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NY Post
New York Post
1 Jul 2023

NextImg:Nashville lawyer who beat student loans by suing shell company posts how he did it online

A Nashville lawyer found a novel way to beat student loans: a lawsuit.

Brian Manookian tweeted about the way he conquered his own student debt back in 2016, by going to court after his original lender transferred his accounts to a shell company without telling him.

“Re-upping this for no particular reason,” Brian Manookian, 41, posted to Twitter, which included an image of the lawsuit he filed against the similarly named lenders, National Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2004-2 and National Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2006-2, in Tennessee State Court in 2016.

“The easiest lawsuit I ever filed and anyone can do it,” he wrote.

The original tweet has raked up 3.2 million views.

The legal eagle’s tweet thread came Friday, hours after the US Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s plan to cancel more than $400 billion dollars in American student loan debt, ruling the effort was unconstitutional.

Biden’s plan, announced in August, would have canceled up to $10,000 in federal student debt for Americans earning under $125,000 or households making under $250,000, and eliminated up to $20,000 for Pell recipients. 

Brian Manookian shared details about his lawsuit hours after the Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s plan to forgive student debt.
Brian Manookian/Twitter

In subsequent tweets, Manookian shared the basic steps others could follow to get their student debt wiped through the legal system.

“This isn’t about loan forgiveness,” Manookian told The Post.

“It’s about holding these companies to the very same contract that they insist debtors comply with.”

Manookian, who attended Vanderbilt University Law School, told The Post he took out two loans from JP Morgan and Bank One for $60,000 to pay for his education, chipping away at his students loan debt for “upwards of a decade.”

A turning point came in 2016, when Manookian was looking to buy a building in Nashville for his law firm.

Student loan debt demonstrators
Manookian plans on starting a website to show others how they can get their student loan debts wiped through the courts.

The lender said he would have to pay the student loans off to qualify for a mortgage so Manookian reached out to his loan company to get a final figure. The lawyer said he had no idea who he was speaking with when he got on the phone.

After doing some digging, he found that the shell companies were based in Delaware but had sued dozens of people in Tennessee for defaulting on their loans.

He subsequently took the companies to court in his home state to find out if they were in fact holding his loan. They failed to respond and he got an automatic win from the court known as a default judgment.

“In my experience, none of these student loan servicers / loan sharks kept proper chain of title,” Manookian tweeted.

“You challenge their ownership, they decline to respond, you get a default judgment.”

The anti-student-loan shark said he has since helped some of his friends sue over “chain of title,” but cautioned it’s not a quick fix for everyone, especially those who took out federal loans which are guaranteed by the federal government. 

Still, Manookian said that he plan on setting up a website soon to give people a step-by-step guide for how they can file similar suits.

“Ironically, this started [because] I tried to pay off my student loans,” he tweeted.