Behind the lucrative assembly line of student debt lawsuits


Source: Stacy Cowley & Jessica Silver-Greenberg, N.Y.Times ( Paid Registration )

Student loans have soared over the last decade, becoming the largest source of household debt outside of mortgages. The tide of rising defaults has also turned into a lucrative business, with companies collecting tens of millions of dollars through settlements, wage garnishments and other compelled payments.

Transworld Systems has been one of most prolific debt collectors, filing more than 38,000 lawsuits in the last three years on behalf of a single client, the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts.  In September, the regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, accused National Collegiate and Transworld, in separate complaints, of using sloppy and illegal collections methods. Both parties agreed to settle and pay more than $21 million in penalties and refunds.

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