FL DOE loses loan promissory notes
Bill Cotterell of the Tallahassee Democrat reports a breach involving the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Student Financial Assistance:
The agency is notifying 475 student-loan borrowers that their financial records have been exposed to identity theft because the OSFA managed to lose 1,186 “promissory notes” that they signed when they were going to school, and have now fallen behind on.
It’s not that the money is lost. There are copies of the promissory notes, so the loans can be collected.
But Jose Blas Lorenzo Jr., director of policy, regulatory compliance and institutional review for the OSFA, said the missing files bear Social Security numbers, names and addresses, birth dates, personal references and lots of other little tidbits that could come in handy for an identity thief.
“While your file was being processed for reassignment during the week of May 25, 2009, your promissory note(s) was lost,” he wrote in the official notice approved by the Federal Trade Commission and sent to borrowers. He added that the OSFA “cannot verify if the record of your promissory note(s) has been tampered with or if the confidentiality of your promissory note(s) was compromised.”
Cotterell reportedly filed a public records request on the incident and discovered that although OSFA’s director of policy, regulatory compliance and institutional review was informed of the breach on June 2, he did not notify the bureau chief until June 23.
The story doesn’t seem to report how the promissory notes were lost.