Palmdale, CA: When Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) was purchased by Xerox in the fall of 2009, the company had already been the subject of inquiries by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and grand jury proceedings pertaining to stock option grants and the accuracy of certain customer records, according to the New York Times (9/28/09). At the time of the sale, a spokesperson for ACS said that the events leading to SEC scrutiny had been "put behind us," according to a spokesperson. Three years later, it's apparent that for students holding loans managed by Affiliated Computer Services, ACS complaints are still common.
The angst also extends to Access Group, which in one student's case involves a loan originally held by Access Group but having since been taken over by ACS. In a posting on ConsumerAffairs.com, Matt from Studio City, New York wrote on October 9 that before ACS acquired the management of Access loans, "I was under the IBR plan for about a year with Access Group. Once my year was up, my loans had been sold to ACS. I submitted my application to renew my IBR status. I never heard back from them. After waiting and waiting and seeing that they had not accepted my IBR application, I placed a call (even though their paperwork says that they will contact you, acceptance or rejection). They told me to re-submit. Fair enough. In the meantime though, they had to put me in forbearance, during which time, additional interest would accrue that would be compounded into principal. How convenient for them."
There are several complaints in kind, and one student from New York noted she has started a class action lawsuit against ACS citing ACS unfair business practices.
Student loans can be the bane of many a student and their respective families. Government loans, which are forgivable in some circumstances, are limited to $7,500. However, given the rising costs of tuition, students in greater numbers are turning to private sector sources in order to fund an education.
Tracking such loans gets complicated, given that student loans are often sold to other investors, much like mortgages were at the time of the mortgage meltdown.
One heartbreaking story involves Francisco Reynoso of Palmdale, California. He co-signed student loans for his son to study music at Berkley. According to a ProPublica posting in the Huffington Post (6/14/12), Reynoso has been living a nightmare since his son, Freddy—having graduated and actively seeking employment in his chosen profession—rolled his car returning from a job interview and died.
His government loan was immediately forgiven—loans through the feds are wiped from the books should a student die—but the remaining loans are held privately and difficult to track.
Apart from ACS complaints, Freddy's original private loans were handled through Education Finance Partners (EFP), which is no longer in business after settling allegations that EFP advanced payments to colleges in exchange for steering students to EFP loans that were described as 'high interest,' according to ProPublica. EFP never admitted to any wrongdoing and filed for bankruptcy a year after the settlement.
One small loan, originating through Bank of America, was at $7,400 as of the end of March this year. The other loan was originally facilitated through EFP with credit advanced from UBS, a Swiss bank, which extended $160,000 in credit to Freddy Reynoso. ProPublica reported that a lending disclosure document from 2009 projected that were Freddy to make all payments as scheduled, the final bill for the now-deceased student's education would be $279,000.
The loan is now serviced by ACS Education Services, which as of June 14 had not responded to Francisco Reynoso or his legal team, citing privacy reasons in spite of Francisco's full consent.
Could ACS's refusal to deal with, or comment on Freddy's unpaid student loan described as ACS unfair business practices? And how would his grieving father, Francisco, pay such a looming debt based on his fees as a gardener? His income for 2011 according to tax records was $21,000.
Meanwhile, there continues ACS student loan administration complaints from other camps. Student Sarah, from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, posted to ConsumersAffairs.com on September 10 that "when my student loans started getting serviced by ACS within the last year, they unilaterally consolidated four of my federal consolidation loans into two.
"Every year while in law school, I consolidated my student loans from the previous year in order to lock in the interest rates. This resulted in four consolidated federal loans (two subsidized and two unsubsidized). For over five years, I made payments to Kentucky Higher Education and The Student Loan People without any issues. I knew which loan correlated to which year in school and could see the specific loan amounts for each school year. I kept my own records at home and would track my payments as they were applied to each loan.
"When ACS started servicing my loans, they immediately consolidated the four federal consolidation loans into two larger consolidated loans, without asking me or telling me. Despite my repeated requests and demands over email and phone (five, to date) that they "unconsolidate" the loans and their eventual agreement to do so, they still have not. From my perspective, this is an attempt to obscure the details of my loans and avoid transparency. Moreover, they have lied to me multiple times by telling me that they will separate out my loans but are failing to do so."
If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a financial lawyer who may evaluate your ACS Access Student Loans claim at no cost or obligation.
Posted by False Claim Act
ACS needs a class-action/False Claims Act lawsuit. They are allegedly manipulating loans to present false claims to the federal government for federal loan servicing. ACS should be put out of business for predatory lending, unfair business practices and fraud! Please file complaints with Dept. of Education.
