Open Letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Some King-Duncan Legacy Problems

Below is an open letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on some problems that the current administration inherited from the previous one. The problems are rather serious in nature: usage of extortion, involuntary servitude, document fabrication, bullying and abuse of power by the Department of Education employees. Further, as Secretaries of Education, both Mr. Duncan and Mr. King chose to leave the office without resolving the Department of Education’s debt to me, which at this point has increased to $312,989.75.

Let’s see, if the current administration makes better choices. The problems addressed here can be resolved, but not by continuing to use the same problematic approaches that lead nowhere.

  • 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 EL592799185US
  • Rebecca L. Dillon, CEO, Action Financial Services, LLC, USPS Delivery Confirmation EL592799194US

The Honorable Betsy DeVos

Secretary of Education

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue S.W.

Washington, DC 20202

Dear Secretary DeVos:

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.

This letter addresses King-Duncan legacy problems that you inherited, such as usage of extortion, involuntary servitude, document fabrication, bullying and abuse of power by the Department of Education employees. Further, enclosed is an invoice for $312,989.75. For over 5 years I have been forced to work on the Department of Education debt validation case that is addressed below, without compensation, against my will. I have been invoicing the Department of Education along the way and will continue to do so.

You will have to make a choice, whether you will want to resolve the problems that your predecessors created and this case is based on, or you will continue this case the same way that Mr. Duncan and Mr. King did. If you choose the latter, it is likely that we will pursue this case throughout the time that you will be in the office, without any benefit to the Department of Education. As far as I am concerned, we can go on and on with this case for the rest of my life. However, this case represents at least one problematic side about the Department of Education’s operations – it is a big waste of time and other resources. So, I have to give a meaning to what otherwise is meaningless. In the process I will continue to point out abuse of power and other wrongdoings by the Department of Education employees.

This is a case about alleged student loans for which absolutely no documents exist that the loans were ever actually made and that I ever received them either directly, or indirectly, as tuition support. However, there are numerous wrongdoings by the Department of Education employees regarding this case. Below is the relevant information.

Case Background and the Unexplained Allegedly Borrowed Loan Principal

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 college. The Department of Education has sent me partial copies of financial aid applications that I had filled in years ago. These financial aid applications were used for processing this financial aid.

The Department of Education insists that I also borrowed $46,354.00 as student loans from Fleet National Bank. This alleged loan principal is about 20 times higher than was the cost of the relevant average annual tuition. I did not live on campus. Further, 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.

Thus, considering the amount of tuition, the alleged loan principal that the Department of Education has in its records is unrealistically high. Similarly, no credible explanation has been provided on where the allegedly borrowed money went to or how it was allegedly used.

So, I graduated from college in 1996. According to the information received from the Department of Education, the Department of Education created the internal records that are related to this case in 2008, that is, over 12 years after I graduated from college. Apparently, the Department of Education created these internal records in 2008 without existence of any documents that would demonstrate that I actually had received the allegedly borrowed bank loans either directly, or indirectly, as tuition support. This shows that as one of the biggest financial institutions in the U.S., the Department of Education has not been following prudent business practices.

I have requested debt validation starting December of 2011, when one of the Department of Education’s business partners, a collection agency, contacted me. No validation has been offered that would demonstrate that I actually received the allegedly borrowed money either directly, or indirectly, as tuition support. Yet, the Department of Education’s and its business partners continue to make their monetary demands that are accompanied with threats.

In the process, the Department of Education simply wastes taxpayer money, month after month, year after year, while continuing to accrue liabilities due to forcing me as a former student to work endlessly on a debt validation case that the Department of Education should handle with its own resources.

Recent Examples of the Problem Areas

(1) Recent example of bullying by the Department of Education employees. The letter dated 06/03/2016 that Mr. King’s assistant sent on his behalf states that the Department of Education entered non-existent, unvalidated loan records into my credit history. Such an act would be fraudulent.

