing the request. Each time I received a letter where I was requested to sign yet another statement. The letters also stated that “This letter concludes our response to your request.”

I also had to sign a statement under the penalty of perjury, declaring that all the information that I have provided about this case is true to the best of my knowledge.

Later, when I complained about this, the Department of Education FOIA Unit stated that they needed to verify my identity. However, I had already sent in copies of my driver’s license and Social Security Card to the Department of Education FOIA Unit, and I had signed the letters and the statements I made. Further, the FOIA request processing refusal letters did not ask for notarization of signature, or in any other commonly used identify verification methods.

I submitted a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request to the Department of Education first on 07/15/13. After several complaints that I sent to Mr. Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, 8 months after submitting the first request I did receive a response to my FOIA request. The response, dated 03/11/14, states that my FOIA request “was forwarded to the appropriate office within the Department to search for documents that may be responsive to my request,” and the Office of Business Operations in FSA was “unable to locate any records responsive to my request.”

However, previously the Department of Education has stated that it has information on my receipt of grants. Thus, the FOIA response was in conflict with the information that the Department of Education had previously provided.

So, my correspondence with the Department of Education FOIA Unit continued – and, it is still ongoing. The section titled “Refusal to Honor Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request” below provides additional information on this.

In my FOIA request I specified the information that I was seeking. I have never received that information from the Department of Education FOIA Unit. Instead, I received duplicate copies of the letters that I had sent to the Department of Education, as “proof of indebtedness.”

At the time when I submitted the FOIA request, it must have been known to the people at the Department of Education FOIA Unit that no documents exist that would actually validate the monetary demands the Department of Education has been making.

Based on my experience I have to conclude, that the Department of Education FOIA Unit knowingly uses intimidating techniques and sends out irrelevant information in order to “prove” that a person owes money.

It is unlikely, that I am the only person who was subjected to such treatment. It is unknown, how many people over the years have been forced into making payments on financial obligations that are either partially or completely fictional and for which no documents exist, demonstrating that the financial obligations are valid.

Office of General Counsel, Office of Special Counsel

I contacted Office of General Counsel, Office of Special Counsel on 04/28/14, asking for help with identifying the steps that I can take to obtain specific information from the Department of Education in response to FOIA request that I submitted to the Department of Education.

I received a very helpful and constructive response, where I was recommended to contact Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), because OGIS is better suited to handle this FOIA dispute.

Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)

On 05/19/14 I contacted Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), National Archives and Records Administration.

I received a response, dated 12/12/2014, from Nikki Gramian, Acting Director at the time. The response was both helpful, thorough and very considerate. However, in essence the response emphasized why the Department of Education FOIA Unit’s actions could be considered legitimate – if all these explanations that the Department of Education FOIA Unit had provided were indeed true. Further, the response also made clear that there are limitations to what OGIS can do in order to resolve FOIA disputes.

Even though I disagreed with Ms. Gramian’s response, I appreciate the fact that she tried to provide a thoughtful explanation of why the people at the Department of Education FOIA Unit acted the way they did.

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

I contacted the Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General at the time, on 07/14/14. In my letter I addressed my concerns regarding the student loan dispute, and expressed hope that the Department of Justice can help to find a conclusion to what at the time was over two years long dispute between myself and the Department of Education.

I received a response, dated 11/01/2014, which stated that the Department of Justice cannot provide assistance with this case because it does not fall under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000c, et seq. However, in my letter I had asked for assistance in other areas, that are related to making unvalidated monetary demands and to unethical actions taken by the representatives of the Department of Education. Thus, the response ignored my actual request for assistance, and addressed an area that, according to the Department of Justice, they cannot assist with.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

I contacted American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on 09/15/14, and received a considerate response from Susan N. Herman, President of ACLU. In the response Ms. Herman explained why ACLU cannot assist in the addressed areas.

