Know Your Rights
Merrimack’s former director of financial aid, Christine Mordach, pleaded guilty on March 24, 2015, to fraud related to her administration of Merrimack’s Perkins Loan Program during the years 1998-2007.
In August 2015, Ms. Mordach began a prison term and was ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution to the victims of her fraud.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office formally named Merrimack College one of the victims of her fraud, noting that she took pains to conceal her actions from the college and its officials. President Hopey took office in summer 2010 and soon uncovered irregularities in the Perkins Loan program; Ms. Mordach’s employment at the college ended in 2011.
The president announced then, and has continued to state publicly, in the media and in correspondence with identified student victims, that the college will provide reimbursement and write-offs to those identified.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office worked to contact each of the identified victims, as did Merrimack College.
This page has been developed by Merrimack to address those questions commonly posed by the community.
Click on the questions to reveal the answers.
How do I know if I am a victim of a Perkins loan fraud?
If you suffered a financial loss as the result of a fraudulent Perkins loan, you should have received notices from both Merrimack College and the United States Attorney’s Office.
If you have not been notified but have reason to believe that you suffered a financial loss as the result of a fraudulent Perkins loan, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, your current contact information and – if you know it – the origination date and the amount of the Perkins loan in question. Merrimack has retained Affiliated Monitors, Inc. (“AMI”) to administer the reimbursement program. Also, Merrimack continues to host a hotline for inquires: 1-800-210-8695.
How are victims being compensated?
Victims of a Perkins loan fraud are being compensated in two ways: (1) court-ordered restitution from the perpetrator of the fraud, Ms. Christine Mordach, and (2) voluntary reimbursement from Merrimack College. Ms. Mordach, however, does not likely have sufficient funds to repay fully all of her victims.
Separately from Ms. Mordach’s court-ordered restitution, Merrimack will reimburse victims for payments made on invalid loans, and the college will write off the invalid loans. Merrimack will also address credit or other financial harm directly related to Ms. Mordach’s Perkins loan fraud. AMI will be administering the reimbursement program.
The questionnaire I sent back to the government had the wrong information for what I am owed. How can I get what I am entitled to?
You will have an opportunity to address discrepancies with AMI; they will work with you to facilitate the correct reimbursement. Please send corrections or supplemental information to email@example.com.
How can I be sure that my reimbursement from Merrimack covers my financial loss due to fraud?
Reimbursement amounts are calculated by applying all Perkins loan payments that you have made to date first to any valid Perkins loans, and then to any invalid Perkins loans. You will be reimbursed the payments you have made, if any, toward the invalid loans.
Courtney had two Perkins Loans: one for $4,000 and one for $1,000.
The $4,000 loan was valid – Courtney acknowledges taking the loan, and/or there is a signed promissory note on file.
The $1,000 loan was invalid – Courtney did not apply for this loan, and there is no promissory note on file.
Courtney has paid $200/month for one year, for a total of $2,400.
To determine if Courtney is owed compensation, the $2,400 payments were applied to the valid loan first. They did not fully cover the amount of the valid loan; therefore, Courtney is found not to have suffered financial harm. Put another way, Courtney did not pay any money toward the invalid loan.
The $1,000 invalid loan is written off by Merrimack College.
I had other educational loans. How do I know these were not affected?
Merrimack College, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education investigated the matter and determined that only Perkins Loans were affected. And, to be clear, many Perkins Loans issued during this period were valid.
When can I expect to receive my restitution and/or reimbursement?
Specific timelines have not yet been established. For questions about reimbursements from Merrimack College, please contact AMI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if a fraudulent Perkins loan harmed my credit?
If you have reason to believe that your credit has been adversely affected by a fraudulent Perkins loan, we recommend you request a free copy of your credit report. A clear explanation of how to make such a request (and what kinds of sites and scams you should avoid) can be found here: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports.
If you find that a report was made to a credit bureau about a fraudulent Perkins loan in your name, please provide AMI with specific details. After AMI’s review, should it be necessary, Merrimack will then inform the credit bureaus of the facts concerning your fraudulent Perkins loan and will request that the correct information be reflected in your credit history.
When will I get confirmation that my fraudulent Perkins loan was written off and credit cleared, and from whom will I get the confirmation?
Merrimack expects to receive confirmation of write-offs within 30-60 days. The college will then send confirmation to each individual who had a Perkins loan written off.
How can I confirm that the invalid loan was written off?
You can verify that the loan was written off by viewing your account on the ACS website. To log on to the site, go to: https://www.acs-education.com/CS/Jsp/general/home.jsp. ACS also has an FAQ site with information for individuals who have disabled their ACS accounts, lost/ forgotten passwords, etc. It can be accessed here: https://www.acs-education.com/CS/Jsp/infocenter/faq.jsp?NavBarId=sub17.
I heard that some people have received letters or reimbursement checks from Merrimack. Why wasn’t I contacted?
Merrimack has retained Affiliated Monitors, Inc. (“AMI”) to administer the reimbursement program, and they are processing the loan resolutions in batches. In instances in which they need additional information, they will be sending out letters and emails by mid-December. If you have recently moved or changed your contact information, you may want to email AMI at email@example.com with the new data.