However, in reality no records were entered into my credit history. The Department of Education employees simply bullied me, trying to avert me from making debt validation requests that I am entitled to make. This is only one of the examples of bullying that Department of Education employees practice – on behalf of Secretary of Education.

Secretary DeVos, please follow up on this and you will see how the Department of Education employees conduct their business.

(2) Recent example of document fabrication. Similarly, Secretary DeVos, please follow up on recent document fabrication that apparently was conducted with the consent of previous Secretary of Education Mr. King Jr.

Previously, the Department of Education employees have certified with their signatures that they have provided me copies of all the documents relevant to this case.

Recently, “new and improved” documents surfaced – Indemnification Agreements between the guaranty agency involved and the Department of Education, referring to “damaged promissory note or promissory note with uninitialed alterations.”

These Indemnification Agreements are dated 3/19/2007 and are signed by one guaranty agency employee and nobody else. The agreements contain also obligations that the Secretary of Education has, but nobody from the Department of Education has signed these agreements.

So, who is lying here – the Department of Education employees who previously have certified with their signature that they have provided me copies of all the documents relevant to this case, or the guaranty agency?

In addition, from 2012 we already have a documented instance where the guaranty agency and the Department of Education employees jointly created and distributed fabricated Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statements that were created in 2012, while I graduated from college in 1996.

Similarly, it seems that the Indemnification Agreements were created in 2015 and backdated to 2007. The purpose of doing so seems to be to provide the Department of Education a way out from a situation that the Department of Education is unwilling and unable to handle in any other way, so that the guaranty agency can take over the involuntary servitude usage and unvalidated monetary demands making processes.

Please note that if the Department of Education transfers any rights to the guaranty agency, then the Department of Education is liable for having to prove that it did have legitimate rights to make monetary demands in the first place. If the Department of Education transfers rights that it knows it does not have, the Department of Education is knowingly engaging in fraud. That will make a bad situation even worse.

Just like the above acts of bullying, the acts of document fabrication that are related to this case demonstrate that the Department of Education employees are using illegitimate means for enforcement of unvalidated monetary demands.

(3) Further, for some reason the Department of Education FOIA Unit is refusing to send out information on work-study financial aid that I received. I did submit the relevant request already back on 05/04/2015 (via traceable USPS Express Mail that was received by the Department of Education) and did inquire about it thereafter but without receiving any relevant information.

On 04/24/2017 I submitted another FOIA request that was received by the Department of Education on 04/25/2017 (USPS Delivery Confirmation EL592799177US). Enclosed is a copy of it. Secretary DeVos, please follow up on this and please ask the FOIA Unit to respond with the requested information.

Below are descriptions of the problem areas that are related to this case.

Extortion by the Department of Education

Collecting actual legitimate student loans is not extortion.

Creating consumer lending records without existence of the actual consumer lending transactions and documents and then making monetary demands by using fabricated documents, involuntary servitude, harassment, abuse of power and bullying is extortion.

These are the actions that the Department of Education employees have been engaging in, using their nationwide debt collectors network in the process. Below is relevant information.

Non-Existence of the Necessary Legitimate Documents

Number of problems are related to the validity of the monetary demands made by the Department of Education:

  • No lending and borrowing documents exist that would demonstrate that the alleged lending and borrowing transactions actually took place in reality.
  • No records or documents exist that would demonstrate that I 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.
  • Because the Department of Education has not been able to prevail in the dispute by using legitimate means, people at this institution have been using other methods.

Department of Education Employees Created Consumer Lending Records Without Corresponding Transactions and Documents

The Department of Education created consumer lending records without existence of actual consumer lending transactions and without existence of the corresponding actual consumer lending documents. Neither Congress nor any other institution has ever authorized the Department of Education to operate this way.

No indemnification agreement between the guaranty agency involved and the Department of Education legitimizes such operating practices.