Posted by Rick
I have not had the issues with payments but more in the way they report to the credit bureau's. in the past 12 months i have been moved to 5 different lenders (on the 5th one now). my problem started when they moved me from lender 3 to lender 4, each time the lender changed the would replace the trade line naming. example ACS/XXXXX to ACS/YYYYY. when they moved me from lender 3 to 4 in Oct of 2012 they did the usual name change for it but then left the SUNTRUST trade line with the ACS removed and the account still open. i called and got the run around being told it takes up to 30 days to be removed. i would call back after the 30 days and get the same response. i finally got a letter from them that the entry had been removed from all 3 CRA's and after checking it was removed from 2 of the 3, this was in May of 2013. i sent more letters made more calls and kept getting the it takes up to 30 days to have it removed. i finally went off on then and asked them how many 30 days does it take using a credit card i have as an example that was sold to another bank and 14 days after the buy out the trade line stayed with its historical data and the name changed. i have filed complaints with every entity i can think of and finally got a response from the Department of Education. they opened a FSA Ombudsman Case and we have been going back and forth with ACS. i finally sent the person in charge of my Ombudsman Case the credit report from the one agency that si still reporting it open and is killing my debt to income ratio. I informed my case worker they have until Nov 8 2013 to have it removed (shouldn't take 12 months to correct something as easy as a trade line entry) before i file suit (lawyer standing by) for the full amount they are reporting incorrectly plus damages. I so wish i could go back to BOFA things were some much easier when they had the loan.
Posted by Alana Jackson-Tunforss
I recently started to repay my student loan which was originally with sallie mae for approx 129,000 consolidated at interest of 5.875 % This loan was eventually sold to CFS and then to ACS. I paid initially income sensitive for a while and then put in deferment. I then paid at a 30 year plan of 805 a month with CFS and then they sold to ACS. I put in forberance when decided to go back to local community college and get RN degree. Recently started to repay this loan which is now 169,000 I paid first month what they requested which was 1029 and second month my husband sent in 1129. Third month he sent in 1229. I observed the bill as they were applying less and less of the money to the principal each month that I paid more. I then called and rep could not answer my questions. She said that applying excess payments to interest is how student loans work. Well, I explained to her that all my other loans (car, home) is not like this. I than asked her to apply excess to prinicipal. The next two payments same thing. Less and less to principal. The math does not add up at all. No one can explain why to me or give me any information regarding how they are appling my payments. I have phoned 3 times and emailed them 3 times. Telephone calls are useless and I only get more upset. Emails I get no response. I am at my wits end considering I am paying minimum of 1029 a month. I am questioning their veracity and ethics re: the loan. I orginally consolidated into one which on their website shows two seperate loans. Also, 4 months ago when I called the rep rapidly read a script in which I could not understand her foreign accent and ask me if I accepted it. I said no! I am not accepting anything I do not understand. Please! any thoughts or guidance on how to deal with this situation would be greatly appreaciated.
Posted by Briab
ACS problems continue! I am I the only one who cannot log it web site (no longer exists) or even get someone on the phone? What is the path forward to make payments? I am trying avoid a credit score impact; who do we pay now?
Posted by debtorslave
I consolidated for a lower rate in 2006 off of original loans from 1999-2001 principle of about $22k. Always paid on time and many years between 2001 and 2011 I paid more than due. Principle is still at about $18k after 12 years of repayments. I did get to the bottom of one issue that at 2006 consolidation ACS ran the loans out another 7 years (at least that's what I can determine). Anyway I have never been able to get them to smash both of my loans together on to one billing date so I have due 1st and 15th each month and half the time one goes past due because website will only allow payment on whichever loan is actually due. I only hope all those years of extra payments paid the future interest but I'm worried since they use daily calculations based on total principle and seem to apply funds in a way that best suits them not the debtor. My main reason for posting is does anyone know of any way to get these unfavorable loans redone into a 'normal' ammortized loan outside of a HELOC or private loan? I fantisize each month about being able to send a PIF payoff amout to these cockroaches. Our gov't complains constantly about student defaults (huge problem). Do they see that for a lot of people with a desire to repay there can be a lare incentive to just bail out on these preditory companies? We need to put pressure on our elected 'officials' to reform how private companies are able to service these loans for profit in the first place!!
Posted by Katrina
I have been on the IBR for the last year. When I started IBR they sent my the amount late so I had to make up the payment. I did and was ahead 1 payment so I over paid the amount. Then I submit my yearly IBR information and suddenly I have a late charge and on the bill it says that they were paid more then what my monthly payment was. I would like to know who to contact so that they can be investigated.
