Get Out of Debt Guy

Will I Get a Lot of Money from the Sallie Mae Class Action Lawsuit?

Posted May 2, 2013

Reader Question

"Dear Steve,

I have student loans with Sallie Mae and was notified of a Class Action suit against them because of excessive cell phone calls to customers.

I have my student loans with Sallie Mae (which are current and in good status) but was notified last year of a Class Action suit against them (Arthur et Al.v Sallie Mae).

I received several calls on my home phone and on my cell phone when my loans were in deferment, so I became a member of this Class Action suit.

When I noticed on the website the disbursements were being issued, I called the number listed and was told I wasn't eligible for any money because Sallie Mae had reported my loans as "charged off" which never happened.

I emailed proof of the current status to the group handling the suit (a letter from Sallie Mae showing I am current) and am still waiting for a payment.

I understand thigns happen but others are receiving payments and I sent this letter from Sallie Mae to the Garden City Group back in February and am still waiting, Is this Class Action Suit a scam? If not, what more can they possible need if not a letter from Sallie Mae stating I a m not (and never have been) delinquent on my loans?

Vicki"

Answer

Dear Vicki,

The amount of the award that consumer received was between $20 to $40. I'm not sure how much time you want to invest to fight for that.

Apparently the lawyers fees in the settlement were $4.8 million which included $134,114 for expenses.

These class action lawsuits are both helpful and ridiculous. They are helpful in that it allows a number of people to participate for no cost and take a bad actor to court to stop doing something stupid.

They are ridiculous because I can't think of any one of these cases that has resulted in a major financial award for the pool of individual consumer class members.

Two people could hardly go out to eat at a nice place from the amount you'd get from the Sallie Mae class action suit.

Frankly, you'd probably get a bigger award because some inkjet cartridge leaked on someone once in some place and stained their clothes. Apologies for feeling cynical at the moment.

Unless you are hell bent on proving something, I'd suggest you just file the notice away and move on. It's going to cost you way more in time to try and unwind this situation now and get you included. I'm not giving up, just being pragmatic.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Steve Rhode
WRAL Get Out of Debt Guy

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About this Blog:

Steve Rhode has had careers in opthalmology, real estate and as the head of a nonprofit debt counseling firm. On his blog, he offers hard-won, free advice about getting out of debt, consolidation and making the right choices as you manage your money.