CHICAGO (CN) – Eighteen students say they should not have to repay more than $115,000 in loans from Sallie Mae after a “sham” medical tech school lied about its credentials and shut down in mid-semester. Students of the Medical Careers Institute (MCI) are distressed that Sallie Mae Financial continues to charge them for their educational loans, from which they received nothing but debt.
According to the complaint in Cook County Court, MCI opened in 1977, promising to train students to become echocardiographers, sonographers, cardiology technicians, and other medical technicians.
But the students say that upon completing MCI’s programs, they found they were not adequately trained, and were not even allowed to take national registry exams. MCI closed in October 2008 without notice, leaving its students unable to complete their education or transfer their credits, making their education at MCI “worthless,” according to the complaint.
The students say Sallie Mae gave the loan money directly to MCI when the semester started – well before they had completed their programs – and that after the school shut down, they did not receive refunds from MCI.
Sallie Mae is subject to the same claims made against MCI, since it is the holder of the loan contract, and it is unfair for it to expect repayment, the students say.
A class action in February 2009 sought $3.5 million from MCI, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and fraud, Courthouse News reported.
The 18 students in this case sued Sallie Mae for consumer fraud, deceptive business practices, fraudulent inducement, breach of contract and violations of the Private Business and Vocational Schools Act. They seek an injunction to prevent Sallie Mae from collecting on the loans, and refunds of any previous loan payments.
Their lead counsel is Jeffrey Antonelli.