Department of Education Employees Are Using Fabricated Documents

In a letter dated 06/03/2016 Department of Education representative stated that “We previously provided you with valid copies of your “Application and Promissory Note” documents, “Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statement” notices, and “Request for Claim Reimbursement” form.

This statement is completely false and provides proof that the Department of Education employees are knowingly using fabricated documents to support their monetary demands. This, of course, is a big problem.

Application and Promissory Note Documents

Altered documents. The Department of Education claims that the Application and Promissory Note financial aid documents that I signed are legally binding promissory notes. These documents contain on the same page about half a page long financial aid application section and directly below it two paragraphs long text labeled Promissory Note. Below the Promissory Note section is the only place for a signature.

As a student, I did apply for financial aid. Each of the financial aid applications that I filled in contains one line for signature and that is where I signed these applications.

On the copies of the Application and Promissory Note financial aid applications that the Department of Education has sent me, there are broken, shadowy rectangles around the Promissory Note portions of the applications. These irregularities and possible alterations call into question the authenticity of these documents. Based on visual observations it seems that the Promissory Note section was placed on the document separately, before making a copy of the document, thus covering the area that may have contained other text before. The area that is covered this way is directly above my signature.

Documents that are not verifiable copies of the originals. Instead of furnishing copies of the original documents, the Department of Education keeps sending out partial copies of my financial aid applications together with unidentified documents that could belong to anybody. Apparently, these unidentified documents are supposed to be the back ends of my two-sided (duplex) financial aid applications. There are no unique identifiers, my name or anything else whatsoever on the separate copies of the back ends that relates them reliably with the front ends of the Application and Promissory Note documents. Thus, these separate copies could be the back ends of any person’s documents.

The separate back ends contain information that may be interpreted as Fleet National Bank signing over loans to guaranty agency. Because we do not have reliable documents that show that the alleged lending and borrowing transactions took place at all, or that Fleet National Bank signed over the alleged loans to the guaranty agency, the Department of Education should furnish duplex copies of the original documents. Existence of such valid documents would then support the validity of the argument that the loans existed and were actually signed over to the guarantee agency.

Documents that do not fulfill requirements set for legally binding promissory notes. The Department of Education claims that it holds legally binding promissory notes. Such documents have to meet certain requirements, which the partial, front-end copies of the Application and Promissory Note documents do not meet. As such, these documents do not contain the following information that is necessary for a document to qualify as a legally binding promissory note:

  • The exact principal amount that has to be paid. The partial copies of the Application and Promissory Note documents that were furnished to me state that the principal can be the amount printed in the loan application, or less, which then also includes zero ($0.00).
  • Specific interest rate.
  • Due date, and when and at what frequencies any money has to be paid.
  • Further, a promissory note must be an unconditional promise to pay. The signed partial copy of the Application and Promissory Note financial aid document on its own is not an unconditional promise to pay, because the financial aid applicant may not receive any loan at all, or may receive the loan in the future at an unknown point in time, in which case the loan amount will be disclosed to the borrower in the Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statement.
  • That is, the Application and Promissory Note financial aid document does not state with certainty that the financial aid applicant will receive or has received any loan amount at all. If the applicant does not receive any loan amount, then there is no debt or debt obligation.
  • Therefore, the Application and Promissory Note financial aid document on its own qualifies at the most as a conditional promise to pay, dependent on the content of the Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statement and any other documents that the applicant will sign when receiving a loan.
  • Apparently, no such signed documents exist.

As the holder of valid and legally binding debt instruments, the Department of Education should have the original debt instruments in its possession. Thus, if the Department of Education would provide duplex copies of the original documents, instead of sending me copies made from copies by matching together documents, then that would help to address some of the problems regarding authenticity of the Application and Promissory Note documents.

If the Department of Education does not have the original documents in its possession, then that indicates that the Department of Education is not a valid holder of the debt in question. Anybody can make copies from copies and mix and match them, to create new documents. Such process does not create any legitimate ownership of any alleged debt.

