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Fighting Student Loan Debt/A Better Deal?

Ralph talks to insurance expert Robert Hunter about another way toward a single-payer healthcare system: buy out the insurance industry.  Attorney, Joanna Darcus, tells you how to fight for your rights against predatory student loan debt collectors.  And we get Ralph’s take on the Democratic Party’s “Better Deal.”


Robert Hunter is the Director of Insurance at the Consumer Federation of America.  He has held many positions in the field, both public and private, including being the Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Texas being the President and Founder of the National Insurance Consumer Organization and as an underwriter for Atlantic Mutual and Centennial Insurance Companies.

“If the cost goes up, they do better.  Because they end up then turning around next year and just raising the rates.”  Insurance expert, Robert Hunter, on the perverse incentives of insurance companies in the healthcare industry


Joanna K. Darcus is the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation Racial Justice Fellow at the National Consumer Law Center.  Ms. Darcus represents low-income student loan borrowers of color, using advocacy and litigation to address predatory education and lending practices.  She has represented hundreds of low-income consumers sued by debt collectors or struggling with student loans.

Joanna Darcus: “The most important thing is: if you are sued, show up, raise your defenses and ask questions.  Get counsel, if not through a legal services organization then find an attorney in your area who has handled debt collection defense cases.”

Ralph: “According to the New York Times, most of the students, once they have lawyers, they’re winning these cases. They’re discharging their debt entirely, because the creditors have fake documentation or missing documents.  They can’t prove they own the debt. This is an amazing boomerang against the creditor class.”


  1. Sierra Lavoy says:


    As someone with a large amount of private student loans, I appreciated you dedicating a portion of your episode to the topic. I find it heartening that student loan debtors facing prosecution are winning their cases and having their debt with the creditors forgiven due to a lack of paper trail. I am wondering- is there a way for people whose loans are currently in good standing, whose loans have been sold one or more times to new creditors, to see if their is a legitimate paper trail tied to their student loans? For example, my original debts with CitiBank and SallieMae for my undergraduate degree now belong to new corporations (Firstmark and Navient)- and while I am managing to afford one of them, I am wondering if either is legitimate. I would love to challenge the creditors to prove they own my debt, but am not sure what resources I have if i am not currently being sued.

    Thank you for your time and consideration in answering my question,

  2. You can hear the fatigue mixed with compassion in Joanna’s voice.Quite a heroine working pro bono for a fair system.