Sallie Mae collections against Western Culinary Institute/Le Cordon Bleu Portland students?

In our ongoing case against Career Education Corp. and Western Culinary Institute/ Le Cordon Bleu Portland, we’re continuing our work on the appeal. Background here.

There is an interesting development that may or may not be related. We’re hearing occasional reports that Sallie Mae may be upping its collection activities.

Sallie Mae recently sued a family from the Southern California culinary school in court. We also know that Sallie Mae has been contacting WCI/Le Cordon Bleu Portland students about outstanding balances.

The team is on the lookout for cases in which Sallie Mae has filed a collection lawsuits in court against Western Culinary/Le Cordon Bleu-Portland graduates.  If Sallie Mae starts to sue Oregon culinary students in Oregon court, we want to hear about it. It could have major impact on our case and help many, many graduates of Western Culinary/Le Cordon Bleu Portland.

So this is a bit of a reach out to WCI/Le Cordon Bleu-Portland graduates: If you are sued in a collections case by Sallie Mae, please call or contact us immediately. While it would certainly be a frightening prospect if Sallie Mae sues, it may provide us with significant opportunities.

If you are sued, it is very important that you act act quickly upon receipt of the papers. Usually we have 30 days from the date you are served within which to file an appearance. So that would make quick action important.

Because of the importance of this issue, feel free to circulate this to other graduates of Western Culinary Institute/Le Cordon Bleu Portland who are facing collections from Sallie Mae.

Meanwhile, we continue our work on the case against CEC. They may have slowed down the process, but we remain confident that they will face their day of reckoning.

David Sugerman


86 thoughts on “Sallie Mae collections against Western Culinary Institute/Le Cordon Bleu Portland students?

  1. Hi Sesn-Those dates are outside our class period. I suggest you talk to a lawyer who handles collection defense cases. If you need a referral, please call or email our office after the holiday weekend.


    PS: If you want updates on this slow-moving case, best bet is our law firm Facebook page.

  2. Hi. I am not licensed in Florida and don’t know whether you have a claim under Fla law. You need to talk to a lawyer in Fla who practices in the areas of consumer fraud or debt defense.


  3. I attended Le Cordnon Bleu from January 2013 to May 2013 and would like information on how to file a lawsuit or join a current open case

  4. I totally agree with all the complaints on being mislead into believing that going to Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts School. Would be a good school and opportunity for success in culinary field. Not knowing that after completing with A.A.S Degree I would have a $10 (hr) job. That the payment loan would cost me 50k. I’m very upset and can’t afford to pay, because my job doesn’t pay that much and didn’t require a degree. My loan interest rate sky rocketed after told would stay the same wasn’t told and made a year worth of payment to find out my balance was the same. I attended twice once 1999-2000 and 2006-07 and I’m not happy about my career choice. I’m stuck with high debt, low paying job.

  5. Who do I contact to see if my loan can be forgiven since I still owe over 25000 graduated in 2000 cost only 17000 then

  6. After reading all the comments from past students I’ve noticed that most of them don’t qualify for this suit depending on when they attended WCI in portland, or. I attended WCI from 04-05. Why would I not qualify? Whether I attended in 04 or 2012, we all have been screwed over the same way. I want to be part of the law suit.

  7. The Court defined the class based on the filing date. The case was filed in 2008. Under the law that applies, the class could only back to two years before the date of filing.

  8. You folks are probably already aware of this, but Elizabeth Warren via the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is pushing for administrative rule (no congressional action required) to ban the forced arbitration clauses that have become mainstay in recent years for big institutions screwing individual consumers.

    Three cheers for Elizabeth Warren!!!

  9. I attended Le Courdo. Bleu in Portland from 2006 to 2007 and now have a settlement for a total of $50,000, do I qualify?

  10. Hi Valerie- Sorry for the delay in responding. I just saw this comment. I can’t answer your question here. Please call our office at 503.228.6474 so the we can get more information.

  11. Hello. One of your responses to a question is pasted below:
    The Court defined the class based on the filing date. The case was filed in 2008. Under the law that applies, the class could only back to two years before the date of filing.
    Did this timeframe cover the 2 students that originally filed this suit? I actually met with you at your office in 2008 for an interview (before the suit was filed). I graduated from LCB/WCI in 2006, but was dropped from the suit as I didn’t fit into the “timeframe”. I went during the same timeframe as the original students. I would like to be a part of this.

  12. Hi Cary-
    My apologies. I just found this comment. The court’s decision on the time period and who is in the class is still in effect. It was not something that will change.

  13. I attended WCI/LCB from 3/2006 to 7/2007 for their hospitality & restaurant management program. Ten years later my station in life has not improved near as much as the reps for WCI claimed it would and not for lack of trying. I attempted to join the class actions lawsuit but was told I missed the enrollment date by a matter of days! I’m curious if anything has changed? I feel like my personal experience with LCB is full of information that may be of use.

    Thank you,

    – Dane

  14. I attended the Pittsburgh School and graduated in 2006. I dropped out of my computer engineering program to follow my passion for cooking all because the recruiter told me I would make the same amount of money as a chef. I never made more than $11 an hour at any job I could find after graduating from culinary school. I was treated the same as 16 year old high school students working part time. Even working at a 4 star resort, I was treated no differently having my education than people hired off the street with just a GED. Another thing they failed to mention was most places don’t offer benefit packages or insurance. After getting married and having kids, I was forced to go back to school and get another degree to actually have insurance, benefits, and make enough money to support a family. If there was class action lawsuits happening in 2015, I have no idea why I wasn’t notified or informed. That school was a total scam.