If the Department of Education does not have the original documents in its possession, it also means that we cannot reliably verify the authenticity of the Application and Promissory Note financial aid documents. Obviously, this should disqualify the questionable copies of documents as any sort of valid debt instruments.

Whether or not the Department of Education does not have the original documents in its possession, we cannot operate so that the Department of Education can claim at will which documents it wants to designate as legally binding debt instruments, regardless of the information that the documents do or do not contain. The documents that the Department of Education uses as legally binding debt instruments must fulfill the relevant, commonly accepted requirements.

Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statements

I graduated from college in 1996. As part of the debt validation process that started in December of 2011, 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. Further, the statements contained a wrong address and wrong bank’s name.

Thus, these documents were literally fraudulently fabricated. The Department of Education employee in charge of the communication process at the time apologized for the “mistake” made. Obviously, entering a former student’s information into computer system over 15 years after graduation, in order to generate original financial statements, is not just a mistake. It is fraud.

Further, these Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statements documents were statements that, apparently, can be generated at any time, regardless of existence, or non-existence, of actual loans. These were not any kinds of signed documents that would validate that lending and borrowing transactions took place.

Accordingly, the Department of Education employees are fully aware that they have not sent me the legitimate Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statements.

Now the Department of Education employees are knowingly using previous fraudulent actions to support their continued monetary demands and other corresponding actions.

Request for Claim Reimbursement Form

In its previous correspondence, the Department of Education stated that its monetary demands are based on having to pay in 1997 an insurance claim to Fleet National Bank. I have requested, but have not received any documents that demonstrate that such insurance claim was actually submitted and paid. I have only received internal documents, such as Request for Claim Reimbursement form, that do not demonstrate that any relevant insurance claim was actually submitted and paid.

Indemnification Agreement Documents

The dispute addressed here started in December of 2011. As is stated above, throughout this time, the Department of Education has sent me partial copies of financial aid applications as alleged debt validation material. Now, the Department of Education is adding to these documents another set of documents that seem to have been created just recently, but were backdated to 2007.

Starting December of 2015, that is 4 (four) years after the dispute started, I have also received copies of Indemnification Agreements between the guaranty agency involved and the Department of Education, referring to “damaged promissory note or promissory note with uninitialed alterations.”

These Indemnification Agreements are dated 3/19/07 and are signed by one guaranty agency employee and nobody else. The agreements contain also obligations that the Secretary of Education has, but nobody from the Department of Education has signed these agreements.

Previously, I have received signed statements from different sources, including Naomi Randolph, Special Assistant, Operations Services, Federal Student Aid, and the Department of Education FOIA Unit, stating that they have sent me copies of all the Department of Education student loan records and copies of all the documents that the Department of Education has regarding this case.

In March of 2014 the Department of Education FOIA Unit sent me on a DVD as PDF files copies of absolutely all of the documents that the Department of Education had in its possession regarding this case. There are no Indemnification Agreements included there.

Never before were the Indemnification Agreements part of the documents that the Department of Education or its debt collector business partners sent me. If these documents existed before, why were they omitted, while the Department of Education’s officials confirmed with their signature that they had sent me copies of all the documents that the Department of Education had regarding this case?

Thus, it seems that the Indemnification Agreements were created at a later date, relatively recently, and were backdated. The purpose of doing so seems to be to provide the Department of Education a way out from a situation that the Department of Education is unwilling and unable to handle in any other way, so that the guaranty agency can take over the involuntary servitude usage and unvalidated monetary demands making processes.

If so, this exemplifies how the documents are being created and handled regarding this case, and how the illegitimate methods are continuously being used that also involve or at least implicate high-ranking government officials.

The Indemnification Agreements transfers to the Secretary of Education any rights held by the guaranty agency. However, the guaranty agency does not have any rights to make monetary demands for the same reasons that are being listed in this letter. So, there are no legitimate rights that can be transferred.

