The following is a list of frequently asked questions—and answers—about the nationwide putative class action suit that Jones Swanson and co-counsel have filed against Navient. This list includes information that can help student-loan debtors determine whether they may be potential clients in this case. It also includes information about what will happen as this case goes forward, and how and when potential claimants can join the class.
What is the name of this lawsuit?
In re: Evan Brian Crocker et al. v. Navient Solutions, LLC and Navient Credit Finance Corporation
An earlier version of this suit was filed as Evan Brian Haas, Michael Shahbazi, et al. v. Navient Solutions, LLC and Navient Credit Finance Corporation.
Who has been sued in this lawsuit?
This lawsuit is against Navient Solutions, LLC (formerly Navient Solutions, Inc.) and Navient Credit Finance Corporation only (together referred to as “Navient”), but may include private educational loans that originated with Sallie Mae or SLM Corporation, the parent of Sallie Mae.
What is this lawsuit about?
This lawsuit alleges that, under the law, private non-qualified education loans made or serviced by Navient should have been “discharged,” or cancelled, in bankruptcy proceedings taking place since October 2005.
See below for a definition of non-qualified education loans.
This lawsuit alleges that debtors with non-qualified education loans who have declared bankruptcy since October 2005 are not responsible to repay those loans to Navient.
This lawsuit further alleges that debtors who have already repaid debts to Navient which should have been discharged in their bankruptcies may be entitled to a refund of all or some of the money they have repaid Navient since their bankruptcy discharges.
Although the allegations in this case could theoretically cover any loan provider or loan servicing company, this specific case (Evan Brian Crocker et al. v. Navient Solutions, LLC et al.) has been brought against Navient Solutions, LLC and Navient Credit Finance Corporation, and therefore it applies only to loans serviced by those two entities.
It is important to recognize that this lawsuit does not relate to all student loans, and it does not even apply to all loans that are owed to or serviced by Navient.
You can read more about the lawsuit’s allegations in the Second Amended Complaint here.
What are “non-qualified education loans”?
“Non-qualified education loans” include
• Private educational loans made to students attending non-Title IV accredited schools
• If you’d like to search for a specific school, or verify whether a school is Title IV, you can do that here
• Private loans that were not made for “qualified educational expenses,” meaning that the funds were not used for a traditional four-year college. These loans include career training loans and loans made to students for some post-graduate programs such as:
• Airline Training School Student Loans
• Flight Schools Student Loans
• Tractor Trailer School Student Loans
• Culinary School Loans
• Bar Exam Loans
• Study Abroad Loans
• Caribbean/Foreign Medical School Loans
• Cosmetology School Loans
• Paralegal School Loans
• Heavy Equipment Operation School Loans
• Tutoring Loans
• K-12 Student Loans
• Medical Billing School Loans
• Medical School Residency Loans
• Dental School Residency Loans
• Art School Loans
• Fitness School Loans
• Holistic Health School Loans
• Mechanic School Loans
Does this mean that I don’t have to repay my loan to Navient?
At this point, we cannot answer that question. If we ultimately prevail in this case, then claimants may not be responsible for repaying their affected private student debt, and some claimants may also be entitled to a refund of all or some of the money they have repaid Navient since their bankruptcy filing.
However, if the court rules against the class, any claimants who have chosen to stop repayment may be responsible for repaying late fees and interest payments that have accrued during the case.
Why is this a class action lawsuit?
This case has been brought as a class action for three main reasons:
• First, we recognize that many people are not aware that some of their student loans may have been discharged, or cancelled, during their bankruptcy. Therefore, without a class action, these people may never learn about their rights as to those loans.
• Second, because this case could potentially affect so many people all around the country, we believe that it is a much more efficient use of the court’s time to treat this as a class action, rather than as thousands of individual lawsuits.
• Third, if we did not bring this as a class action, then we might not be able to justify our own firms’ expenses for representing individual plaintiffs who have relatively small awards coming to them. By bringing a class action, we can offer counsel to nearly all affected parties who want to join our suit, without regard to the amount of award for which they may be eligible.
It is important to recognize that the court has not yet ruled on whether this case can be decided as a class action. As of right now, the court, in essence, has agreed to treat this case as a class action for the purpose of stopping Navient’s collection efforts, but the court has yet to decide whether it can make a final judgment about this case as a class action.
Why are potential claimants in this case no longer getting calls from Navient?
As part of the proceedings in this lawsuit, Navient has agreed to suspend its most aggressive collection efforts—including phone calls—to debtors who may be eligible to join our class, for as long as the case is pending. The court has approved this agreement.
Accordingly, potential claimants will not be subject to most debt collection efforts other than regular monthly statements until this case is resolved.
You can read the Agreed Order here.
Who are the attorneys in this case?
The following attorneys have been appointed as interim counsel for the class of borrowers we hope to protect in our lawsuit. This means that until the court decides whether this case will or will not continue as a class action, these attorneys have been appointed to ensure that potential claimants’ interests are protected:
• Jason W. Burge, Interim Lead Counsel – Fishman Haygood, LLP
• Kathryn J. Johnson – Fishman Haygood, LLP
• Austin Smith – Smith Law Group
• Lynn E. Swanson – Jones, Swanson, Huddell & Garrison, LLC
• Joshua B. Kons – Law Offices of Joshua B. Kons, LLC
• Adam Corral – Corral Tran Singh, LLP
• Marc Douglas Myers – Ross, Banks, May, Cron & Cavin, OC
You can read the Order appointing us as Interim Class Counsel here.
Also co-counsel on behalf of the proposed class in this case are George Carpinello, Adam Shaw, and Robert Tietjen of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP.
Will claimants have to pay the lawyers in this case for their services?
There is no upfront charge for our services. There is no charge for our services if our case is unsuccessful. In the event of a successful result in this case, we will seek compensation for our efforts from the court, which may decide to award our compensation from one or more of the following sources:
• Directly from Navient,
• As a percentage of any money we recover for class members.
Our appointment as interim class counsel in no way prohibits any potential claimant from seeking a lawyer of his/her own choosing and filing a separate lawsuit.
What happens to claimants who do not join the class now?
They won’t be getting any more collection calls from Navient until this case is resolved.
If the court determines that this case can proceed as a class action, then they will once again receive information from us about the case, and asking whether they wish to join the class.
How can I get more information about this lawsuit?
If you want to read court filings in this case, click here.
If you want to receive updates about Jones Swanson’s student loan litigation, click here and check the “Student Loan Litigation” box.