Nelnet - Delaying processing of 2nd disability forgiveness application (after reinstatement) pending reinstatement

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Feb 6, 2016
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#1
As a frequent writer of complaint letters, I'm struggling with how to write/complain to Nelnet about their delays handling the 2nd disability forgiveness application of my wife's students loans that were reinstated since she worked too much. On one hand, they continue to delay the processing of her new disability forgiveness application saying the loan hasn't been reinstated yet, on the other hand, they are sending us bills of payment due for the loan saying it was reinstated.

My wife has been on disability for a few years due to a progressive genetic muscle condition. We applied to Nelnet for disability forgiveness 2.5 years ago and it was approved. The rule is you must make less than the poverty line for 3 years or else the loan is reinstated and Nelnet becomes the servicer of the loan. In year 2, my wife tried taking a job. She worked for several months but had difficulty and stopped in July 2017. Due to a bonus they paid, she made slightly more than the poverty line.

We were honest and reported this earning to Nelnet in Aug 2017. In November 2017, they indicated they would reinstate the loan. We submitted new paperwork requesting disability student loan forgiveness. It's now April 2018, and they still have not processed the disability paperwork since they are still reinstating the loan. Yet we are also now receiving bills from Nelnet (due early May) which implies the loan HAS been reinstated.

On the phone with the Nelnet disability forgiveness department, they state they are not required to have a timeline for processing reinstated disability forgiveness applications. They will process the application once the loan is reinstated. Other than saying their IT people have to do something, they cannot tell me what the next steps are, or when it will be done. I point out that Nelnet is sending bills and the read dictionary definition of reinstated. Nelnet's disability forgiveness customer service insists it is a different department handling loan servicing and will not do a conference call with that department. All they can tell me to do is wait for them to reinstate the loan to process the disability forgiveness application and in the meantime, try to work something out with the loan servicing part of Nelnet.

While working something out with the loan servicing part of Nelnet is an option, something seems fishy that they can bill us and not process the paperwork that would cause them to stop billing us. I'm just not sure how to frame a complaint letter about this issue. Any advice or anything else we should do?
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#2
I tried to look into this a bit, do you have instructions on what to do for reapplication? Or do you just have to do a whole new application. I think an issue may be that they cannot process the application on a loan that has not yet been reactivated. If you can point me to any instructions for reapplication, I may be able to offer some more help.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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#3
Thank you for writing back. I wasn't sure if anyone would!

There are no written instructions for reapplying as one just files a new application.

You are correct that they cannot process the application because it has not been reactivated (they use the word "reinstated"). But here's the issue. They are also sending bills to make loan payments. So that means the loan HAS been reactivated/reinstated. The disability forgiveness people say the loan collectors are a different department and from their side, it has not been reactivated/reinstated.
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#4
I would recommend to stop calling and go ahead and start a paper trail. Be polite and concise. List the relevant dates. I would also state that per the application, there is supposed to be an automatic 120 day hold on collections once the application is submitted. So, you are not sure why they are not giving you the 120 days. We have some crack researchers who may be able to help find the executive e-mail addresses in case customer service cannot help you. Maybe once you can start communicating with 1 person, they may be able to help. I don't get how the same company cannot know what the other hand is doing, and this seems like someone just not wanting to do their job.
 
Aug 29, 2015
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#5
I recommend you ask for a deferment due to disability while you get everything processed. Then, contact the department of education for assistance in having the loan forgiveness, you'll need proof that she is now permenantly disabled and unable to work.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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#6
I would recommend to stop calling and go ahead and start a paper trail. Be polite and concise. List the relevant dates. I would also state that per the application, there is supposed to be an automatic 120 day hold on collections once the application is submitted. So, you are not sure why they are not giving you the 120 days. We have some crack researchers who may be able to help find the executive e-mail addresses in case customer service cannot help you. Maybe once you can start communicating with 1 person, they may be able to help. I don't get how the same company cannot know what the other hand is doing, and this seems like someone just not wanting to do their job.
Thank you for agreeing with me that it sounds fishy that two parts of the company are doing different things. I also wonder if it is a way to put people who may have a harder time looking out for themselves (disabled) into default / collections and tempt them to work. We've seen in the news a fair amount of abuse in the student loan area.

I think i have a sense of how to structure the letter based on your comments. Regarding the 120 day hold, when they reinstated the loan on Dec 7, they did put a 120 day hold until March 5. But has now expired with first payment due May 5. They did say on the phone that they are not required to put the 120 day deferment for second disability applications, but I see your point, why deal with them on the phone.

I was able to figure out the home addresses of some of the executives, but not E-mail addresses. But let me create a paper trail. I planned to send the letter and upload it to their website.

What I can do is request a forbearance from March 5, 2018 onward. It would still collect interest, but you don't have to pay it. For that, we have to deal with the loan servicing part of it. When we called before, they seemed agreeable to this. But since there are time limits on this, we decided to wait until week before the first payment. If they do approve the disability application, it is as of the date of the doctor's signature. The doctor signed it in November. However, even though it was filled out identical to the one approved three years ago, I think there was one question that can be answered better. So I have another application filled out by the doctor signed March 4, 2018, the day before interest may accrue.