The Indemnification Agreements also state that the Secretary of Education may release and transfer back to the guaranty agency his rights. Again, because the Department of Education does not have any legitimate rights to make monetary demands in this case, there are no legitimate rights that can be transferred back to the guaranty agency.

If the Department of Education transfers any rights to the guaranty agency, then the Department of Education is liable for having to prove that it did have legitimate rights to make monetary demands in the first place. If the Department of Education transfers rights that it knows it does not have, the Department of Education is knowingly engaging in fraud. That will make a bad situation even worse.

Department of Education Employees Are Knowingly Using False Statements

The Department of Education employees are knowingly using false statements for the purpose of professional and monetary gain.

In a letter dated 06/03/2016 Department of Education representative stated that the Department of Education is exempt from the Uniform Commercial Code and that “Because the Department is not a merchant, the Department is not subject to the Uniform Commercial Code.”

The dispute addressed here has been going on for over 5 (five) years. The claim, that the Department of Education is exempt from the Uniform Commercial Code because the Department of Education is not a merchant, is something new. The Department of Education has not made this claim before.

The reason for this statement is, that the Department of Education employees want to define at will, what constitutes a legally binding debt instrument.

As the Department of Education employees very well know, the Department of Education was not the alleged lender. The Department of Education is an alleged secondary holder of the alleged debt. As such, the Department of Education is subject to Uniform Commercial Code requirements.

No law or regulation exists that make the Department of Education as a secondary holder of promissory notes exempt from the Uniform Commercial Code requirements.

The alleged lender was Fleet Bank, a commercial entity that certainly was subject to Uniform Commercial Code requirements. Accordingly, if the lending and borrowing transactions would have occurred, these transactions would have produced both lending and borrowing related documents and, as a result we would also have the actual, legally binding promissory notes that do confirm to Uniform Commercial Code requirements.

As is stated above, the Department of Education is a secondary holder of the alleged promissory notes. 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 to potentially fraudulent aspects of the individual student loan cases. The Department of Education not being a merchant is not relevant here.

Thus, for as long, as the Department of Education claims that it holds legally binding promissory notes, the Department of Education is in the shoes of the lender and must validate its monetary demands. Similarly, the Department of Education is a secondary holder of the alleged promissory notes and as such, is subject to Uniform Commercial Code similarly to the way the original alleged lender was.

If the Department of Education actually were exempt from the Uniform Commercial Code as a secondary holder of the alleged and actual student loan promissory notes, then the Department of Education could take any financial aid related document and declare that it is a legally binding debt instrument. After all, in such circumstances there are no binding rules whatsoever – the Department of Education makes up the rules every time it wants to do so.

Further, then we can expect that the Department of Education employees will fabricate documents at will at increasing frequency, while declaring to the unaware public that the fabricated documents are copies of the original and legitimate documents – just like they tried to do with me. This case provides proof that the Department of Education employees do have plenty of willingness to do so and no hesitation of doing so.

Further, after the Department of Education employees are caught participating in fabricated document usage, they start claiming that the relevant documents have already been furnished and, therefore, do not have to be furnished again. This shows critical flaws in how the Department of Education as an institution is being managed.

Department of Education Employees Use Continuously Repeated Unvalidated Monetary Demands

The Department of Education is in the shoes of the lender and is obligated to validate its monetary demands. This means validating 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 over 5 (five) years long dispute, the Department of Education has repeatedly made the same monetary demands and has repeatedly failed to validate its monetary demands. In the process, the Department of Education employees have assigned this case from one collection agency to another, apparently in an attempt to inflict emotional distress and to exhaust me, so that I would pay them even though no loans exist.

Department of Education Employees Are Knowingly Using Involuntary Servitude and Harassment to Enforce Extortionist Demands

The 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, whether I want to do so or not, 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 5 (five) years and the same process is ongoing endlessly, using also harassment in the process.

