S.F. Student Accuses Bank of "Double-Dipping" Late Fees

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It's bad enough having to pay student loan late fees -- but imagine having to pay them twice. That's just what a Bay Area student says happened to her when the bank charged her two times for student-loan late fees.

Tina Ubaldi is suing Sallie Mae and its affiliates, claiming unfair business practices and unjust enrichment over the $22,796 loan she took out to attend the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Sallie Mae charges daily interest on student loans, in addition to a late charge if payments are not received. Ubaldi says the financial institution is double-dipping.

"In addition to the daily interest on the outstanding principal that Sallie Mae earns every day ... if a payment is not received within the 15-day period, Sallie Mae may assess a late charge of the greater of $5 or 5 percent of the payment amount not received," according to the complaint filed in San Francisco this week.

However, Sallie Mae claims the second set of charges originate from its lender bank, Stillwater National Bank and Trust Co. Sallie Mae says this Stillwater, Okla., bank is allowed, under Oklahoma law, to make the late charges on Ubaldi's loan.

According to the National Bank Act, loans that originate from national banks are allowed to include late charges and interest at the rate governed by state law.

But Ubaldi claims Sallie Mae is breaking California's business codes.

"Plaintiff alleges that as a result of assessing a $5 or 5 percent fee for nonpayment and also continuing to charge the borrower daily interest for use of the funds, the borrower pays Sallie Mae twice -- in two different ways -- for being late on a single loan payment," which is violating California's business and professions codes.

Ubaldi is paving a road for California students involved in private loans; she already spotted one bank with a loophole which found a way to charge her unfairly.

Sounds like this is a battle for the Occupy Movement.

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Ldb1983
Ldb1983

Tina Ubaldi is double dipping as well, filing this claim with Salli Mae and involving herself in the Amador vs CCA claim.  Now since her claims are conflicting she has objected to the Amador claim which final approval was reached on April 13, 2012.  Hundreds of CCA students who are due their cut off the settlement and have waited for years for final approval have to wait even longer because of Ms. Ubaldi's objection.  Next time  you decide to sue people Tina Ubaldi, perhaps you shouldn't double dip yourself and ruin it for the rest of us who now may have to wait 2 more years for money to be disbursed if she decides to appeal the Judges decision to deny her objection.  Please don't appeal, focus on your own case which has nothing to do with the Amador case and should not affect your final outcome in your Salli Mae suit.  The prosecutor, defendants, and Judge are all in agreement that the Amador case will not affect the Sallie Mae suit. 

Peter hou
Peter hou

How much fees are charge to you? We should just all chip in to pay for the late fees, so everyone could get there money quicker. Instead of dragging iton.

Abc
Abc

Understand your loans before taking them....

Heather Noll
Heather Noll

Tina, if you're reading this, I'd love to chat with you. I too attended the CCA, and graduated in 2006. I wasn't making much money after I graduated, and wasn't able to start paying back my loans until about 2008. The amount of charges in late fees and interest that I accrued in that two year time period is mind boggling. I've been paying about $600 a month to Sallie Mae for the past five years, and I STILL OWE them almost $80,000 (My original loan amount was $48,000).

I would love to team up with you on this lawsuit, or at the very least hear more about it. Let me know if you'd like to chat and I'll provide you with my e-mail or phone number.

I applaud you for standing up to the "big boys" and calling them out on their atrocious (and apparently illegal) behavior. They have ruined so many lives!

All the best,Heather Noll

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