Great news! – Please read all the way to the bottom — there is now a strong probability of discharging federal loans for ITT’s former students, going back up to 12 years – provided you can show you learned of the fraud within the past 4 yrs under Florida’s discovery rule. This may include anyone who just recently learned of the misrepresentations now that the school has officially closed for instance.
My thoughts on the new Nov 1 Regs implementing the Borrower Defense to Repayment (DBTR) program have been on their own little roller coaster. This is the program recently announced to help former students of for-profit schools who were defrauded. Corinthian, Everest, ITT etc. The school doesn’t have to be closed, but it will be easier to prove a claim if they have closed.
When the Regs first came out I was very disappointed to learn that they were going to apply a statute of limitations that would vary state to state and likely be too limited to cover most of our clients. I believed we would be limited to 4 years here in Florida for most claims. For students attending in 2003-2012 which is practically everyone I speak with, this was devastating news. However there was a little silver lining. In the Regs it briefly mentions that they would apply any state discovery or equitable tolling rules. One brief sentence on page 177 out of nearly 1000 pages.
After spending part of last week researching exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in the State of Florida I have some great news! We’ve prepared a legal brief that we’ll be using with several recent case cites from the Florida Supreme Court and the 11th Circuit, among others, citing to a little known exception to the state statute of limitations for cases alleging fraud. Provided that the fraud was discovered in the past 4 years, we can go back up to 12 years. YAY! I believe this is open ended enough to cover most of ITT’s former students. Many people did not discover how far they were led astray until they were job hunting or tried to transfer credits. Many didn’t realize the falsity of the representations regarding accreditation until they applied for an advanced degree elsewhere. Some didn’t know anything was wrong until ITT hit hit the news lately upon its closure.
So I recommend that people take their shot particularly when they are 20-50 years of age and their loan balance is high. Otherwise the best you’ll see is an income based program for up to 25 years. We can never get your time back, but at least maybe you can get a discharge of your federal loans for attending this nearly worthless school.
For more information, please contact us at Christie D. Arkovich, P.A. We have blogged quite a bit about the BDTR so you can also look back through those or visit our Student Loan Survival Center. We have developed an ITT specific questionnaire to help prepare claims and some legal briefing for the state law requirements and statute of limitations issues. This is considered work-product and took many hours to research and write so we cannot share it with anyone except those who decide to retain our services.