Happen 2 U? A friend?

I find it real hard to believe I am the only one this happened to. So please read. if it does not apply to you, and you have no comment, then please go ahead and enjoy the novelty of the problem. It’s long, but it’s fun, unless it’s you,

To preface, because it is now apparent that I owe these guys no Courtesy, the following has been sent for review to :

a/ My family and friends.

b/ The local paper.

c/ The local grapevine.

d/ Representative Defazio.

e/ Representative Conyers, via his blog.

f/ Senator Wyden

g/ You.

But it has not yet been sent to the Department of Education, because they won’t give me their email, and my printer is kaput. Tuesday the Library is open. Then I will burn two copies, one for the bad guys, the other for the local Senior and Disabled Services Office. This gives some time to change the letter, make it better. And that is why I am asking for input.

Thanks all, and with no further ado, on with the show !



To : Department of Education, National Payment Center   Thursday July 3, 2008

POBox 4169

Greensville TX 75403 – 4169

From : Kertis Engle (SSN # *** ** ****)

59442 Seven Devils Road

Bandon OR 97411 – 7374

Phone # *** *** 8138

Email # kertis.engle@gmail.com

Re : Notice of proposed Treasury Offset.

Dear Folks,

Thank you for providing notice, and the opportunity to inform you that you are in error.

You are in error.

The reasons are several. I will go through them one at a time.

1/ Nineteen years ago, I had in hand a piece of paper very similar to the one you just blessed me with. That is why I was pounding on your door. For weeks. You did not open that door for nineteen years. And it seems you opened it only to hand me the information I already had.

Did you suppose I had forgotten? Did you suppose I could have forgotten? That you folks left me standing in the middle of the road with no means to continue my education, and with no explanation. Or is it the case that you folks have forgotten? That I didn’t screw you, you screwed me. Apparently just for amusement, for while I lost all, you gained none. And you would have gained, had you allowed me to complete my education and become useful.

And now you want from me what you long ago destroyed.

2/ The Legislation authorizing Treasury Offset of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits includes a clause providing absolute protection of the first $750 paid to the recipient each month.

I collect less.

3/ The legislation authorizing the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits you intend to take includes a clause you may refer to at 28CFR35.130b7, which I will quote from memory :

“A public entity (such as Dept of Education) shall modify policies, practices and procedures when it is necessary in order to ensure that individuals with disability are not discriminated against on the basis of it.”

It is possible I may have misquoted, and you should check, because I am asserting that it means that individuals with disability, all of them, have a just claim to the same treatment from you that you provide to those you treat the best. Specifically, they are all due this treatment whether or not they have jumped through your hoops, and whether or not you have held your hoops up so they may.

When you are satisfied that I am correct about that, Go look at your webpage :


Scroll down to where it says :

“Income Contingent Repayment Plan – If I choose an income contingent repayment plan, my monthly repayment amount is based on the total amount of my loan, my family size, and my Adjusted Gross Income (and that of my spouse if I am married). Until ED obtains the information needed from the IRS to calculate my monthly repayment amount, my payment will equal the amount of the interest that has accrued on my loan unless I request forbearance. As my income changes, my repayment amount may change. If I have not repaid my loan after 25 years under this plan, the unpaid portion of the loan is forgiven. I may have to pay income tax on any amount forgiven.”

I looked into that. The only thing that might keep me from eligibility is the fact that I have only one loan, which makes consolidation redundant. Nevertheless, IF you will accept those terms from any other person, I have a valid claim to enjoy the practical equivalent – because Judge Margareth Schellentrager determined that I am, to a certain extent, disabled.

In looking into it, and using your online calculator, I discovered that the monthly payment I would owe under those terms, is Zero. And I am able to swear under penalty of perjury that I have not earned more than the federal poverty line at any time in the past nineteen years – so the monthly payment would always have been Zero tween then and now. And it is likely to remain so another six years. That would be twentyfive years. And then the debt would be forgiven.

In addition to all other factors, this means that I am NOT in default, because I have made every payment I was supposed to.

4/ In addition to the three legal reasons explained above, there is also the ephemeral point of character. You know yours, I will tell you of mine.

When Judge Schellentrager approved my insurance claim, she authorized a backpayment amounting to one year of benefits. I could have at that time pointed out that I had made claim Two years previous, and that the condition was in evidence at least three years prior to that. This could have been worth as much as twenty thousand dollars. Did I ask for the money? No. I thanked Her Honor as politely as I could.

From this point alone, you could if you wish determine that the loan in question has already been repaid in full with interest. From the points above #2 & #3, you might (Might? Must!) conclude a lack of authority to divert my disability benefits, and, as regards point #3, authority to attach any funds at all. From the point above #1 you have opportunity to notice the shame entailed in continuing to harass a poor man you failed long ago for the dinner on his table tonight.

What you do is ultimately your decision, but do not suppose I am so vexed by depression as to go gently into that good night. If that was your hope, then you picked your moment poorly. Another moment would have sufficed, but just now…I have my pen and I will stick you with it.

Umm…. That last bit was a threat. It might have worked better if you had read it before making your decision. I have just returned from the mailbox with notice that you have already stolen my economic stimulus check, 48 hours after I received notice you were thinking about it. Interesting notices. One speaks of the other in the future tense, and says I can avoid it, if. The other speaks of the first in the past tense and says I was warned. But both bear the same date, the same date the IRS told me I should expect my stimulus check. You guys don’t respect me at all, do you. I bet you think I have to file a lawsuit to make you give it back, just because you said so. But I am not so sure.

There is only two ways things could have arrived at this point. It is either personal, or policy. If it is personal, it will not be hard to figure out who. But that’s not likely, I’m not special. Likely is this is policy, and if so, there are a lot of people who look just like me, on disability with a student loan, who have all just had their stimulus check stolen.

Naturally, they are upset. But they can’t write a letter like this one. And they think they are alone.

Kertis Engle

Links :

http://www.ssa.gov/deposit/DDF…       scroll to bottom


The Legislators also got this postscript.

A’course, I am just getting warmed up. It seems that there is a supervisory position available at Dept of Education. I would like to point out that I am available and also well qualified. I have a grasp of the problem and am highly motivated to fix it. Give me the job cleaning up this mess, making sure it doesn’t recur, and making those harmed, happy, and I will do it.

Frosted Flake

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    • Alma on July 4, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    but this one is better for really sending it to them.  The other one might go over their heads.

    a/ My family and friends

    I didn’t get my personal copy.  🙁

  1. And sometimes you just can’t swear enough by yourself to get the job done.

    My bet is : Lotta folks are swearing about this, and we oughta get together.

  2. I’m trying to get something (minor, compared to your situation) corrected for over a year now, because they, an insurance entity, have it wrong in the computer system and have even said so.

    While I think your retort to this Department of Education is extremely good, have you checked out to see any if there are any “pro bono” attorneys in your area?  That might help you greatly.  

    It will, in the meantime, be interesting to see how the Department responds to your letter.  They’ll probably take their dear old time — maybe, try to follow up SOON with a phone call to them, as well.

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