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Mother of 3 dies suddenly, parents left with her $200,000 student loan debt

The Masons with their grandchildren, Lisa's three children, ages nine, 12 and 14

The Masons with their grandchildren, Lisa’s three children, ages 9, 12 and 14

When California pastor Steve and Darnelle Mason suddenly lost their 27-year-old daughter Lisa to liver cancer in 2009, they had no idea their grieving would be compounded by harassment, desperation and possible financial ruin. A mother of three, Lisa amassed $100,000 in student loans via a private loan to fund her nursing school education. Her dad cosigned. Steve, who only makes $75,000 a year has been unable to keep up with the $2,000 a month payments and in the past five years, the loans have doubled to $200,000.

Lisa with her mom, Darnelle Mason

Lisa with her mom, Darnelle Mason

The Masons, who are caring for Lisa’s three children have tried to file bankruptcy and have the loans forgiven but to little avail. One of the lenders, Navient, lowered the interest rate to 0% on three of the four loans, reducing the debt owed from $35,000 to $27,000. American Education Services, who Steve owes the bulk of the money to, is not so sympathetic to his situation. Their defense is they are responsible to collect the money that is owed to them and didn’t make the rules about forgiveness. 

At 59, Steve has had to place his retirement plans on hold because with private student loans, there is nowhere to turn legally.



15 Comments

  1. Stacy on July 29, 2014 at 11:27 am

    I promise student loans are of the devil.

    • Bill Collectors Hate Me on February 21, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      Agreed! And I have proof!

      • BJD on February 23, 2015 at 1:20 pm

        Exactly, 60 Minutes did a segment with Alan Collinge and his book “The Student Loan Scam” It kicks over the fecal pot on the way the student loan industry deliberately apply most of a payment to interest which keeps kids in debt for decades. It may be worse than payday loans.

        • Bill Collectors Hate Me on February 25, 2015 at 11:44 pm

          WOW! I’m still paying a student loan from 1999 but its finally under 1K. The nightmare is almost over!

          • Bc Davis on October 7, 2015 at 1:30 pm

            My wife was was sued by DOJ for student loans of 56K. The earliest lons were from 86-90. Original balance was 12K she could not afford to pay 3oo per month and offered to pay $50 per month in early 90’s, collectors refused and put her in default and added fees which over time pushed balance to 56 K. She was garnished to tune of 140 per month for 3 years but balance went up . She became house wife and did not pay since about 2002 or so. Loans bounced to all the Dept of ed collectors and we just blocked the calls. They threatened to sue never did. They would never work with us so no needd to waste time talking with collection morons. They are not interested in applying payment to principal. A relief to get served by DOJ , DOJ did not judge us and they removed the bogus collection fees.of 16K. So now balance is 40K and we pay 150 per month at (.27%) That is not a misprint (.27%)interest so 99.9% of each payment actually goes to principle instead of paying for Sallie may CEO ‘s 5 million $$ per year salary. We are still paying a bit more than Triple balance but at least principle is going down each month. So being sued by DOJ may be a last resort but they want you to have affordable payments and they have common sense.When we met with DOJ attorney even she agreed that the Student loan collectors are shooting themselves by being jerks to debters and not following the law. Beats trying to work with collectors such as van ru, NCO, CBE, Diversified Allied, etc we had probably had them all over the years. The reason so many students are in default is because the way the defaults apply payments and because of collectors not following the “student bill of rights ) which calls for fair and affordable payments.



  2. MISSYCAT(UBESTIABELIEVEIT) on July 29, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    STACY I COULDN’T AGREE MORE STUPID STUDENT LOANS ARE THE DARN DEVIL THEY SET. UP FOR A PERSON TO FELL TERRIBLY IT’S JUST ASHAME

    • sugarbutterbean on July 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      read my comment missy its sooo funny !!

