Complaints Soar Over Student-Loan Collections

Complaints Soar Over Aggressive Student-Loan Debt Collectors 1

Matt Roth for The Chronicle

Ronald Collier, 70, has been getting calls from collection agencies nearly every day for four years, he says. He had students loans from the 80s and 90s but says he paid them off: "You feel powerless."

The first time Ronald L. Collier got a call from a debt collector, he was stunned. Mr. Collier, a retired minister who attended seminary in the 1980s and 90s, says he was sure he had paid off his student loans years earlier.

The next time a collector called, Mr. Collier argued that there had been a mix-up, that the debt was actually his son's. Ronald L. Collier Jr., he explained, had dropped out of mortuary school in the 90s.

The third and fourth times—and nearly every