Calvillo Manriquez v. DeVos


Four borrowers filed a nation-wide class action lawsuit against the Department of Education for illegally and unfairly denying relief to tens of thousands of former Corinthian students whom the Department of Education determined are entitled to have their loans discharged and their loan payments refunded. These borrowers are represented by the Project on Predatory Student lending and the Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA).

All four borrowers, and all class members, are entitled to relief pursuant to the Department’s Corinthian Job Placement Rate Rule, which it has established through countless public statements, previous discharges, and direct notice to tens of thousands of covered individuals. Rather than applying this Rule to the class, the Department decided to partially deny their claims by engaging in a secret calculation using illegally-obtained income data. Based on its arbitrary analysis, and despite finding that the students were cheated by their school, the Department is now requiring some class members to pay a substantial portion of their loans. It is unlawful for the Department to deny the class members the full loan discharge and refunds that they are entitled to.

Information for former corinthian students

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This case against the Department of Education was brought by four named plaintiffs:

  • Martin Calvillo Manriquez was talked into WyoTech’s automotive technology program over community college. He did not have an opportunity to work with cars or car parts while he was enrolled. The school didn’t have tools or certified instructors. While he was in school, he worked at an oil change shop earning $8 an hour. His classmates who graduated from the same program were applying for the same low-paying, non-technical job he already had. Most of them didn’t even get jobs changing oil. Martin has never had a job related to auto repair. Even though the Department determined that Martin was misled and cheated, and even though he applied to have his loans discharged, the Department has taken two years of tax refunds and garnished his wages to pay back his loans.


  • Rthwan Dobashi owes more than $20,000 for the same automotive technology program at WyoTech. He has also never worked in the field. In early 2016, he found out from the attorney general that he was eligible to have his debts from WyoTech cancelled, and he applied. He also told one of his friends from school, and his friend applied, too. His friend’s loans were discharged almost a year ago, while Rthwan still hasn’t heard anything from the Department.


  • Jamal Cornelius’s attended the Information Technology-Emphasis in Network Security program at Corinthian owned Heald College and borrowed more than $25,000 for the program. His debt from Corinthian is the only line on his credit report. He has been waiting more than fourteen months for any response to his application for relief.


  • Jennifer Craig attended the Medical Insurance Billing and Coding Diploma program at Corinthian-owned Everest College. She borrowed more than $9,000 for the program and has never held a job in the industry because Everest failed to provide her the requisite training for a job in the field. After waiting almost two years for a response for her application for relief, the Department partially denied her application. Despite finding that she was misled and that her loans were fraudulent, the Department is now requiring her to pay 80% of her unlawful loans.

Case Updates

Update | In the Fight for Student Loan Relief

For years, Corinthian Colleges, a network of over one hundred for-profit schools, defrauded students to rake in profits from taxpayer-funded federal student aid. Tens of thousands of students—many the first in their families to seek out higher education—were promised serious career training and job prospects, but left Corinthian’s campuses with little more than thousands of dollars in debt.

Update | Delay. Delay. Delay. The Department of Education Appeals Preliminary Injunction Order and Moves to Stay Litigation Pending Appeal: What it Means and What Happens Next?

On May 25, 2018, a federal court in San Francisco granted former Corinthian borrowers’ motion for a preliminary injunction in Calvillo Manriquez v. DeVos, ordering the Department of Education to stop using its “average rulings rule” immediately, and to stop collecting the loans of certain Corinthian borrowers.

Update | Injunction Against Department of Education: What it Means and What Happens Next

On May 25, 2018, a federal court in San Francisco granted our motion for a preliminary injunction, ordering the Department of Education to stop using its “average rulings rule” immediately, and to stop collecting the loans of certain Corinthian borrowers.



Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Plaintiffs move the Court for a preliminary injunction returning to the status quo ante by requiring the Department of Education to process certain non-discharged federal student loan debt in accordance with the "Corinthian Job Placement Rate Rule."


Amended Order Regarding Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction

The Court modifies the previous Order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction.


Order Certifying Plaintiffs’ Class

On October 15, 2018, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, permitting Plaintiffs to pursue the case as a class action.


Turning to Courts for Loan Forgiveness | Inside Higher Ed

Earlier this year, Sarah Dieffenbacher closed the book on a two-year legal fight with the U.S. Department of Education over her student loan debt. But the resolution was unsatisfying to Dieffenbacher. Instead of getting a ruling on the loan-forgiveness claim she filed for debt racked up at the former Everest College, the department discharged her loans through bankruptcy court.

Read More

Argosy University Closing Leaves Students Scrambling | Consumer Affairs

Another for-profit college has shut its doors, leaving many of its students with no degree and lots of debt. Argosy University, which operated brick-and-mortar campuses in Virginia, California, Illinois, Florida, Arizona, and other states had to turn out the lights after the U.S. Department of Education expelled it from the federal financial aid program.

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Defrauded Students Win Class Certification in Lawsuit Against DeVos | Courthouse News Service

More than 100,000 students defrauded by Corinthian Colleges can team up to sue Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for rolling back Obama-era rules that provided full debt forgiveness, a federal judge ruled Monday.

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