10 Individuals and Institutions

On 10/20/14 I contacted the 10 individuals and institutions listed below:

  • Chuck Young, Managing Director, U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • The Honorable Edith Ramirez, Chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission
  • The Honorable Harry Reid, United States Senate
  • The Honorable Hillary Clinton
  • The Honorable Julie Brill, Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission
  • Katherine Siggerud, Managing Director, U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • The Honorable Lamar Alexander, United States Senate
  • The Honorable Paul Ryan, United States Congress
  • The Honorable Ted Cruz, United States Senate
  • The Honorable Tom Harkin, United States Senate

I received responses and valuable information from some of the recipients.

Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)

As a follow-up, I contacted Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) again on 02/09/15. In my letter I pointed out what specifically invalidates the Department of Education FOIA Unit explanations which stated that they only tried to verify my identify by repeatedly refusing to process my FOIA request, and by demanding that I must sign a statement under the penalty of perjury, declaring that all the information that I have provided about this case is true to the best of my knowledge. I have not received any response to this letter.

Experian North America

On 03/16/2015 I contacted Experian North America, because previously I had found out that the Department of Education had reported the unvalidated, non-existent student loans to Experian credit bureau, as if these were actual loans in collection.

I stared requesting debt validation in December of 2011. The Department of Education reported the fictional loans to a credit bureau from 06/2012 to 08/2013. These fictional loans were reported for this limited period of time to only one credit bureau, Experian.

The Department of Education reported the fictional loans to credit bureau while I was requesting debt validation, and without having any actual promissory notes or contracts or other type of documents that would demonstrate that the alleged lending and borrowing transactions actually ever took place.

Thus, I have to conclude that the Department of Education report these fictional records as actual loans to a credit bureau for the purpose of bullying.

Further, this shows, once again, how the Department of Education operates. People at the Department of Education do whatever they want, in order to force their version of reality on a former student.

Experian North America responded with an impartial but considerate letter and later removed the fictional loans from my credit history.

The section below, “Credit Report Entries Made For the Purpose of Bullying” contains more information on this.

The Honorable Loretta Lynch, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

I contacted The Honorable Loretta Lynch, Attorney General, on 05/04/2015, seeking help with ending a situation where I am being forced to work endlessly in involuntary servitude conditions. I described how I am being forced to work endlessly and without compensation on a debt validation case that is intended to benefit the Department of Education financially and, under the circumstances, the Department of Education should handle completely impartially with its own resources, within a reasonable pre-determined period of time (for example, 3 months).

Further, I emphasized that I am not seeking any kind of debt relief.

I received a response dated 02/11/2016 from Lisa Mitzelfeld from the Department of Justice Consumer Protection Branch. This response states that the concerns that I have are “of a private nature” and are “governed by state rather than federal law.”

In response I sent a follow-up letter to Attorney General Lynch, dated 03/01/2016, asking for confirmation that it is indeed the official position of the Department of Justice under the current administration, that involuntary servitude usage is a private matter that is governed by state rather than federal law.

Further, in conjunction with the same case, in addition to involuntary servitude usage, I also asked for similar opinions on financial transaction document fabrication, usage of bullying by federal government employees for the purpose of monetary and professional gain, and abuse of power. All of these are charges that are related to the same case. I also stated that I have proof and can back up every single one of these charges.

Default Resolution Group, U.S. Department of Education

In a letter dated 06/08/2015, the Department of Education Ombudsman Group representative asked me to contact the Default Resolution Group. I did so with a letter dated 06/22/2015.

I received a response stating that “Our position has not changed.”

The Department of Education has never been able to provide any coherent, constructive and meaningful response in this case. Thus, the appropriate translation of “Our position has not changed” is that the Department of Education employees state that “After over 3.5 years we still have not been able to get our act together and we don’t see any reason to change.”

Here is a link to my response: http://www.stopextortion.org/profiles/blogs/department-education-de...

Mr. Richard Cordray, Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

I contacted the Richard Cordray, Director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on 08/24/15 and received a response stating, that I had identified the Department of Education as the owner of my loan. Accordingly, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sent my information to the Department of Education and closed my file.