  15. Our case is only for the Portland school, and it’s a slightly later era. No one who went to your school is included. I am not aware of a Pittsburgh case, but it’s certainly possible that one was filed.

  16. It will be interesting to see whether the forgiveness program goes forward with the new administration and–if so–how and what it covers.

  17. I guess that says best to go ahead and apply asap. Emperor Donald is hell bent on destroying all programs that benefit ordinary people. So “get it while the getting is good.”

  18. I attended and graduated 2008 from the Pasadena location and am currently 76k in debt with ancient private loans. I’ve been paying over 500 a month for the past 8 years. Do I have any way to be a part of this lawsuits?

  19. Do you have any information about joining the class action lawsuit even though it settled? I was not even aware there was a suite till it was over with

  20. Navient(formally Sallie Mae) has really increased collection attempts. They are sending out emails threatening “further actions” if not resolved before June 29th. I find it interesting this is happening so close to Western Culinary closing its doors.

  21. I graduated western culinary in 2000 and did an internship for free because they could not assist me finding a paid one I never worked in the field again and not I have 25000 in loans for a useless certification. are there and lawsuits im eligible for regarding this?

  22. I agree with many of the comments, I actually attended 2003-2005 and Sallie Mae, now Navient shot the interest rate higher then promised. The school said they would assist in finding an internship, but never did, I ended up having to plead to the school to allow me to assist one of the chef instructors. I only worked in the field for a year, never since. There was all this hype and promises from the staff and when all was said and done they did nothing. I now teamed up with a third party and I pay them $100 a month. Anytime Navient calls me I always either ignore their number or tell them to call the third party. Lately, after 12 years they now want to settle for half. No way can I simply write a check for 10k. Know the civil laws in the court they filed. If you show there has been a good faith effort to pay many judges will side with you. Do not let them intimidate you about court. Like here in Texas all they can do is put a judgment on your credit report, and possible liens if you have property or a home. Plus our laws stipulate that they can only take property if your total possessions is over 50k, under that an they cannot have anything and each household member with a license is allowed to keep a vehicle, so they can’t take those. Know the laws and never be intimidated by any collector.

  23. I graduated from the western culinary institute le cordon blue culinary arts program in 2007 and have been in the culinary field for the past 10 years trying to get a decent job. Even though i love cooking, i have not had any luck finding a job they promised me when i started the program over ten years ago. they contacted me right out of high school when i graduated in june 2006 and immediately started the culinary program that same month. i feel cheated and now have over 50K in student loans. I have resorted to getting an actual college degree where I can make some money but now it feels like i am burdened with more debt. any advice or help would be great.

  24. Hello, my name is Gary Smith, I attended the Scottsdale location and it was the biggest joke of a school that could be. I was wondering if there is a lawsuit for my location as well. I started in 2007 and finished in 2008. Worst decision I’ve ever made.

  25. Hi Gary-
    I am not aware of any. I’m not licensed to practice law in Arizona, so I could not even begin to tell you whether a claim might exist for students of that school.

  26. I graduated WCI in 2000. I was never able to find a job in the field that payed a decent salary and I feel completely ripped off every time I pay the bill. It is a shame that it has been decided that only those who were victimized during the certain set time period are worthy of any relief. I would welcome any information that may help the rest of us. That being said, I am thankful that some justice was done.

    Thank You

  27. It’s not that you or others are unworthy. The date range is about rules that apply in cases like these. Claims needed to be filed within 1-2 years of graduation. No one asked me until 2008. Under the rules that apply, the class period looks at the filing date. That is how we got back to March 2006. The court closes the class at a date it picks. That was how we arrived at the end date of March 2010. No magic. No judgment. Just rules.

  28. David,

    I certainly didn’t mean to insinuate you were responsible for the set dates and appreciate you taking the time to reply. It just seems to me that once these unethical practices were brought to light that the courts should have set out to bring justice for all that fell victim. Again I would very much appreciate any advice you would feel comfortable giving whether it be as a reply here or to my email.


  29. This is such a scam!! Le Cordon Bleu “College” loans should all be forgiven because the lender and the school were rolling out loans and classes like a puppy-mill… If you go to get a $50,000 loan on a house, and the house is only worth $3,000, the bank won’t lend you the money. But they don’t even ask when it’s an institute LYING to it’s students about how much they can make and what their education there is worth. Nor do the institutes divulge to the new students about the barrage of lawsuits against the college before they have you sign on the dotted line. The fact that they said they would/could make a lot of money, and the reputation of the school is equated with TRUMP UNIVERSITY now is even worse!! They closed down the schools here because of that, and the predatory lending by the banks. It was set up to fail and no one cared because they were making a ton of money just like the mortgage fallout. This should be illegal!! F the two year limit. The two years should start when all the “colleges” abruptly closed down and their reputation sunk!! Does that also mean with the class action lawsuits too? I’m so mad I could spit fire. I just learned about this from my daughter-in-law because she’s so in debt. I don’t want to say anymore because I’ll be flagged or arrested… LOL

  30. The time limitations are imposed by Oregon law. Not much we can do about that part. But I share your anger.

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