Colon v. DeVos

Overview

Tina Carr and Yvette Colon, former students of Career Education Corporation (CEC)-owned Sanford-Brown Institute, sued the Department of Education and Navient to enforce the legal obligation to cancel their loans based on Sanford-Brown’s fraud. The Project on Predatory Student Lending and the New York Legal Assistance Group represent Ms. Carr and Ms. Colon in this lawsuit.

Background

Sanford-Brown, 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.

In March 2015, Ms. Carr and Ms. Colon submitted defense to repayment applications to the Department of Education and Navient, invoking their right to cancellation of their loans based on Sanford-Brown’s deceit. Despite Ms. Carr and Ms. Colon’s clear legal entitlement to loan cancellation, the Department and Navient have refused to consider their defenses, 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.

On November 12, 2017, Ms. Carr and Ms. Colon filed a lawsuit against the Department of Education and Navient challenging the enforceability of their loans. They asked the court to adjudicate their defenses to repayment.

Case Updates

Update | Former For-Profit College Students Ask Federal Court to Void Student Loan Debt

Yesterday, Tina Carr and Yvette Colon, two former defrauded students of the for-profit Sanford-Brown Institute in New York, sued the Department of Education (Department) and Navient to block the enforcement of their student loan debt. They sued because of the Department’s failure to act on thousands of borrower defense applications by former students whose debts it has…

“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

Case Documents

11/12/2017

Complaint

Plaintiffs Tina Carr and Yvette Colon borrowed student loans from the Department of Education (the Department) and Sallie Mae Bank (Sallie Mae), the predecessor in interest of Navient Corporation (Navient), to attend Sanford-Brown Institute (Sanford-Brown or SBI), a notoriously abusive for-profit college operated by Career Education Corporation (CEC) in New York.

05/07/2018

Opposition to the Department's Motion to Dismiss

Plaintiffs Tina Carr and Yvette Colon sought an education from Sanford-Brown Institute ("SBI") to advance their careers, but because they were cheated by the school and got no meaningful education, they were left with nothing but the crushing burden of student loan debts.

Coverage

For-Profit Colleges Struggle Despite Assist From DeVos | The Chicago Tribune

The for-profit college industry is struggling under the weight of declining enrollment, stiff competition from traditional universities and an image battered by past misdeeds, even as the Trump administration tries to offer a helping hand.

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Students Defrauded by For-Profit School Sue US Department of Education | Huffington Post

Tina Carr and Yvette Colon had the same goal. They wanted to build careers in the medical field, make a good living and enjoy a better quality of life. They both knew that the gateway to a brighter future would be to attend a good school …Sanford-Brown Institute convinced them they had found their dream school, but instead plunged them into a nightmare that isn’t over yet.

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2 Borrowers Sue Over Forgiveness of Student Loans | Inside Higher Ed

Frustrated with the slow resolution of loan forgiveness claims at the Department of Education, two borrowers have filed a lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and loan servicing company Navient in federal court.

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