Information for Borrowers About Vara v. Cardona

In 2015, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office submitted a group defense to repayment application to the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of all former students of Everest College campuses in Massachusetts, requesting that the Department discharge and refund payments made on all of those students’ federal loans from Everest.

The Department refused to consider the group application, and the Project filed and won the Williams case, and then filed this lawsuit against the Department demanding that it discharge the loans. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, ordering that everyone who took out federal student loans for Everest Massachusetts should get full loan discharges due to Everest’s fraud and misconduct.

What is this case about?

This case is about getting complete discharge of all federal student loans from Everest Massachusetts. On June 26, 2020, the court decided that the class of student borrowers had established the right to have their federal student loans completely cancelled.

The Department of Education appealed the court’s decision, but on June 15, 2021 they announced they would no longer continue with the appeal and dismissed it.

What does it mean that the Department of Education dismissed the appeal?

This means that the original court decision stands and that all class members should receive full loan discharges and a favorable borrower defense decision on their Everest Massachusetts federal student loans.

Am I a class member? Who is a class member?

You are likely a member of the class in this case if both of the following are true:

  • You took out federal student loans for you or your child to attend Everest Institute in Brighton or Chelsea, Massachusetts, between 2007 and 2015; and
  • You have not already had your federal student loans associated with Everest completely cancelled after submitting a borrower defense application that was approved by the Department of Education.

I am a class member. What does the ruling mean for me?

The decision in this case says that all class members have a right to full loan discharges and a favorable borrower defense decision on their federal student loans and the Department of Education must now comply with it.

I still have outstanding Everest Massachusetts loans, but I also made some payments on my loans. Will I get a refund of the payments I made?

The class includes those borrowers who “have not yet received a refund of sums already collected,” so the Department should have to refund payments already made. We are working to clarify exactly how refunds will work.

What are the next steps for me to take?

There are no immediate steps for class members to take at the moment. The Project is working to ensure that the Department of Education moves forward with providing relief to class members as soon as possible.

We will post more information to this website as we receive it.