One of the most common private student loan lenders that we run across is Navient. Navient is the newer sister company of Sallie Mae but really they are one in the same. Together they are likely the largest private student loan lender in the country. To make matters more confusing, both Navient and Sallie Mae still lend to consumers and both are aggressive about collecting on defaulted student loans. Both creditors sue consumers fairly quickly and consistently in New York and New Jersey often obtaining Default judgments against consumers. They frequently retain Forster and Garbus and Rubin and Rothman, two common debt collection law firms to sue consumers and enforce on judgments. The judgments they obtain are usually on default meaning people don’t answer and automatically lose the case. This happens frequently because the service of a summons and complaint is poor in New York.
Navient and Sallie Mae default judgments are usually quite high in amount often reaching over $100,000 because of the high cost of a college education. That means that double the amount of the judgment can be levied in a consumer's bank account or they can likely be garnished on these amounts for the rest of their lives because of the 9% judgment interest that accrues in New York. It is critical to aggressively defend against Navient and Sallie Mae once a lawsuit is received and most importantly, an answer must be submitted to prevent a default judgment. A consumer must immediately move to vacate a default judgment by filing an order to show cause in New York. This re-opens the case and allows them to defend themselves on the merits. It is also important because mounting a defense gives the consumer leverage to potentially settle the matter for less than the entire balance. In fact, Navient and Sallie Mae frequently settle for 50% -75% off of the entire balance in our experience when the necessary leverage is asserted.