Posted Date: September 30, 2013

Author:  Jana Hernandes, Service Director, Operations, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Loan Servicing Information - Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) Closed Beginning October 1, 2013

In earlier announcements (January 10, 2013 and July 12, 2013), we informed the financial aid community of our preparations for the forthcoming end to our contract with the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) and shared high-level information about the closure of all functions performed by ACS (Xerox), including its servicing of William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans.

In subsequent announcements (September 6, 2013 and September 20, 2013), we reported on transfer completion and the reduced availability of the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) through today, September 30, 2013.  We will refer to this servicer as the “Direct Loan Servicing Center” throughout the rest of the announcement.

In this announcement, we inform the community of the closure of the Direct Loan Servicing Center.  Beginning tomorrow, October 1, 2013, customer service representatives will no longer be available to answer e-mails or phone calls.  If borrowers or schools attempt to contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center between tomorrow and November 15, 2013, informational messaging will direct them to other resources.  Beginning November 16, 2013, there will be no Direct Loan Servicing Center support or messaging.

We present the information in this announcement as follows:

  • Direct Loan Servicing Center Closure

  • Transfer-Related Reminders

  • Contact Information

Direct Loan Servicing Center Closure

On August 16, 2013, we posted an Electronic Announcement providing an update on the last month of transfers and detailed information about the availability of the Direct Loan Servicing Center prior to its closure.  In the attachment to the August 16th announcement titled “Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) Availability Information August 30, 2013 – November 15, 2013,” we provide detailed information about Direct Loan Servicing Center availability from the day after all Direct Loan transfers were completed through November 15, 2013.

  • On September 21, 2013, Direct Loan Servicing Center customer service representatives stopped responding to borrower e-mails. If a borrower sends an e-mail to the Direct Loan Servicing Center, he or she will receive an automatic e-mail acknowledgement message informing the borrower that the e-mail will not be answered because the Direct Loan Servicing Center no longer services loans.

  • Beginning October 1, 2013, the Direct Loan Servicing Center will offer only informational messaging.  If schools or borrowers call the Direct Loan Servicing Center, they will enter the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System because the Direct Loan Servicing Center will be closed, and there will no longer be customer service representatives to answer phone calls.

  • On November 16, 2013, all Direct Loan Servicing Center support and messaging will end.

At this time, we request the financial aid community’s assistance in directing borrowers and financial aid personnel in need of assistance as follows:

  • For questions about a loan that has been transferred from the Direct Loan Servicing Center to a new federal loan servicer, please direct borrowers and financial aid personnel to contact the new servicer. Contact information for the appropriate servicer can be found on the Loan Servicing Centers for Schools Contact Information page on the IFAP Web site.

    Note: The new servicer is now fully responsible for handling all questions related to a borrower’s transferred loans.

  • For questions or concerns related to credit status and denied credit decision appeals, obligations and responsibilities of Direct PLUS Loan endorsers, and all actions performed on the StudentLoans.gov Web site, please direct borrowers to contact the Student Loan Support Center on 800/557-7394.

  • For questions or concerns related to the origination, disbursement, and/or booking of a Direct Loan that a school needs to raise on behalf of a Direct Loan borrower or endorser of a Direct PLUS loan, please direct financial aid personnel to contact the COD School Relations Center on 800/848-0978.

Transfer-Related Reminders

The last set of Direct Loans that remained on the Direct Loan Servicing Center’s system was transferred on August 29, 2013.

  • Through September 30, 2013, new status change requests submitted to the Direct Loan Servicing Center will be forwarded to the new servicer for processing.  Beginning October 1, 2013, new status change requests submitted to the Direct Loan Servicing Center will be properly discarded and will continue to be discarded going forward.  The requests will not be forwarded to the new servicers.

  • The reporting of a loan made to an ineligible borrower who had been serviced by the Direct Loan Servicing Center must be made to the borrower's new federal loan servicer.  The new servicer will take the appropriate action.

  • A transferred borrower must start making payments to and communicating solely with his or her new federal loan servicer.

  • A borrower can access the NSLDS Student Access Web site to identify the servicer to which the borrower's loans have been transferred.  A school that assists a borrower in identifying the new servicer of the borrower's loans can access the new servicer information through the NSLDS Professional Access Web site.

  • Once they have been notified of their new servicer, it is critical that borrowers who use a bank or bill paying service to make their payments update the bank or bill paying service with the new servicer's name and address.

For other key information about the transfer process in question and answer format, refer to the January 10th Electronic Announcement's attachment titled “Direct Loan Transfers – Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) to New Servicer.”

Contact Information

We appreciate the community's ongoing support of our approach to servicing federally-owned loans.  We will post additional Electronic Announcements as we progress through the Direct Loan Servicing Center's closure transition.  Please monitor the IFAP Web site.

If you have questions about a loan that has been transferred from the Direct Loan Servicing Center to a new federal loan servicer, contact the new servicer directly.  Contact information for the appropriate servicer can be found on the Loan Servicing Centers for Schools Contact Information page on the IFAP Web site.

   

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