This, of course, is completely incorrect. Based on the available information, there are no loans.

Therefore, I contacted the Richard Cordray, Director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, again on 09/28/15. I have not received any response to that letter.

Based on the information available to me at the time of writing this letter, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s actual operating mission has little to do with protecting consumers. Instead, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau facilitates information between consumers and other companies and organizations. However, in the case of the Department of Education, the latter process may also help to diffuse some of the frustration that student loan borrowers feel. This, in turn, can help to show the current government in good light. Thus, the latter may be Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s actual mission.

If I receive any information that indicates that the above is incorrect, I will both change the relevant information in the subsequent letters that I will send to other presidential candidates, and will post relevant information on StopExtortion.org. I have no intent or interest in badmouthing any individual or organization involved. However, I am very interested in providing a true picture of the situation.

The Honorable Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor

I contacted The Honorable Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of Labor, on 11/04/2015, seeking help with ending a situation where I am being forced to work endlessly and without compensation on a debt validation case that is intended to benefit the Department of Education financially and, under the circumstances, the Department of Education should handle completely impartially with its own resources, within a reasonable pre-determined period of time (for example, 3 months). Further, I emphasized that I am not seeking any kind of debt relief.

So far I have not received any response from the Department of Labor. I did receive another “Our position has not changed” letter from the Department of Education that referenced the letter sent to the Department of Labor. Such meaningless response is another indicator of indifference and lack of interest in finding a conclusion to this case.

The Honorable Bernie Sanders

I contacted The Honorable Bernie Sanders on 12/07/2015. So far I have not received any response.

Mr. John B. King Jr., U.S. Secretary of Education

I contacted the office of Mr. John B. King Jr., Secretary of Education, on 03/21/2016 and asked to explain the Department of Education’s usage of involuntary servitude, document fabrication, bullying and abuse of power. Mr. King’s assistant who responded did not provide any explanations that would actually address the problems. Instead, with the response Mr. King’s assistant tried to evade the Department of Education’s responsibility to explain the heinous actions that have been committed and the ongoing usage of involuntary servitude.

I contacted the office of Mr. John B. King Jr., Secretary of Education, again on 05/02/2016 and asked the same questions again.

Case Background

I will explain below the current situation further.

I came to the in 1989 as a political refugee from the Soviet Union. I attended state owned Rhode Island College between 1990 and 1996 as an honors student. According to publicly accessible sources the in-state cost of tuition to attend the state owned Rhode Island College from 1990 to 1996 ranged from $1,703 to $2,838 a year.

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

As far as I know, as a student I did not qualify for bank loans because I was in the U.S. on a temporary visa when I first attended college, and then on Green Card until graduation, without any credit history, co-signer or collateral. Further, initially I did not have any work experience and work history either. While I was a student my income was extremely low and did not support borrowing from a bank tens of thousands of dollars.

However, the Department of Education insists that I also borrowed $46,354.00 as principal from Fleet National Bank, to which the Department of Education later added interest and fees, so that at this point the Department of Education is demanding from me over $144,000.00.

The amount of money that the Department of Education claims that I borrowed is several times higher than I possibly could have received, even if I would have borrowed money. As a student, I did not live on campus. The Department of Education is unable to explain, how the $46,354.00 supposedly was used or where did it go.

I have been requesting debt validation from the Department of Education from December of 2011, when I received a student loan collection letter.

None of the demands have been validated. There is no validation that I ever received any of the alleged loans either directly, or indirectly, as tuition support. Similarly, there is no validation that any legally binding documents exist.

