So we’ve been hearing a lot from class members about Sallie Mae efforts at collection of debts arising from loans for those who attended Western Culinary Institute and Le Cordon Bleu Portland who are part of the class action against those defendants.
If you are in that situation, please understand that our role is limited to serving as class counsel to seek recovery in the current case, Adams, et al. v. Western Culinary Institute, et al., State of Oregon, Multnomah County Circuit Court Case No. 0803-03530. That said, I took the liberty of drafting a letter that class members who are facing collection may want to send.
I’ve pasted the letter below, but there is some important information:
1) We cannot and are not representing class members on collection issues. If you are in a collection situation, I strongly urge you to to confer with separate counsel in your state about your rights and remedies. If you do so, please provide them with information about this lawsuit.
2) This letter is specifically intended only for the use of those members of this class who are facing collection claims from Sallie Mae. It is not meant for generic use. If you are not part of this case, use of this letter might create very serious problems for you. I strongly suggest that you confer with counsel about your own unique circumstances.
I understand that you represent Sallie Mae and that you are attempting to collect student loan debts related to my attendance at Western Culinary Institute, now known as Le Cordon Bleu Portland. I am writing to make clear that I dispute the debt.
I borrowed money from Sallie Mae to attend the school, and in doing so signed an agreement that included a holder in due course provision. As part of a class action pending in the State of Oregon, Adams v. Western Culinary Institute, State of Oregon, Multnomah County Circuit Court Case No. 0803-03530, I am pursuing claims for tuition refunds based upon fraud and violations of the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act. The defendants are Career Education Corp. and Western Culinary Institute/Le Cordon Bleu Portland.
Sallie Mae has no right to seek collection of a debt incurred by fraud. If you persist in your collection efforts, I reserve all rights, including the right to make a counterclaim and seek class adjudication of Sallie Mae’s rights to collect on this disputed debt.
You may be aware that the Federal Trade Commission recently indicated that lenders may be held financially responsible for monetary damages to the extent the underlying seller—here Career Education Corp.—is unable to satisfy its obligations.
If you have questions about the underlying case, I suggest you contact lead counsel, David F. Sugerman, 707 SW Washington St., Suite 600 Portland, OR 97205; 503.228.6474.