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 was the same as before: there is no valid debt or debt obligation.

Instead of providing the legitimately requested debt validation, Windham Professionals, Inc. disappeared. Just a few months later, in June of 2016, the Department of Education assigned yet another collection agency, Action Financial Services, LLC 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.

Department of Education’s Outstanding and Growing Debt that Results from Usage of Involuntary Servitude

While working on this case, I have invoiced the Department of Education for usage of my labor in involuntary servitude conditions. The accumulated debt that the Department of Education owes me has not been resolved.

This process continues, which means that the accumulated debt amount that the Department of Education owes me continues to grow. For example, my having to write this letter that you are reading now is part of the process that consumes my labor in involuntary servitude conditions and, as a result, increases the amount of money that the Department of Education owes me.

For as long as this case remains unresolved and open, the Department of Education will continue to be held responsible for the already committed acts of involuntary servitude usage, document fabrication, bullying and abuse of power.

Enclosed is a copy of the latest invoice.

Abuse of Power by the Department of Education Employees

For over 5 (five) years the Department of Education has forced me to work in involuntary servitude conditions on a case that is intended to benefit the Department of Education financially and its employees professionally. The 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.

Department of Education Employees Use Bullying and Harassment to Enforce Extortionist Demands

In a letter dated 06/03/2016 Department of Education employee stated that “The Department continues to report information to credit bureaus concerning your defaulted student loans. Information was last reported on May 7, 2016.” The Department of Education employee then cites Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

After I started requesting debt validation in December of 2011, from 06/2012 to 08/2013, the Department of Education reported the unvalidated, non-existent student loans to Experian credit bureau, as if these were actual loans in collection. I found out about this in June of 2014. Thereafter, I contacted Experian credit bureau and had the invalid records removed from my credit report. Normal people, who do not have any reason to bully and harass somebody, recognize these as invalid entries.

At the time when the Department of Education reported the unvalidated, non-existent student loans to Experian credit bureau from 06/2012 to 08/2013, 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.

If the Department of Education employees are actually following the Higher Education Act of 1965, as they claim, then why did they not report these records to the credit bureaus before 06/2012? Why did the reporting stop at 08/2013 and why did they start the credit bureau reporting process again now, when this dispute is escalating and it is becoming increasingly clear that the monetary demands are not valid and are supported by usage of fraudulent means? Did the Higher Education Act of 1965 cease to exist temporarily, and became now effective again?

The Department of Education employees are fully aware, that no loans exist.

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 and harassment.People at the Department of Education wanted to show how powerful they are and what I can do to me.

Department of Education Employees Use Continued Attempts to Substitute Internal Records for Legitimate Documents

Filling in applications and creating internal records does not create debt. Lending and borrowing creates debt. In order for a bank loan debt to exist, relevant lending and borrowing transactions must take place.

Instead of documented lending and borrowing transactions, the Department of Education’s continuous demands are based on “internal records.” These internal records were created years after I graduated from college without existence of any actual lending and borrowing transactions and documents. Instead of being based on actual lending and borrowing transactions and documents, these internal records apparently are based on guaranty agency internal records – again, without existence of any actual lending and borrowing transactions and documents.

Department of Education Employees Refused to Honor Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests

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 [actual number is not published here]

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.

On 04/24/2017 I sent yet another request to the Department of Education FOIA Unit.

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

The Nature of the Dispute

For us to have a student loan dispute, student loans must exist in the first place. That is not the case here. Thus, this is not a student loan dispute. This is an internal record making, usage and enforcement dispute that has escalated into other areas and will continue to escalate further for as long, as the case is forcefully kept open.

Throughout this dispute, the Department of Education has failed to validate that its record making processes are backed by real life transactions, and that it has the authority to use unvalidated internal records for forcing an individual to work endlessly on a case that is intended to benefit the Department of Education financially and its employees professionally.