The over three years long dispute with the Department of Education has so far resulted in identifying the following:

  • Initially, the Department of Education insisted that a breach of contract had occurred. However, a legally enforceable contract must be consummated by consideration which, in this case, would be my receiving student loans as the promisor from Fleet National Bank as the promisee. There is no contract that involves my receipt of student loans as the promisor from Fleet National Bank as the promisee. Thus, there is no contract involved here that has been breached.
  • As a student, I signed and submitted financial aid applications and received financial aid based on these applications. These financial aid applications do contain information on my receipt of financial aid other than loans.
  • Financial aid applications and legally binding promissory notes are different documents. However, the Department of Education is trying to serve these financial aid applications as legally binding promissory notes, even though these financial aid applications (a) are not in accordance with the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements for legally binding promissory notes, (b) do not contain the information that legally binding promissory notes must contain, and (c) do not contain information on my receipt of the alleged bank loans.
  • Thus, there are no legally binding promissory note debt instruments that I signed as a student at Rhode Island College that involved me as the promisor and Fleet National Bank as the promisee.
  • Accordingly, the Department of Education does not hold any valid legally binding promissory note debt instruments that involve me as the promisor and Fleet National Bank as the promisee.
  • No documents have been furnished that demonstrate existence of debt and debt obligations. Accordingly, the Department of Education does not own a nonexistent debt that involves me as the promisor and Fleet National Bank as the promisee.

The Department of Education representative does not state that I received student loans and that I must pay the Department of Education because I received student loans. Instead, the Department of Education representative states that I must pay them because I signed the financial aid applications, which the Department of Education also calls promissory notes. However, financial aid applications and promissory notes are different documents.

These less than a page long financial aid applications contain only one place for signature, in the middle of the page, and that is where I signed them.

Further, there are requirements set for legally binding promissory notes, and the financial aid applications that I signed do not qualify as legally binding promissory notes.

In addition, the bottom halves of the same less than a page long financial aid applications contain information that indicates, that the applications were processed for financial aid other than loans – and I did receive such financial aid.

When I started the debt validation process, I did not know any of this. It has taken me a lot of work and time to find out the relevant details and information. This entire process has been very difficult, causing me a lot of mental suffering.

Based on my case I have to conclude that the Department of Education employees purposefully want to maintain their stronghold, hoping to eventually force me into paying them anyway, because they have a never ending ability to make monetary demands that they do not have to actually validate. Thus, they knowingly cause endless suffering.

There is nothing accidental about this. Based on the available evidence, in this case the Department of Education employees cause this suffering purposefully and deliberately. This must be stopped.

Request for Formal Statement Ending the Monetary Demands

I have requested that the Department of Education validates that (1) I received the alleged student loans and that the relevant debt exists, and (2) that the Department of Education holds relevant valid legally binding promissory note debt instruments, and (3) that the Department of Education is the legal owner of the relevant alleged debt.

Throughout the 4.5 years long dispute, the Department of Education has failed in all three areas.

The Department of Education is not exempt from debt validation, and the Department of Education does not have the legal right to force a past student loan applicant to make payments on an unvalidated debt.

Accordingly, I request that the Department of Education ceases and desists making any further monetary demands and states in writing that the Department of Education will not under any circumstances take any actions and will not make any further demands regarding the specific previously claimed alleged debt, and will not authorize any individual, company, organization or institution to take any actions or to make any kinds of further demands regarding the specific previously claimed alleged debt.

The Department of Education must provide such a specific statement, signed by a duly authorized representative.

People at the Department of Education live in their own world, where they believe that they can pursue monetary demands even if they do not have proof that the underlying alleged lending and borrowing transactions actually happened. Their having “internal records” is sufficient for them. However, they can create internal records again at any point in time, entering, once again, my latest information in their computer system, as they did a few years ago – ironically, together with a bank’s name (Bank of America) that did not even have any commercial presence in New England at the time I went to college. Similarly, they can create or change any other internal regulations, and, once again, start demanding money from me. If this sounds crazy, then, with all due respect, it’s not any more crazy than is the current case that has been going on for the last 4 years.

Thus, a statement specifying the above would provide necessary and sufficient assurances that the demands will not resurface at will. Without such assurances I am forced to pursue this case until I receive the necessary assurances that this case has been closed for good.

