Carr et al. v. DeVos


Who is involved in this case?

The Project on Predatory Student Lending and the New York Legal Assistance Group represent Tina Carr and Yvette Colon against the Department of Education. Ms. Carr and Ms. Colon are former students of Sanford-Brown Institute, a predatory for-profit college owned by Career Education Corporation.

What is this case about?

In March 2015, Ms. Carr and Ms. Colon submitted Borrower Defense to Repayment applications to the Department of Education, invoking their right to cancellation of their federal student loans based on Sanford-Brown’s deceit and misconduct.

Despite Ms. Carr and Ms. Colon’s clear legal entitlement to loan cancellation due to the school’s fraud, the Department has refused to consider their Borrower Defense to Repayment applications for over four years, leaving Ms. Carr and Ms. Colon to struggle—along with tens of thousands of other borrowers whose defenses the Department has ignored—with burdensome and insurmountable student loan debt. The Project brought this case to court to fight for the Department’s unreasonable delay in granting the debt cancellation to which Ms. Carr and Ms. Colon are legally entitled.


Where was this case filed?

This case was filed in federal court in the southern district of New York.


When was this case filed?

This case was filed on July 16, 2019.

“Everything that the school promised, turned out to be false... Sanford-Brown Institute has left me and many other students with mountains of debt and no career path to dig ourselves out. Making this worse is that our own government has failed to step in to protect and help students.”

Yvette Colon

Why this case?

Sanford-Brown (SBI), owned by Career Education Corporation (CEC), engaged in outright deception to induce Tina Carr and Yvette Colon to enroll in its vocational programs for medical jobs. The school lacked the necessary accreditation and did not provide adequate training. Sanford-Brown also lied about its dismal track record in preparing students for medical vocations.

Ms. Colon and Ms. Carr are not alone in having been defrauded by SBI. The Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York (“OAG”) pursued CEC for these deceptions, and found that CEC systematically cheated students like Ms. Carr and Ms. Colon. Although Sanford-Brown representatives cited job placement statistics to Ms. Carr of 80%, the OAG found that the actual placement rate was only 26.1%. Further, the OAG found widespread deception concerning programmatic accreditation, and broad failure to disclose that graduates generally could not transfer credits to legitimate schools. The OAG concluded that these practices violated New York’s consumer protection statutes. And yet, the Department has sat on Ms. Carr’s and Ms. Colon’s Borrower Defense to Repayment applications for over four years, and has refused to grant Ms. Carr and Ms. Colon a discharge on their federal student loans. In the meantime, the Department continues to force Ms. Colon, Ms. Carr, and their fellow CEC students to suffer their debts without even considering the valid reasons that make those loans unenforceable.

Case Documents


On July 16, 2019, Plaintiffs Tina Carr and Yvette Colon filed a complaint against the Department of Education.