The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBINSON
This civil action arises from a dispute over the obligation of Defendant, Ralph Singer, for educational loans he received to attend chiropractic college. Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment. Although Defendant has failed to plead or otherwise respond to Plaintiff's Motion, it is ripe for a decision because the time allotted for filing opposition under the federal rules of civil procedure and the local rules of this Court has expired.
Summary judgment is appropriate where there are no genuine issues as to any material fact. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56; Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-52, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). Upon consideration of the Plaintiff's Motion and the entire record in this action, the Court finds that Plaintiff, the United States of America, has set forth sufficient and undisputed evidence regarding Defendant's default and his resulting debt. Assuming Defendant is able to prove any of his contentions, Defendant has failed to allege any material facts which would result in relief in his favor. For the reasons stated herein, Plaintiff's motion shall be granted.
Between 1979 and 1981, Defendant, Dr. Ralph Singer, borrowed approximately $ 20,000 to finance his education at chiropractic school. See Compl. Exhs. A1-A5; Answer PP 1-4. On February 2, 1996, the United States through its contract counsel sued Singer to collect on the defaulted educational loans.
The Government has submitted the affidavit of a loan analyst from the Department of Education indicating that Singer signed several promissory notes which the United States Department of Education insured. Azam Aff. at 1-2. The record indicates that Dr. Singer made his last voluntary payment of $ 200.00 in October 1985. Azam Aff. at 2. After Dr. Singer defaulted on his debt obligation, the United States as guarantor paid the original lender the balance. Id. As of November 27, 1995 the balance on Singer's loan has a principal balance of $ 17,960.83 with accrued interest of $ 14,804.17 (pre-judgment interest on $ 17,960.83 at 7% per annum). Id.; see also Azam Aff. Exh. B Certificate of Indebtedness (Dec. 15, 1996).
Although Singer admits borrowing the money and having an outstanding balance on his student loans he does not believe that he has to repay his debts. See Answer. Defendant argues that the statute of limitations bars the Government's efforts to collect money he has borrowed. Additionally, Defendant asserts that the Department of Education did not follow proper procedures in servicing his loans and therefore may not bring an action to collect on the outstanding notes.
Defendant concedes that he borrowed money to pay for his education and has not repaid his loans but argues that the Government's action is barred by a statute of limitations. Singer is wrong.
Prior to the enactment of the Higher Education Technical Amendments of 1991 ("HETA"), 20 U.S.C. § 1091a(a)(1994), the statute of limitations period to recover on defaulted student loans was six years, commencing from the date the loan was assigned to the Department of Education. See Higher Education Act of 1965 ("HEA") as amended by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 ("COBRA"), Pub. L. No. 9-272 (1986). However, with HETA, Congress eliminated all statutes of limitations on actions to recover on defaulted student loans, thereby reviving this action against Dr. Singer.
By making HETA effective as if it were enacted under COBRA, Congress not only eliminated COBRA's six year statute of limitations period, but also revived all actions which would have otherwise been time-barred. See United States v. Phillips, 20 F.3d 1005, 1007 (9th Cir. 1994) (explaining the effects of HETA); see also United States v. Hodges, 999 F.2d 341, 341-42 (8th Cir. 1993) (government could bring action to recover on defaulted student loan even though loan was defaulted in 1969 and loan was assigned the government in 1983 and would have been time-barred under the six-year limitations period).
The undisputed facts are as follows: From February 2, 1979 through June 5, 1981, Singer executed five promissory notes with a total principal amount of $ 20,000. Singer made his last voluntary payment of $ 200.00 in October 1985. The Department of Education as the insurer of these debts was forced to purchase his promissory notes from the lender. The United States filed this action on February 29, 1996 approximately ten years after the notes were assumed by the Department of Education. In his Answer, Singer admitted taking the student loans to finance his education and that he defaulted on the promissory notes. The Government has submitted undisputed affidavit testimony and a certificate of indebtedness from the Department of Education indicating that as of November 27, 1995, Dr. Singer's total debt to the United States totals $ 32,765.00. See Azam Aff. at Exh. B. Because HETA has eliminated the six year statute of limitations and any other statute of limitations the Government's action to recover on valid promissory notes is not time-barred, accordingly Dr. Singer is obligated by law to repay his loans. 20 U.S.C. § 1091a(a); Phillips, 20 F.3d at 1007.
In addition to asserting a now defunct statute of limitations as a defense, Dr. Singer asserts other defenses in the nature of waiver, laches, and deficiencies in the Department of Educations loan servicing and guarantee process. However, assuming arguendo some technical problems in the Department of Education's management of Singer's debt this allegation does not excuse Dr. Singer's duty to repay his student loans. The Court finds that Dr. Singer was loaned a substantial amount of money to attend chiropractic school and signed undisputedly genuine notes which remain unpaid. Dr. Singer has shirked his duty to repay his student loans to the United States and its taxpayers for more than a decade he can ignore his responsibility for this debt no more.
For the foregoing reasons it is by the Court this 3rd day of July, 1996,
ORDERED, that Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment be and hereby is ...