Posted by Alex
I have found ACS so obtuse that I simply stopped calling them with complaints. I wish very much that I could go back to Wells Fargo or have someone else handle my loan. After reading all these comments, I am going to try that again.
Posted by grandmag2
Wow...thought it was only me. ACS has reported what they has said are late payments and impacted my credit score. I find it interesting they can contact me if they "think" a payment has not been made, but the online system will not accept my username, password. Although I have documentation of the username and password, tried "forgot username and password"....hmm I'm not in their system. Go figure.
Is there anything that can be done other than venting frustration here? Never had problems with Wells Fargo who originated the loan.
Posted by Jeff
ACS has ripped me off for the past 12 years! I had 14K of college loans which I consolidated with ACS. I was hit with a "bait and switch" offer to consolidate student loans for as low as 2%! Which was better than the 6.5% I was paying around 2001. So I consolidated and ACS ended up being the servicer. They gave me a rate of 7.5% fixed which really didn't help. I called to complain that the rate was 5% higher than the offer I thought I was getting. They told me there was nothing they could do. I have been paying 2oo to 500 dollars a month for the past 12 years and still owe 2K which I am trying to scrape up 500 dollars a month to pay off but only 250 of that seems to go to principle. I called to complain about that and was told that it really depends on which day I make the payment. My payments are due on the 14th of each month. Make a payment too early and they apply most of it to interest. I have never seen such terrible practices. It has negatively affected my life so much and I just want out and am trying so hard to pay. I have never even made a late payment in 12 years of making payments. It truly is unbelievable.
Posted by George
I've been staring at this ACS loan for some time now. There are discrepancies in the numbers which simply do not add up. They're charging my a late fee although I've always paid on time and they won't tell me when that late fee was applied nor which billing cycle it refers to.
They don't make previous statements available online so I'm glad I keep good paper work.
I will be taking my business elsewhere. This is thousands of dollars worth of business and I want to know who I'm dealing with. I want to work with a business I can trust instead of this shady company.
Posted by Jackie
Wow, I thought it was just me. The bought my loan from a company that I set up auto payments. I didn't realize they stopped my auto payments because I was over paid (againist my principal. They let it run out until I didnt know I ran out of principal (so I didn't get it) then slapped me with a higher interest payment because I missed a payment because I thought I was on auto pay.... or should have been.
Honestly I take the blame for not noticing for so long but I have had this loan since 2002 on autopay. I never had to think about it.
They got me on my principal payments then jacked my interest rate.
And to top it all off they sold my loan to a company called AES, which informed they they didn't receive my last payment. When I called, I was told I was sold and ACS was getting my payments. They worked with me but now ACS owes me $450. I've been paying them wrongly since March... three months and havent hear a thing about a refund.
Now I'm afraid I'll never see the money again.
Posted by Nikki
I have ACS for my student loan from college and they are the worst! I used to work for a bank and after they got bought out someone stole an unencrypted disk with personal info on it from every employee that worked there so I had to close my bank account and open a new one. I IMMEDIATLY called ACS to inform them of my new bank information once I got it, the lady said I was fine and to go online and pay seeing as my payment was due the day I called them. I did that then 3 weeks later they try to tell me I owe them double because they claim I never paid my last payment. Funny becasue my bank has a statement that shows I paid and that they took it out of my account. I called in tears telling them I paid and the lady goes let me check and then says no. She didn't even check she just said let me check and then said no you didn't. I called back later to find out that it was a glitch in their system and that they would fix it. They held off my payments until Nov and then turned around and tried to say I was late again. I called and gave them a rath of me because I was wicked upset by this point. I threatend to sue them for 19,000 bucks because thats how much my loan was. I said you will be paying my loan off for me if you don't get this straight.
If you look they have a -F with the BBB. They need to be shut down.
Posted by Kim
I paid my loan one year ahead. Each month the online statement said there was not an amount due. Wonderful until I started making payments again and they applied all of my payments to interest. They said they compound interest DAILY so the interest balance was $1,200!! When I called all the stupid supervisor told me if it made me feel any better that at least the interest was paid in full now and they would start applying the payments to P & I!!!
ACS also has manipulated my loan so that now I still have at least 5 more years to pay on it!! I have been making payments since 1999!!