I recommend you ask for a deferment due to disability while you get everything processed. Then, contact the department of education for assistance in having the loan forgiveness, you'll need proof that she is now permenantly disabled and unable to work.
So as I mention above, when I contacted them, they said it was a forbearance not deferment. But looking at their website, it seems the economic hardship deferment, the temporary total disability deferment, or the unemployed deferment may be applicable, though if they look at family income, then it won't work. As far as contacting the Department of Education, it is through nelnet. As far as proof, we have all the doctor's notes. She's also on Social Security Disability, but only with a 3 year medical review. If she had a 5 or 7 year review, doctor's note wouldn't even be needed.

So let me start working on that letter.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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So I mailed the letter a few days ago to all three addresses I could find for Nelnet related to student loan disability. I also uploaded it to their website. I did receive an E-mail that they were working on it. I called and she confirmed it was just automated. I raised the issue that it has been almost 150 days since I submitted the application. She was very nice and said she'd put in a complaint to US Department of Education, but said the same thing that it is stuck with their Information Technology department. She assured me they'd find a way so no payments were due while they were processing it. Didn't feel too confident about this.



I did call the loan servicing part of them and they said they could put the loan payments on hold, but it would be a 30 day review. But then she agreed to put a 30 day administrative hold on payments while they do this review. All she said they needed for review was the original Social Security Disability approval Letter from three years ago. She insisted she didn't need a current one. What do you know, a few days later we get an E-mail that the documentation was expired and they wanted a current social security letter. My wife didn't forward it to me and I only saw it in her E-mail 2 days later. I also noticed the first payment due date now got moved back from June to May again. And instead of May 5 to May 2. But wait, now it also says $50 is PAST DUE. I have no idea where that came from, since the first and only due date was May 5, 2018. I created a new letter from the Social Security website and submitted today. Will have to call Monday to find out why $50 is now PAST DUE.

Dealing with them is so unbelievably frustrating. All for just trying to return to work. I just got mad at my wife that she shouldn't have even tried to go back to work.

Question about the executive contacts. One of them is a Managing Director. But on Linkedin, they seem to have a lot of Managing Directors. Do we know if this is the one for the right department?
 
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mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#12
Dear Cool — please do not get angry with your wife for returning to work. As one recovering from a major illness, I can say that one just wants life to return to normal, and sometimes we makes mistakes and overdo it when trying to have a life.
Government agencies are particularly egregious to work with and it feels like since their jobs are so secure they just don’t have to care or be competent. IMHO it was just not a good thing when the govt took over student loans.
Maybe you should change the email address for this account to yours so you don’t miss any important information sent to her.
 
Likes: ADM
Feb 6, 2016
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#13
Thanks for your post. Helps me feel better.

So my wife's situation is a genetic condition we found a few years ago, so it is not going away. Like you said, going to the job helped her feel normal, but the job didn't pay much and I could tell she couldn't handle it physically. We talked about stopping two months earlier (before she crossed the income limit) but she didn't want to.

I'm also mad at how Nelnet is handling it. The customer service person said several times she wanted the original SSDI approval letter, not a current one. I sent it, it is rejected a day later for a request for a current SSDI statement, and suddenly a May 5, 2018 due date turns into past due. I'm not sure if is the government agency or just Nelnet (which has a stock price) making a profit as the exclusive provider of this service. Stay tuned Monday when I try to find out more on this.

On the E-mail I added a filter to her E-mail that anything from Nelnet gets forwarded to me.

But maybe I've identified my passion that I should donate to since we don't donate to much these days. I've always been into consumer rights things, so maybe now is the time, just as Chris gets ready to gear up for his spring campaign.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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#14
So this morning, the Nelnet website changed again. Now, nothing is past due, and nothing is due for over a month. Also, one of the loans disappeared, so the total amount owed is much less.

I called the loan servicing group. She saw past due for several hundred days, but no amount. She says over $3000 is due in June but doesn't show on the website since it is over a month away. She said she saw Disability all over the file. She said she needed to reach out to them (in the past, they said they can't talk to that group), but it was early and they weren't open yet. She told me to call back the Disability folks after they open.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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#15
Some good news today.



I called later to the Disability group and they said the change on the website showing past due or a loan disappearing had nothing to do with disability side. She'd have to transfer me back over to the loan servicing side. She did say though they COMPLETED processing of the reinstatement on April 20 (just a few days after I sent my letter). So FINALLY they can process the disability application. She did the pull the same it was with their Information Technology group (3rd time I've heard disability customer service say this which is surprising seeing how quickly the below was fixed on their website).

The loan processing group person said Accounting would have to get involved as there was something wrong. She saw that it said the loan was 700 days overdue, but no details. I explained that last payment was made 3 years ago before getting a letter that it was all on hold while they reviewed the disability application (a copy of whichI offered to send).

Supposedly accounting called me but didn't reach me, so they sent an E-mail instead to call them. I spoke to this person who said Nelnet incorrectly marked the loan as delinquent. That causes them to send the loan back to the original provider, which is why it disappeared from their website. He said they were reversing all this and confirmed the loan was never in default. Forbearance goes until June 2018. I asked about extending it since who knows how long the disability processing will take. He called over to disability processing and said it should be done by then. If not, he says they have a tool they can use on their side called infinite suspension that would remove any obligation to pay for the amount of time they need.

After 5 months, the website finally says that the reinstatement is complete, meaning they can process the disability application. And the loan amounts and no payment due until June are correct.

So it looks my letter last week did work. Though they made a lot of errors. I will send another letter to them confirming the 4 calls today and that the loan is not in default.