Former West Michigan student cashes bad loan refund check from ITT Tech

Posted at 5:15 PM, Oct 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-05 17:15:41-04

WYOMING, Mich. -- One month after the Department of Education effectively shut-down the for-profit giant ITT Technical Institute, the fallout for former students is snowballing: including a former Wyoming campus student cashing one of their reported bad checks.

Henrie Lowe is a working grandmother from Kentwood who would have graduated Oct. 1 from ITT Tech's Wyoming campus with her Associate Degree in business management in marketing. Instead, she's left with no official degree, graduation and just cashed a bad loan refund check.

“I was just shocked; I was like oh my God," Lowe said. "I just wanted my degree.”

Rewind one month ago, Henrie Lowe went to pick up her cap and gown at her former campus. Instead she found 1980 Metro Court in Wyoming to be an empty parking lot. This was just after she finished 2.5 years of coursework and expected to earn her Associates and graduate in the upcoming days.

Lowe told FOX 17 she was cheated of "marching across the stage, and you know, that big celebration," let alone receiving her official degree.

Weeks later Lowe got a $730 loan refund check from ITT Tech's subsidiary, ESI Service Corp, which was remaining from her some $45,000 loan balance. She cashed it.

“About four days later I go to check my account and it says I have a negative balance," said Lowe. “I was furious. I was really upset, I had to figure out where do I go from here.”

Despite repeatedly reaching out to ITT and her contacts associated with the former institution, Lowe says she's heard nothing back. She emailed several lawyers representing ITT, to which she got one email in response from Christine Hayes Hickey Esq. which stated, "Ms. Lowe, We have a conflict of interest and unfortunately we are not able to assist."

Meanwhile, she intends to file a consumer complaint withe Michigan Attorney General's office and will not give up.

“These for profit schools are ripping people off," Lowe said. "And most of the people they’re ripping off don’t have the money. I just have to keep a positive attitude and know in the long run we’ll get it, it’s going to take some time, I got to be patient, but I’m not going to give up.”

For other former ITT Tech students facing similar issues, you may also reach out to your state's attorney general, or call the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group for help: 1 (877) 557-2575.

FOX 17 also reached out to Schuette's office to determine if Michigan officials plan to file a class-action lawsuit and has yet to hear back.