Foundation for the Requests

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).

Please note, that the above citation is applicable to the time period when the alleged loans were made.

Accordingly, when the Department of Education becomes the holder of the promissory notes, it is not the original lender, nor the school involved, but the Department of Education that has to answer for actions related to originating and collecting the debt, as well as other potentially fraudulent aspects of an individual student loan cases.

In this case, legally binding promissory notes and debt either exist, or they do not exist.

If the Department of Education maintains a claim that it is the legal owner of legally binding promissory notes, I expect the Department of Education to furnish copies of the original legally binding promissory notes that are in accordance with Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements for legally binding promissory notes. In that case, the Department of Education is also in the shoes of the lender. As lender, I expect the Department of Education to furnish proof, that the lending and borrowing transactions actually occurred and the corresponding debt obligations actually exist.

If the legally binding promissory notes do not exist, and there is no conclusive proof that the lending and borrowing transactions occurred, I expect the Department of Education to issue a statement clearly stating that it will end the unvalidated monetary demands.

Compensation

As is stated above, for 4.5 years I have been forced to work on Department of Education debt validation / bad record keeping cover-up case, without compensation, against my will. I have been invoicing the Department of Education along the way. For the sake of the relevant information I am enclosing a copy of the latest invoice.

Please note, that the invoices that I have submitted to the Department of Education so far list only compensation for the amount of time that has been robbed from me, because I have been forced to work on the Department of Education debt validation / bad record keeping cover-up case. These invoices do not list compensation for any other type of harm caused and for the opportunities that I have had to forgo because I have had to invest my time into working on this case.

I will relinquish requests for compensation that is listed in the enclosed invoice, if – AND ONLY IF – the Department of Education in return officially declares that it will relinquish usage of the following operating practices:

  • Through usage of threats forcing a former student to work on a debt validation case that is intended to benefit the Department of Education financially.
  • Making monetary demands without having, and on request furnishing, validating proof that the corresponding lending and borrowing transactions have actually occurred.
  • Stating, that the Department of Education has in its possession original legally binding promissory notes, while in reality such documents do not exist.
  • Generating financial documents after a student graduates from college, claiming that these are copies of the original financial documents that were generated while the student attended college or university.
  • Entering records into a former student’s credit history after the student graduates from college or university without having, and on request furnishing, conclusive proof that the former student did receive the alleged money as loans either directly, or indirectly, as tuition support.
  • It is especially devious to enter records of unvalidated and non-existent loans into a former student’s credit history after the student graduates from college in response to student’s debt validation requests and while the former student is requesting debt validation, as was done in my case.

All of the above applies to my case. Thus, my case provides proof that the Department of Education does indeed use these operating practices. (As a relevant note I will add, that publishing this case on the Internet both provides information on the areas addressed here, and helps to increase awareness of these operating practices and of the importance of abolishing them.)

If we can put in place assurances, that nobody else has to go through the same ordeal in similar circumstances, we have made progress in ways that can actually help people. That would provide meaning to my several years long struggle.

Further, if we can resolve this dispute so, that the Department of Education agrees to relinquish usage of the operating practices listed above, there is an additional very important benefit to this. We can emphasize, that it is possible to resolve even complex disputes in a non-violent manner, without expensive court cases that financially are out of reach for most people.

I believe that we need more such examples from different areas of life, showing also clear pathways for non-violent and effective dispute resolution. Providing such examples is a process, not an event, and every little bit can help.

If the Department of Education refuses to relinquish usage of the operating practices listed above, naturally, a question arises: why? Why would the Department of Education still need to continue to operate in this manner?

Accounting Fraud Aspects of This Case

Publicly accessible sources state that the in-state cost of tuition to attend Rhode Island College from 1990 to 1996 ranged from $1,703 to $2,838 a year.

