In June of 2012, the news organizations were all talking about a student loan debt collector who made $454,000 in one year by collecting defaulted student loans. His name is Joshua Mandelman and he works for a specific type of debt collection company, Educational Credit Management Corp.

Educational Credit Management Corp. enjoys a nonprofit status and a successful arrangement with the U.S. government where it charges fees to borrowers AND earns commissions from taxpayers. ECMC can receive as much as 37% of a borrower’s entire loan amount, half in collection costs, and half in taxpayer funded commissions. That is 31 TIMES what it can make for preventing default through counseling.

Some hard numbers based on ECMC’s tax return from 2010: CEO Richard Boyle, working 17 hours a week, got paid over 1 million dollars. VP Carey Dubbs, working 12 hours a week, made over $210,000. Board members working less than an hour a week earn on average $77,000 a year. For a non-profit company that should be seeking to help struggling students, these are rich rewards indeed.

ECMC also has a hand in several for-profit companies, such as ECMC Credit Services and Premiere Credit North America, which is a notorious debt collector that regularly violates consumer rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. (FDCPA ).

Unlike credit card debt collectors, student loan collectors have powers under U.S. law that allows them to confiscate wages without a court order and seize tax refunds and Social Security checks. There is no statute of limitations on student loans and they are rarely discharged in bankruptcy.

With college costs soaring, so is the number of defaulted student loans. Debt collection is big business now, with student loan debt now surpassing credit card debt, to the tune of $1 trillion.

So watch out grads if you don’t happen to land that $100k a year job your first year out of school – the student loan debt collectors can come after you all the way to the end of your Social Security checks, and get paid handsomely for it.

We, at Michigan Consumer Credit Lawyers, want you to know that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allows consumers to hire lawyers who can sue debt collectors for violating the FDCPA. These lawsuits cost you nothing. The attorneys’ fees and costs are shifted, by law, to the Defendant to pay. The consumer walks away with a measure of justice and a check from the debt collector.

If you have been victimized by a debt collector or have items on your credit report that are incorrect, call or email Attorney Gary Nitzkin for a free consultation at (888) 293-2882. For more information about your rights as a consumer, visit our website at, which is filled with informative videos and advice to help consumers. Michigan Consumer Credit Lawyers is here for you.