News

Coverage

Judge Rejects Settlement Over Stalled Student Debt Relief Claims, Blames DeVos for Harming Borrowers | Washington Post

A federal judge on Monday rejected a proposed settlement between the Trump administration and defrauded borrowers after the Education Department revealed its widespread denials of requests for student debt cancellation. U.S. District Judge William Alsup in the Northern District of California blasted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for denying 94 percent of the debt relief claims the department has processed since reaching the agreement in April.

Read More

Judge Slams DeVos For Blanket Denials Of Student Loan Forgiveness, Cites “Irreparable Harm” To Borrowers | Forbes

A federal judge issued a scathing rebuke to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for issuing mass denials of student loan forgiveness applications. “The Secretary’s new perfunctory denial notices… contradict her original justification for delay, raise substantial questions under [federal law], and may impose irreparable harm upon the class of student-loan borrowers,” Judge William Alsup, of the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, wrote in his decision yesterday.

Read More

Defrauded Students Slam DOE’s Loan Relief ‘Blanket Denial’ | Law360

Student loan borrowers defrauded by “predatory” for-profit colleges and seeking relief from crippling debt delivered heartfelt pleas to a California federal judge during a settlement fairness hearing Thursday, seeking assurance that a U.S. Department of Education deal with 170,000 borrowers ends its “smothering blanket denial” of long-awaited loan forgiveness requests.

Read More

“Attacking the Concept of Debt” | Harvard Magazine

Only a few years ago, Douglas Jones, who worked night shifts as a security guard at a nursing home in Roxbury, was hesitant to spend even $10 more than his typical budget allowed. Payments on his student loan debt were being withdrawn directly from his bank account. If the balance was short—for instance, if Jones hadn’t managed to get 40 hours at his job that week—the bank charged an overdraft fee. The debt had ruined his credit score and he hadn’t had a credit card in years. “They were even taking money I didn’t have,” Jones says. “It was stressing me the hell out.” Along with millions of other Americans, Jones had fallen prey to the for-profit college industry, which is in essence a two-pronged system—federal loans at one end and for-profit schools designed to access those loans at the other.

Read More

Education Dept. Left Social Security Numbers of Thousands of Borrowers Exposed for Months | Washington Post

The Education Department left the Social Security numbers of tens of thousands of people seeking student debt relief unprotected and susceptible to a data breach for at least six months, according to people familiar with the matter. Angela Morabito, a spokeswoman for the Education Department, acknowledged the error but called it “nonevent.” The data was “was on the department’s secure, internal server, and there is no indication anyone outside the department could have had access to it,” she said. “There is also no indication anyone inside the department handled this file improperly.”

Read More

Whistleblower: Education Department Killed Website That Made Applying for Loan Forgiveness Too Easy | U.S. News and World Report

The Trump administration rejected a website that the Education Department’s Federal Student Aid office designed to help students who have been defrauded by their colleges apply for loan forgiveness, arguing the tool made the process too easy, according to a whistleblower complaint.

Read More

For-Profit Colleges Stole Our Past 10 Years. But Trump Has the Chance to Make it Right. | USA Today

When we met in 2007, we were on our way to achieving the American dream, and we were doing it together. We were students at the now-closed Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Thirteen years and some 25 student loans later, our dreams of marriage, a family and home ownership have been deferred by our overwhelming student loan debt.

Read More

DeVos Backs Down, Agrees To Process Student Loan Forgiveness Applications | Forbes

In a victory for student loan borrowers, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has agreed to process long-stalled applications for student loan forgiveness. Student loan borrowers had submitted nearly 170,000 applications for student loan forgiveness pursuant to the Borrower Defense to Repayment program.

Read More

Education Department to Resolve Borrower-Defense Case | Inside Higher Ed

The Education Department agreed to process 170,000 claims by student loan borrowers who want their debts canceled because they were misled by their colleges under a settlement jointly proposed by the department and a consumer group.

Read More

The Trump Administration Has Agreed to Make Final Decisions Within 18 Months on Nearly 170,000 Loan Forgiveness Applications | Politico

Under the agreement, the Education Department would be required to make a final decision on each of the claims within 18 months from the time the judge signs off on the deal. Borrowers still waiting for a decision after that time will have 30 percent of their loans discharged for each month the department misses the deadline.

Read More