  3. sugarbutterbean on July 29, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    IF MY DAUGHTER DIED OWING SOMEONE , I WOULD CHANGE ALL MY PHONE NUMBERS … BLACK FOLKS DONT EVEN PAY FOR TELEPHONE BILLS WE LEAVE , CABLE LIGHTS ,, IF I OWE A BILL FROM MY OLD ADDRESS I BE DAM!!!! IF IM GONNA TELL YOU WHERE I MOVE TO , FOR A MATTER OF FACT I NEVER DO ADDRESS CHANGE … that is why so many people get found , dont do no dam address change they then cant find you …. lol .. i have no dam regretts , and my motto is IF IM DEAD YOU CANT GET ME .. AND MY CREDIT IS ALL READY FU..KED SO WHY WORRY BOUT PAYING IT … i did my credit rating check and all kinds of shit on there so why in hell would i go apply for shit im not eligble for? and then turn a round and pay you for an old bill im not using the service no more ..

    it amaze my how stupid people are about this there is no such thing as someone being able to fix your credit ,, it aint gonna happen … it takes 7 years for stuff to dropp off your credit and when mine did i went and applied for more shit i might not even pay!!!

    i tell bill collectors im dead! lol…

  4. sugarbutterbean on July 29, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I TELL BILL COLLECTORS ! i dont owe you my purse was stolen and someone been turning on lights in my name gas and cell phones lol !!

    when a bill collector call me , i act like im retarded and i say my moma aint home in a retarded voice

    when a bill collector call my house i tell them i filed bankrupsey, or i will say oh she died last week …. and she has no family left .. sorry

    i cursed out a ruthless bill collector who told me , i know thats you on the line ms… smith
    i said got dammit leave me alone , he said pay your fuckin bills then , i said , your moma is a trick on 110th st. your daddy is the pimp !! and hang up

    JOKES !!!! TUESDAY ..

  5. sugarbutterbean on July 29, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    black folks dont pay old bills period , i know i dont , i feel like this if your indebt , your not gonna dig out of it , you have to pay everyone of your credit rating , your credit will be bad when you die .. so why worry bout it . .. i have never payed off a old light bill , once i change address i do no forwarding address .. i call the post office and tell them to hold my a mail for 4 months , i call back and say , im homeless and have no address . they send all that mail back to the sender lol .. your address is the link to collectors finding you. period .. thats my tip to you guys .. . stop doing address changes ..

  6. sugarbutterbean on July 29, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    there is no such thing a credit fixing , your credit can not be repaired no matter who say they can . you have to pay every creditor on your credit score .. and i aint doing that , when bill collectors call me i tell them she died last week , and you were not in the will lol

  7. MISSYCAT(UBESTIABELIEVEIT on July 29, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    SUGARBUTTERBEAN I WAS DRINKING SO TEA AND I SPIT IT OUT LIKE A FOUNTAIN LAUGHING AT YOUR COMMENT NOW THAT WAS SO FUNNY MINUTES LATER I WAS THINKING ABOUT WHAT YOU WROTE AND STARTED CRACKING UP AGAIN I FEEL YOU 4REAL ((LOVE IT BLACK FOLKS DON’T PAY NO BILLS ))I’LL TELL THEM IS OLD JOKE MY NUMBER IS 588-2300 EMPIREEEEE THE EMPIRE COMMERCIAL NUMBER BECAUSE THE IS POLICIES IS A BIGGG JOKE. LOLLL

  8. MISSYCAT(UBESTIABELIEVEIT on July 29, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    SUGARBUTTERBEAN WHEN BILL COLLECTORS CALL ME I’LL SPEAK IN A FOREGIN LANGUAGE LIKE CHINESE AND SAY SHE NOT LIVEAA HERE) NO SUCH PERSON( NOT LIVEAA HERE BYE BYE AND HANG UP REALLY REALLY FAST (LOLL )

  9. MISSYCAT(UBESTIABELIEVEIT) on July 29, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    ( SUGARBUTTERBEAN )THE RETARDED KID VOICE WAS CRAZY FUNNYYYYY BANKRUPSEY I ALMOST CHOKED LAUGHING AT YOUR JOKE YOUR ON NOTCH10 FUNNYYYY ( GOODNESSSSSS!!!!) LOLLLLL