Calvillo Manriquez v. DeVos

Overview

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

If you attended a Corinthian-owned school, you may be a member of the class in this lawsuit.

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Background

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 | 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.

Update | Department of Education Illegally Slashes Debt Relief for Corinthian Borrowers

Martin was talked into WyoTech’s automotive technology program instead of community college. But the program was a complete fraud – he rarely touched a car while there, and the great jobs promised to him were unavailable.

CASE DOCUMENTS

10/03/2018

Plaintiffs’ Supplemental Excerpts of Record

With their responsive brief, Plaintiffs filed supplemental excerpts of record with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Plaintiffs provided the appellate court with additional evidence that was presented to the District Court and that justified the entry of the preliminary injunction.

10/10/2018

Lawyers' Committee on Civil Rights Amicus

On October 10, 2018, the Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights filed a brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as amicus curiae in support of affirming the District Court’s preliminary injunction order.

10/15/2018

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.

Coverage

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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Court Tells Department of Ed to Stop Debt Collections for Defrauded Borrowers | Inside Higher Ed

A federal district court this week ordered the Trump administration to halt collections on loans held by former Corinthian Colleges students while it sorts out the legality of a system to provide partial debt relief to borrowers who were defrauded or misled by their institution.

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Judge Expands Order Blocking DeVos Partial Loan Forgiveness Policy | Politico

A federal judge in California is expanding the number of former Corinthian Colleges students who will receive a temporary reprieve on their federal student loans amid an ongoing legal challenge to the Trump administration’s loan discharge policies.

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