I sent a letter explaining that they are frauds and should not be allowed to stay in business. JP Morgan is also involved with these criminals! They won't send me any loan documents that allowed them to change my loan and won't even acknowledge my written requests! I am sending requests every week until one of the idiots at this company responds.
Posted by Amy Lundy
I have been working on my masters for a few years, and during my year of internship ACS continued to send me bills for monthly payments. Each month I had to call ACS and inform them that I was still in school working on my internship and that I had a year to complete my hours. Each month I had to agree to a forbearance and accept the late charges for non-payment. I was finally told during the last month of my internship that I needed to file internship paperwork in order to get a deferment on my loans. I have since graduated and tried to apply for an IBR with the federal government, but ACS is not registered with them. So, I filed an IBR with ACS directly and faxed the form and all proofs of income to them. They did not notify me when they received the paper work and when I called them 12 days later, they claimed that they received it two days before. I am hoping that they process the paperwork before I have to file for another forbearance. I have been looking into consolidating all my student loans with Sallie Mae, but am concerned about the response from ACS.
Posted by Lisa
I have had problems with ACS from beginning. They didn't notify me that my loan was sold to them until 2 months after they bought it, during which I continued to send money to the previous lender, don't know where that money went. Then I got a letter from ACS stating I was behind in my payments and was being charged collosal late fees and I had the privilege of absorbing $3000 in extra fees from THEIR transaction with the previous lender, without my permission thank you. I called them recently to inquire about the interest rate. According to ACS, I pay 9.25% PER DAY on my loan. I requested the documentation on the sale of the loan to them and all they sent me was one sheet of paper with the my signature on the back page of the loan from the previous lender. It has taken me 3 years to pay off their extra fees they added to my balance. They have put %75 of my payments regulary toward the interest each month and almost nothing toward the capital, regardless of when in the month I pay it. I have experimented with different payment schedules with them. I doesn't matter. They take what they want, when they want.
Posted by Jessica
They have lost my IBR forms 3xs- despite the email confirmations from them stating they were received. Depending on who I talk to, the emails can or cannot be found. The "processing time" varies from 10-14 days to 15-20 depending on what letter you read or who you talk to and their customer service is ridiculous "can you please hold while I check into that"- 15 minutes later!! I am more than frustrated and don't know what else to do. I've reported to the Better Business Bureau, my Reps., Senators and Attorney General. This needs to change!! I am in MN and ready to make a stink if anyone else is game. What is the next step? This is wrong and NEEDS to stop!!
Posted by Default Hero
As someone who works with defaulted student loans, I deal with ACS on a daily basis. While there are certainly some bureaucratic messes, a lot of what we deal with from ACS on a daily basis is simply silly. Delays in paperwork is only the tip of the iceberg.
ACS/Xerox is currently bidding to handle all of the defaulted loans through a contract rebid. There are other companies bidding against them, so I hope you all call your reps and let them know Xerox has no place in the process, based on these complaints. Just think about what would happen if they had (more) control over tax offsets, capitalized interest rates, social security offsets, etc.
In the meantime, Cheri Woods, call whomever is servicing your loans and ask for a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge application. As long as you have a doctor willing to sign off on the fact you are TPD, your loans will be discharged. SSA letters unfortunately won't work for the processes I know about, but I've seen thousands of loans discharged for this reason.
Posted by Chelsea Canning
ACS representatives have duplicity steered me into forbearance rather than unemployment deferment for years, so much so that I have used 36 months of forbearance when I've been employed at least part time since graduating. If appropriately assessed I would have qualified for unemployment deferment (working >30 hrs), under unemployment deferment my subsidized loans would not have interest accrued. That results in hundreds of dollars in late fees and accrued interest for me to pay ACS. And they have no record of my calls inquiring into the "late fees" for forbearance periods and deferment periods.
Convenient for them to have accrued interest and not kept a record of my phone call inquiries! Class action lawsuit is the only way to stop these people.
Posted by Lori
I too had very similar experiences as you are stating. I tried to pay off the debt quicker by making double payments. I was told that the only way they would apply the extra payment toward principle, was to call each month after making the payments and request that it be applied as such. This only worked for 2 months. Thereafter, the amount paid was always applied to interest. It got to the point that I couldn't even get anyone on the phone. I would be placed on hold then someone would simply disconnect the call. I have taken out a line of credit against my house to pay this loan to avoid any further fraudulence. Additionally, the account reps weren't even knowledgeable in the financial details of the loan. I could never get a straight answer about total amounts owed to specific loans (as I had multiple) and why the payoff amount doesn't change.
