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Campus Finance Briefs

Michigan Leads Nation in Loan Default Actions

University Business, June 2012

Michigan means business when it comes to going after student loan defaulters. Michigan college students graduate with a slightly higher debt than the national average, and about one in 10 Michigan student loans winds up in default—on par with the national average. However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit has been far more aggressive in pursuing defaulters than in other states.

In the most recent data compiled by Syracuse University’s (N.Y.) Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), relative to population size, defaulters in the Eastern District of Michigan were prosecuted at a rate about 10 times the national average during March 2012.

Lawsuits are usually a last resort in default cases—an action taken after other recovery methods, such as wage garnishment, have failed.

The Eastern District of Michigan’s leadership in per capita student debt lawsuits is nothing new. The region topped the default list five years ago and came in second last year, according to the TRAC report.