The Department of Education insists, that as a student I borrowed $46,354.00 as principal, in addition to Rhode Island College Honors Scholarship, work-study financial aid and Pell Grant that I received. Please note, that I did not live on campus.

I graduated from college in 1996. According to the written correspondence received from the Department of Education, the Department of Education established its records in 2008. Based on the available evidence, the Department of Education established its records without existence of any documents that demonstrate that the underlying lending and borrowing transactions ever happened. Similarly, the Department of Education established its records without existence of valid legally binding promissory notes.

Out of the total amount of financial aid that I applied for as a student, the Department of Education picked approximately 80% as “loans,” apparently disregarding Rhode Island College Honors Scholarship, work-study financial aid and Pell Grant that I received. It is unknown, how that loan creating process took place. The available evidence indicates that this process took place after I graduated and without evidence that the relevant amounts are accurate – or even plausible.

Accordingly, based on my documented experience, the Department of Education creates and maintains assets without having the necessary corresponding debt instruments that meet the commonly accepted criteria, such as Uniform Commercial Code that applies to promissory notes.

As far as I know, such fictional balance sheet entry creating and maintaining without having the actual corresponding assets is illegal. Over the last decades, most of the accounting scandals (Enron, WorldCom, Waste Management, etc.) have been related to fictional assets and/or revenue creating. The same seems to apply to the Department of Education operations.

My experience with the Department of Education has been documented. While I am just one individual, I believe that this case has much broader ramifications. Many investors invest their money in the government bonds, so, clarity in this area is necessary. As part of a full relevant disclosure, these investors deserve to know if certain parts of the government have been creating assets without having the necessary corresponding debt instruments.

Accordingly, I do believe that thorough auditing of the Department of Education by an impartial entity can reveal, in how many instances assets have been created without the corresponding financial instruments, such as legally binding promissory note and a legally binding contract between an alleged borrower and lender.

Further, based on my personal experience I know, that in order to turn the fictional revenue streams and assets into real ones, the Department of Education uses extortion-like techniques, such as threats, false statements, document fabrication, intimidation and bullying.

Even when it is clear, that the Department of Education is unable to verify that the debt and corresponding debt obligations actually exist, the Department of Education refuses to end its unvalidated monetary demands and to close the case as requested. Behind this refusal may also be the need to keep in the books the fictional assets.

Briefly, the Department of Education operates by using the powers granted to it to demand money from an individual, while disregarding the fact that the corresponding debt and debt obligations do not exist.

Below is additional information on this case background.

Monetary Demands Made Based on Fraudulent Claims

The Department of Education claimed, that it has my original promissory notes in its possession. Later it turned out that such documents simply do not exist.

Similarly, the Department of Education has stated that in 1997 Fleet Bank, a private lender, submitted insurance claims to a guaranty agency, and the guaranty agency made monetary payments to Fleet Bank.

However, the only records that the Department of Education is able to furnish as proof of these transactions are internal documents – for all practical purposes scratch papers – that any employee could have filled in at any point in time. If these transactions did actually occur, then why aren’t there any documents showing that Fleet Bank submitted claims, and that guaranty agency made payments to Fleet Bank? If these transactions actually took place, then why did the guaranty agency chose to retain for years irrelevant scratch paper, instead of records of actual transactions?

Extortionist Techniques Used by the Department of Education

The Department of Education demands that I must prove that I did not receive bank loans – even though the demands have not been validated. Thus, I am asked to prove that I did not receive nonexistent loans.

Because of the special powers granted to the Department of Education, the Department of Education can go on and on with these circular demands.

The Department of Education operates under a business model, where it uses the powers granted to this institution and keeps making unvalidated demands and pressuring the former student to make payments on unvalidated debt, even though, based on the available information, the debt does not exist.

Fraudulent Computer Record Generating

I graduated from college in 1996. In 2012 the Department of Education sent me what they claimed to be copies of my original Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statements. However, it turned out that these statements were generated in 2012 by entering my current information into a computer system in 2012 – more than 15 years after I graduated from college.