Posted by Student Loans
Ma Luci.....you cant pre-pay interest on student loan.....interest accrues every day.....the reason your due date isn't until 2017 is because you have paid THE PRINCIPLE up to that date...please read your prom note before taking out any more student loans!!!!!
Posted by MJ
I applied for IBR last year and was told that it was accepted and my payment was $0 because my income had dropped. About 3 months after filing, I received e-mail notifications stating I owed payments. I called them and was told that no, I was still in IBR status and that the e-mails were just a computer glitch.
This year, when it was time to file IBR paperwork, I e-mailed in my information (email@example.com). I received e-mail confirmation of my request. That *VERY SAME DAY* they sent me a snail mail letter stating that my account was now 248 days in arears and that I was in danger of going into default. I called and spoke with someone, told them what had happened the previous year regarding receiving the letter, the e-mails, and being told that everything was fine. No record of that. They told me not to panic, but that my IBR request this year would be retroactively applied, and they would also use it as the basis of determining my IBR payment this year.
I waited for a response. Last Monday I received a letter stating that I was now in default, and they were calling in my loan. That letter was dated 02/28/2013. Two days later I received a letter dated 02/25/2013, but postmarked/metered 03/05/2013, so received 03/13/2013 stating that they had received my request but that it was incomplete because I had failed to submit an application.
How would they know I even requested IBR status if they hadn't received an application?!! I called them. They stated that they had only received my W2. Also, the attachment was a 2-page document (i.e., they couldn't have received my W2, which was page 2, if they didn't also have my application, which was page 1).
So I asked them if I could just resubmit the paperwork again, since I had put it in before the deadline. The very rude customer service person told me no, now I was hosed because my loan had been put into default status since I "missed the deadline" to get my paperwork returned.
My paperwork did not come to me until 03/13/2013!! It came via snail mail and not through an e-mail notification, as all other correspondence had come through. This smells suspiciously like predatory practices because the delays put the account into default. Because it's in default, they are telling me that I cannot apply for IBR status. So I must accept a forbearance. Then I am supposed to reapply for IBR once the forbearance has run out.
All of it is wrong because my paperwork was submitted, acknowledged, and I was assured that I was okay. Now I'm in default, my credit is trashed, and ACS keeps conveniently losing paperwork. It is very suspicious for predatory lending practices.
Posted by Heidi
They sold my student loan to another company without notifying me and then received an auto payment from my bank and refused to return it. Co artists, plain and simple.
Posted by Ali Clark
I always pay my loans monthly payment on time. ACS claims they haven't received my last 5 payments. Interesting enough when I looked at bank statements I was able to see copies of ACS endorsed checks for all of the months that they've claimed no payment. I've forwarded all this to them and have not heard anything back accept for another bill with a late payment fee!!! They are so completely unorganized and are horrible with their record keeping. Also, it's very hard to understand them on the phone, that is if you're lucky enough to get through to them by phone.
Posted by st pauli girl
ACS is the worst kind of corporate cancer this country has ever seen and no one seems to be pushing the feds into stopping ACS or Xerox. Shouldn't someone do something?
Posted by cheri woods
When released from prison in 1989 i was informed that I was eligible for a FREE GRANT under the law. I enrolled in MARINELLO SCHOOL OF BEAUTY's 1600 hr. Cosmetology course. I was instructed to sign mounds of paperwork that I was not given the opportunity to read. It was not until 1 mo. prior to graduation I was called into the ofc. & forced to sign "loan docs" with threats that if I refused, I would not graduate. EXTORTION. I became permanently disabled after graduating, so never got my license or pursued Cosmetology. They have stalked me ever since w/ collection letters, despite the fact an atty provided them w/ copies of my SS award letter, etc. THIS IS FRAUD AND EXTORTION. MARINELLO PREYS ON ILLITERATE AND ILLEGAL FOREIGNERS WHO CANNOT DEFEND THEMSELVES, of which I am neither.
Posted by Ma Luci
ACS is horrible with managing loans. We were always able to pay extra toward the principal of the loan online. On the payment page, you were able to designate how you wanted your money placed on the loan. Once ACS took over the loans of my husband, the loans were consolidated (both subsidized with unsubsidized) all extra money is put towards the interest as they see fit. We now have interest paid up beyond the year 2017. Despite phone calls, emails and even a request to the PA AG office, ACS refuses to put extra payments toward the principal of the loan. They stated by phone that the only way they will do this is with a letter each month and a mailed check; and because of the incompetence of this company, you have to double check each month to make sure it was processed the way you requested. It usually isn't. I am so glad others are speaking up.
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