ITT Tech Bankruptcy
Like Corinthian Colleges Inc (CCI), ITT ESI has also declared bankruptcy and closed their doors for enrolled and formerly defrauded students and borrowers on September 28th 2016. This is in an attempt on behalf of ITT ESI Executives to pay themselves massive bonuses before they dissolve their once lucrative corporation after they defrauded tens of thousands of taxpaying student citizens & veterans, Education Department's Federal Student Aid Title IV loan programs and GI bill funded higher education funds.
Debt Collective organizers and activists have recruited folks from the ITT Collective to act as formal representatives of the class of all ITT Tech students. A group of ITT Warriors admins, who have been leaders in the ITT Collective, will consult with the class representatives and their attorneys to make sure a wide range of student voices are heard. Here is the announcement about the filing posted on the Debt Collective blog. We recruited Eileen Connor, Toby Merrill, Victoria Roytenberg, and Yan Cao, lawyers from the Harvard Center on Predatory Lending to provide legal representation to the class. Here is their page with details about the bankruptcy filing. It consists of 108 pages describing ITT's coordinated fraud and is supplemented by over 1,000 pages of student testimony taken from the DTR applications submitted by Debt Collective members. Additionally, it includes affidavits from multiple whistleblowers and evidence from law enforcement investigations into ITT.
The bankruptcy team will try to accomplish two main things: to get the bankruptcy judge to declare many of ITT's activities illegal and to get students as much of the money in ITT's estate as possible. Getting a favorable ruling from the bankruptcy judge would make it harder for the Department of Education to keep dragging its feet on cancelling ITT students' debts and it could also be the first step to stopping collections on private student loans. Even if the judge doesn't rule favorably, the legal action could develop evidence in the proceedings and get the ITT estate to admit some wrongdoing, which could also help with debt cancellation.
The filing only purports to represent students going back to 2006. This is because the claims in bankruptcy are based on state laws that have statutes of limitations. It is possible that the bankruptcy judge will rule that even 2006 is too early. The bankruptcy team will fight as hard as possible to make sure as many ITT debtors as possible are covered in the bankruptcy proceedings. Even for those not covered by formal filings, though (assuming formal filings are made--see above paragraph), the bankruptcy proceedings can help turn up evidence that will assist folks who went to ITT before 2006 in getting debts discharged with the Department of Education.
On January 30, 2017, Bankruptcy Judge Carr agreed to appoint Eileen, Toby, Victoria, and Yan from Harvard Law school "interim class counsel" to represent the interests of all ITT Tech students in the bankruptcy proceedings. That means that they will be class counsel temporarily until Judge Carr makes a final decision about it.
In February, bankruptcy experts from the major law firm Jenner & Block agreed to co-counsel with Eileen, Toby, Victoria, and Yan. They will do so pro bono (for free).
Also in February, negotiations with the bankruptcy trustee (the person appointed to manage ITT's assets during bankruptcy) began. As a first step, the trustee has agreed to stop collecting on "temporary credits"--loans issued by ITT Tech since 2013. Anybody who has a temporary credit should stop paying it. UPDATE: Judge Carr formally approved a stop collection order on temporary credits. Those who paid those debts since the beginning of bankruptcy will receive refunds.
In this Wiki, you will find updates that are relevant to the ITT ESI Bankruptcy and information that we can share publicly. We will represent everyone who has attended, and been defrauded by ITT Tech.
ITT Bankruptcy Committee Members:
- Luke Herrine - Debt Collective Lawyer & Organizer
- Christina Hammond - Founder of ITT Tech Warriors, Student Organizer & Activist
- Niki Howland - Co-Founder of ITT Tech Warriors, Student Organizer & Activist
- Joseph Daniel White - ITT Tech Warriors Admin - Student Organizer & Activist
- Ronnie Godwin - ITT Tech Warriors Admin
- Andie Conrad-Watson - ITT Tech Warriors Admin
- Jorge Villalba - ITT Tech Warriors Admin & Bankruptcy Rep
- Josh Cahill - ITT Tech Warriors Member & Bankruptcy Rep
- Eric Brewer - ITT Tech Warriors Member & Bankruptcy Rep
- Cheryl House - ITT Tech Warriors Member & Bankruptcy Rep
- Juan Hincapie - ITT Tech Warriors Member & Bankruptcy Rep
Please check back regularly for future updates for the ITT Tech bankruptcy proceedings. We will regularly update this wiki page.