All these aspects together form the essence of the dispute that we have.

Here is another relevant aspect. We cannot function effectively as a society when all sorts of copyright trolls and other similar entities can make fictional monetary demands that are not based on actual commercial transactions and can enforce their demands through usage of scare tactics. These monetary demands have one thing in common – they fall apart when validation is requested. At least in this case the Department of Education operates in a very similar manner. Monetary demands must be valid and must stand up to reasonable validation.

Debt Validation Request

I dispute the validity of the debt in entirety and every portion of it. This is not a refusal to pay, but a notice sent pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (b) that your claim is disputed and debt validation is requested.

Please respond within 30 days from the receipt of this letter by addressing every listed debt validation item separately. For each listed debt validation item for which the requested documents do not exist, please state separately in writing that the requested documents do not exist.

The Department of Education claims that it holds legally binding promissory notes. Accordingly, 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).

Please note that the above citation is applicable to the time period during which I attended college and the alleged loans were made. Accordingly, I request that the Department of Education furnishes copies of the following documents:

  • 1) Exact copies of the original documents that demonstrate that student loan lending and borrowing transactions did take place and the resulting debt exists.
  • During the over 4.5 (four and a half) years long debt validation dispute the Department of Education has not been able to show that I received any student loans either directly or indirectly, as tuition support. However, I did receive Rhode Island College Honors Scholarship, Pell Grant and work-study financial aid that covered the cost of my attending Rhode Island College.
  • 2) Copies of original documents that meet the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) requirements for legally binding promissory note debt instruments.
  • The partial, front-end copies of the Application and Promissory Note documents that I filled in and the Department of Education has furnished, are financial aid applications. As such, these documents do not contain the following information that is necessary for a document to qualify as a legally binding promissory note:
  • – The exact principal amount that has to be paid. The partial copies of the Application and Promissory Note documents that were furnished to me state that the principal can be the amount printed in the loan application, or less, which then also includes zero ($0.00).
  • – Specific interest rate.
  • – Due date, and when and at what frequencies any money has to be paid.
  • – Further, a promissory note must be an unconditional promise to pay. The signed partial copy of the Application and Promissory Note financial aid document on its own is not an unconditional promise to pay, because the financial aid applicant may not receive any loan at all, or may receive the loan in the future at an unknown point in time, in which case the loan amount will be disclosed to the borrower in the Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statement.
  • That is, the Application and Promissory Note financial aid document does not state with certainty that the financial aid applicant will receive or has received any loan amount at all. If the applicant does not receive any loan amount, then there is no debt or debt obligation.
  • Therefore, the Application and Promissory Note financial aid document on its own qualifies at the most as a conditional promise to pay, dependent on the content of the Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statement and any other documents that the applicant will sign when receiving a loan.
  • Accordingly, as was pointed out above, if the Department of Education claims that lending and borrowing transactions occurred, the Department of Education must furnish relevant signed documents that amount to legally binding promissory note debt instrument and to unconditional promise to pay.
  • 3) Two-sided (duplex) exact copies of the two-sided original (duplex) Application and Promissory Note documents.
  • If the Department of Education is the actual legal owner of the alleged debt, then the Department of Education must have the original, fully qualifying Promissory Note documents in its possession. So far, the Department of Education has furnished copies of the front end of the two-sided Application and Promissory Note financial aid applications, and separate copies of what could be the back ends of any person’s documents. Nothing links these copies reliably together. There is no information on the separate copies of the back ends that relates them reliably with the front ends of the Application and Promissory Note financial aid applications.
  • I do not accept the unidentifiable separate back ends as parts of the same documents. Any person who handled these documents could have made a copy of the front end of my financial aid applications, and the back end of another person’s financial aid applications, and put them next to each other either accidentally or intentionally, claiming that these two copies belong together as one document.
