Occupy wipes out $4M in student loan debt

Occupy Wall Street bought and forgave the student loan debt of more than 2,700 Everest College students.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 1:51 PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News. 

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyMore than 2,700 people were able to breathe a collective sigh of relief after being unburdened of at least part of their student loan debt by an Occupy Wall Street campaign.

 College diploma © CorbisRolling Jubilee, an initiative of the Occupy movement, recently bought up about $3.9 million in private student loan debt for $107,000, according to Time. The debt belonged to 2,761 people who attended Everest College, a for-profit school run by Corinthian Colleges. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently filed suit against Corinthian Colleges for alleged predatory lending.

Time said Rolling Jubilee specifically selected loans for Everest College.

"We chose Everest because it is the most blatant con job on the higher ed landscape," the organizers said. "It's time for all student debtors to get relief from their crushing burden."

How did they retire so much debt for so little?  Debts become delinquent when people quit paying them. The original owner of the debt will eventually write it off and sell it for cheap to third-party collectors.

NPR wrote:

Rolling Jubilee has managed to step in instead and buy some of this secondary market debt, using donations raised online -- in this case, buying student loan debt for less than 3 cents on the dollar. But instead of trying to collect this debt, the group makes it disappear.

Of course, wiping out $3.9 million of the nation's $1.2 trillion in student loan debt is barely noticeable. More than 40 million Americans are saddled with student loan debt.

"It doesn't solve the problem," Thomas Gokey of Strike Debt, which helped organize Rolling Jubilee, told NPR. Gokey said the goal is to bring attention to the struggles many Americans face with student loans, especially people with high-interest private loans from expensive for-profit colleges like Everest.

I can't imagine the relief borrowers felt when they received a letter in the mail telling them their student loan debt from Everest College had been retired. Amazing.

What do you think of Rolling Jubilee's student loan payoff campaign?

More from Money Talks News


Fri 2:57 PM
I wish I had debt so they could write mine off.  But thats OK.  I paid mine off with no help from anyone.
Fri 2:47 PM
You used the term "saddled" with student debt.  Nobody forced them to take out these loans.  Not repaying them is a big farce in itself.  Our government is equally guilty by encouraging debt forgiveness, or just ignore the debt and it might go away.
Fri 3:02 PM
So is writing off this debt teaching responsibity?  I think not.  Next thing will be "I want a house or a car but you can write that debt off also"
Fri 3:13 PM

It's too bad that Occupy had the money for 2700 college students but Occupy surely didn't pay back the cities and towns for all of their clean up, lost revenue, police, fire department, lost tourism due to all the occupy scumbags occupying the parks and streets. I went to Portland during Occupy and didn't even get to see downtown through the cloud of patchouli, Cheetos and cigarettes.

The only thing these people occupy are not colleges but food stamp and unemployment lines.

What a bunch of losers.  Pay back your country. 

Fri 3:38 PM

what do I think?  This makes me quite angry.  Once again deadbeat, delinquint behavior is rewarded.  I swear I'm going to just stop paying my f'ing bills.  There just doesn't seem to be any downside to it.  You want to impress me? (no, i know you don't), Go find some parent loans that are NOT delinquint and pay them off.  Parents who work hard - put up with the abuse from the boss, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year - and continue to make payments while giving up other things so their kids can go to college and have a better life.  Pay off THEIR loans - reward GOOD behavior.  Then I could really get behind that.     But no, some group that feels repressed by having to live up to an agreement they made voluntarily to get something they wanted decides to twist logic and re-name a debter to a victim and then forgive them and call it a win.  This makes me want to spit.

yup, and under IRS rules you have to declare that forgiven debt as income! get ready for your tax bill!  Also, I believe education should be FREE, and MANDATORY, at least through tech school or junior college as long as what you are studying is actually something you can support yourself doing.  Then say GOOD BY to ALL THE WELFARE PROGRAMS.  Welfare exceeds the cost of these loans by probably 100 X.
Fri 3:08 PM
More SOCIALISM.  Enjoy goods and services and don't be worried about paying it back.  It's a darn BURDEN to pay back your auto loan, house mortgage, student loan, etc. Someone else should pay back the money that you owe. Especially if the evil company you owe money to is out to make a profit! Evil I tell you!
Fri 2:58 PM
Before you celebrate this burden being lifted, please be aware that now that these students may have a tax burden on the income recognized from the cancellation of debt.  I would recommend checking with their tax advisor to avoid any nasty surprises early next year.
Fri 2:58 PM
Fri 3:14 PM
While this is a good act of charity and I thank them. It doesn't change the irresponsibility of persons taking those loans and not paying. It is NOBODY's fault but their own. I get sick when I hear this predatory lending BS. NOBODY held a gun to their head. I financed my own college through hard work and sacrifice. I also didn't make stupid decisions. I guess that is also what helps make a person successful. I quit making stupid decisions when I realized there was pain involved and I didn't like the consequences. Some people will never learn because they never have to face the consequences. Pretty much the same as this too big to fail BS with the banks.
Fri 4:04 PM
If I recall correctly IRS considers forgiven debt as taxable Income, hope they realize this. 
Fri 3:38 PM
....whatever happened to old concept of "working your way through college"...it may take longer to get a useless degree in Computer Sciences but by working you at least learn a skill...
Fri 4:07 PM
$3.9 million divided by 2700 is only $1444.00 ave.per person. Pay your debt!
Fri 3:08 PM

Kudos to this group for their work. Now that that's been said (and I do mean it), stop hating on all the lenders. Each person signing one of these loans did so of their own free will in the hopes of gaining something that would allow them to make more money. The fact that it didn't or that borrowers expenses are such they can't repay is not the fact of the lender.

The fact that they cannot be discharged in bankruptcy is well overshadowed by the fact that they pay no interest while schooling, have minimal payment options as well as other government mandated properties required to be a student loan. As for the co-signers having to pay if the primary is dead, ALL loans are like this, anyone on the contract is liable for the full amount. If you can't afford to pay the loan off, don't do-sign.

Who new these idiots were still around.
Fri 3:30 PM
Ya'll are a little silly... the "relief" they felt... they had already gone delinquent... they NEVER intended to pay the bill.  Occupy just gave a for profit money they likely wouldn't have received from anyone else to relieve someone of debt they weren't paying nor were they ever likely to pay.  This does nothing for the economy, changes nothing in these people's lives.
Fri 4:01 PM
Fri 3:54 PM
Proves the occupy people are really a bunch of idiots.
Fri 3:33 PM
Does not sound like a very smart "college educated" move to me!
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