Credit Report Entries Made For the Purpose of Bullying

In June of 2014 I found out that the Department of Education had reported the unvalidated, non-existent student loans to Experian credit bureau, as if these were actual loans in collection.

To put things into perspective, I stared requesting debt validation in December of 2011 after I had received a student loan collection letter. At the time of my writing this letter, this dispute is ongoing, with no end in sight. Department of Education’s reporting of the fictional loans to a credit bureau started in 06/2012 and ended in 08/2013.

At the time when the Department of Education chose to report these fictional records as actual loans to a credit bureau, it must have been clear to the Department of Education, that there are no documents showing that I ever received any of these alleged loans either directly or indirectly, as tuition support. Similarly, it must have been clear to the Department of Education, that there are no actual promissory notes or contracts involved here.

Because the loans do not exist, the Department of Education is not collecting any monthly revenue on them either.

Thus, I have to conclude that the reason that the Department of Education chose to report these fictional records as actual loans to a credit bureau was bullying. People at the Department of Education wanted to show how powerful they are and what I can do to me.

These fraudulently reported records prevented me from obtaining credit, from renting an apartment, and from seeking employment. Thus, these actions caused me harm.

On 06/23/14 I contacted the Department of Education and requested removal of these records. The Department of Education responded, refusing to remove the fraudulently reported records.

On 03/16/15 I contacted Experian North America credit bureau, which removed these records from my credit report.

Refusal to Honor Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request

Following the instructions that I received from Naomi Randolph, Special Assistant, Operations Services, Federal Student Aid, I submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Education first on 07/15/13. I received a response stating that I must sign a specific statement. I did so. Then I received yet another request to sign yet another statement, where I had to declare under penalty of perjury that the information that I have provided about this case is true to the best of my knowledge. I did sign that specific statement as well.

After my third FOIA request, I received the United States Department of Education FOIA REQUEST ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, which states that the date the request was received was August 20, 2013. The FOIA tracking number of my request is 13-00074-PA

The Department of Education has not explained what legal right did the Department of Education have to refuse to process my FOIA request until I had singed a statement under penalty of perjury.

I did receive a response to my FOIA request. The response, dated 03/11/14, states that my FOIA request “was forwarded to the appropriate office within the Department to search for documents that may be responsive to my request,” and the Office of Business Operations in FSA was “unable to locate any records responsive to my request.”

However, previously the Department of Education has stated that it has information on my receipt of grants. Thus, the FOIA response is in conflict with the information that the Department of Education has previously provided.

Accordingly, on 05/19/14 I contacted Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), National Archives and Records Administration. I received a response, dated 12/12/14, and requested clarification in a letter dated 02/09/15.

Consequently I also received a response form the Department of Education FOIA Unit, dated 03/09/2014, even though the letter was actually sent to me in 2015. In that letter the Department of Education FOIA Unit representative claimed, that they sent me 386 pages of information that is responsive to my FOIA request. In reality, 84% or 324 pages out of the total of 386 pages of the material that I received, were copies of my letters to the Department of Education, requesting validation of the alleged debt. Further, this material contained duplicated copies of my letters – apparently, in an attempt to generate more volume of the “legitimate support material,” the Department of Education FOIA Unit sent me 2 copies of my debt validation request letters to the Department of Education.

The rest of the material was copies of computer screen snapshots and other internal records that apparently were generated after I graduated from college. I did not receive any of the requested information that would demonstrate, that the alleged lending and borrowing transactions actually took place, and that I received any of the alleged loans either directly or indirectly, as tuition support while I actually attended college.

On 05/04/2015 I responded, requesting information on work-study financial aid. For some reason, the Department of Education FOIA Unit has not sent me information in the latter area.

At the time of writing this letter, I am waiting for the relevant information from the Department of Education FOIA Unit.

So, the case continues. However, I do believe that it is in everybody’s interest to find a solution to this dispute.

Thomas Eklund

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