Law school dropout auctions off own name on eBay to pay student loans

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An enterprising law school dropout is auctioning his own naming rights on eBay to pay his outstanding education loans.

Jason Madsen says he was forced to quit school after his bad credit stopped him from borrowing enough to finish his degree. Now, for the highest bidder, Madsen will change his name to just about anything within reason.

“I, Jason Madsen, will legally change my name for two years to whatever the highest bidder wants,” explains the former law student in his eBay listing. “If you want my first name to be ‘Bob’s Supermarket’ and my last name to be ‘.com’ I’m cool with that, or if you want the first to name to be an entire business name — whatever works.”

Madsen completed his first year at Charlotte School of Law. He was “doing well” academically, he says, and passing all his classes. However, he ran into what he calls insurmountable financial aid difficulties before his second year began.

In a nutshell, Madsen relates in the eBay listing, his credit score prevented him from qualifying for enough financial aid to continue paying the bills.

“My Grad Plus Loan was denied due to adverse credit,” he says. “I now find myself saddled with a huge amount of debt without anything to show for it. I don’t want to be an indentured servant to the Department of Education for the rest of my life.”

Madsen told Above the Law, a widely-read legal blog, that he has racked up approximately $100,000 in total education debt. About $60,000 is the result of his brief foray into law school.

“I don’t want to return to law school. I simply want to pay off my debt and put everything behind me,” Madsen told Above the Law. “If I could do it all over again I never would’ve went to law school.”

Charlotte School of Law is a for-profit outfit that was founded in 2006 and received full ABA accreditation in 2011.

The school’s employment score — the percentage of graduates who are actually practicing law — is only 34 percent, according to Law School Transparency.

The total cost of three years of attendance after factoring in tuition, fees, room and board, and basic living expenses is $222,568. If you want to pay off a loan for that amount in 10 years, Law School Transparency notes, you would owe $2,648 per month.

Tuition at Charlotte School of Law is in line with tuition at other schools; average tuition is over $39,000 per year nationally, says Law School Transparency. The average debt for private law school graduates approaches $125,000, notes the ABA Journal. For public law schools, a typical debt is still a fairly gaudy $75,700.

Madsen’s eBay listing isn’t the first time in recent memory that a law student or recent graduate has tried something unorthodox to get out of debt.

Above the Law recalls two similar incidents: In 2008, a DePaul Law grad attempted to fetch some $100,000 for the the rights to his law degree on eBay. Two years later, a Georgetown Law alum advertised his degree on Craigslist in exchange for payment of his outstanding loan balance.

There are currently no bids on the right to re-name Jason Madsen. You can be the first: The minimum starting bid is $75,000.

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