  • Please note, that the guaranty agency that seems to be the source of the relevant documents, has already shown that it can manufacture legal documents at will – an act, that I consider to be equivalent to forgery.
  • The separate back ends contain information that may be interpreted as Fleet Bank signing over loans to guaranty agency. Because we do not have reliable documents that show that the alleged student loans existed in the first place, or that Fleet Bank signed over the alleged loans to the guaranty agency, the Department of Education must furnish documents that prove that the alleged loans exist and that the Department of Education is the legal owner of the said alleged loans.
  • Accordingly, the Department of Education must furnish exact duplex copies of the original Application and Promissory Note documents as is requested above. However, during the 4.5 (four and a half) years long debt validation dispute the Department of Education has not been able to furnish exact duplex copies of the original Application and Promissory Note documents. Instead, the Department of Education sent me repeatedly partial copies of documents, that were made from partial copies of documents.
  • Please do not send me one-sided copies, so that you make separate copies of the front and back end of the original documents.
  • Similarly, please do not send me two-sided copies that are made from copies. Such copies can be made by putting together two sheets of paper and copying both sides as if it were one document. Such act would be equivalent to forgery.
  • 4) Exact copies of all of the original Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statements that apply to the loans that I allegedly received.
  • During the 4.5 (four and a half) years long debt validation dispute the Department of Education has not been able to furnish exact copies of all of the original Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statements that apply to the loans that I allegedly received.
  • Please do not send me copies of documents that were manufactured after I graduated from college. Manufacturing such documents after I graduated from college is an act that is equivalent to forgery.
  • 5) Both (5.1) and (5.2) listed below:
  • (5.1) Copies of the original insurance claims that Fleet National Bank allegedly submitted to the guaranty agency.
  • (5.2) Copies of the original financial transactions documents that clearly demonstrate that the guaranty agency actually made insurance payments to Fleet National Bank on my behalf.
  • The Department of Education’s previous correspondence states that the Department of Education’s monetary demands are in part based on the payments of insurance claims to Fleet Bank. However, the Department of Education has not provided copies of the insurance claims that Fleet Bank allegedly submitted. Similarly, the Department of Education has not provided copies of the documents that show that my alleged student loan insurance claims payments to Fleet Bank ever actually took place.
  • 6)We already had a documented incident where the guaranty agency that is involved created student loan borrowing related “original” Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statement legal documents in 2012 by entering my current information into their computer system (and used a wrong bank’s name), while I graduated from college in 1996. As is stated above, I consider manufacturing such documents at will to be acts equivalent to forgery.
  • Therefore, please have each document notary certified, stating that
  • (6.1) the document is the exact copy of the original document, not a copy of a copy, and
  • (6.2) the copy was made in the presence of the notary who certifies it, and
  • (6.3) which company or organization currently holds the original document.

Based on the available information, qualifying Promissory Note documents in this case do not exist at all, and the Department of Education does not have even the original two-sided (duplex) financial aid Application and Promissory Note documents in its possession. Thus, based on the available information, the Department of Education has partial copies of irrelevant documents, created internal records and now claims ownership of an alleged debt.

Further, based on the available information, the “loan” records were created after I graduated from college, by picking approximately 80% of the amounts from the financial aid applications, without existence of the corresponding lending and borrowing transactions and the relevant documents. Such internal record creating does not create debt.

I have requested debt validation in this case since December of 2011. The Department of Education has repeatedly failed to validate that (1) I received student loans and that any debt actually exists, and (2) that the Department of Education holds valid legally binding promissory note debt instruments, and (3) that the Department of Education is the legal owner of the alleged debt.

If the Department of Education is unable to validate the debt as requested above, the Department of Education must stop making any further monetary demands and state in writing that the Department of Education will not under any circumstances make any further demands regarding the specific previously claimed alleged debt, and will not authorize any individual, company, organization or institution to make any kinds of further demands regarding the specific previously claimed alleged debt.

Thomas Eklund

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