Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Follow up: Former aide to Senator Exon files qui tam lawsuit in Virginia federal court against Nelnet. "Jon Oberg, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate and former aide to former U.S. Sen. Jim Exon, filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Nelnet is the lead defendant, but since the Lincoln student loan company settled its differences with the federal government more than two years ago, its spokesman said Nelnet considers the matter closed. "Without having seen the litigation there's nothing to comment upon," said Nelnet spokesman Ben Kiser. The suit seeks the return of about $1 billion in "special allowance" payments wrongfully obtained under a federal subsidy program. The subsidy guaranteed a 9.5 percent return on a limited class of student loans. It was created in the 1980s to ensure low-cost student loans at a time when the economy was souring and interest rates were high. It was largely phased out in 1993, but companies found a loophole that allowed them to actually expand the amount of loans receiving the subsidy by recycling older loans and packaging them with newer ones."