College is expensive. According to US News , for 2020-2021, the average private college tuition is $35,087. In another article focused specifically on for-profit colleges, they report that “More than 80% of 2016 graduates from for-profit colleges had student loans, compared with 68% for those from private nonprofit colleges and 66% for those from public colleges. Graduates from for-profit colleges left school with, on average, $39,900 in student debt, according to a 2019 report from the nonprofit Institute for College Access & Success.”
In June 2019, over 160,000 students sued the Department of Education (DoE) for their refusal to process borrower defense claims. The Obama administration implemented the borrower defense rule as a means for students who had attended predatory for-profit colleges a way to have their loan debt forgiven. After Trump's inauguration in January 2017, “ the Education Department announced it was taking a ‘pause' in processing those claims to ‘re-evaluate' the Obama-era policies.” Roughly a year after the suit was filed, in May 2020, U.S. District Judge William Alsup approved a proposed settlement wherein DeVos and the Education Department “agreed to issue decisions on more than 160,000 borrower defense claims within 18 months.” Earlier this month, however, attorneys representing the students filed a motion to enforce the terms, even though there is an upcoming October 1st final settlement hearing.
Department Of Education Violating The Terms Of The Settlement?
Nicolas Iovino, reporting on the story, states that as the Education Department moves through the final decisions, it has denied 94% of the 78,400 settled requests (as of August 24). In the filed motion to enforce, the students claim that the Department of Education is using “boilerplate language.” In a statement from Eileen Connor, who represents the plaintiffs, they asserted: “The denial notices make it impossible to confirm that the department is considering borrowers' claims based on the merits. This prevents borrowers from understanding their decision and from seeking review or appealing the denial effectively.”
The boilerplate language includes terms such as “insufficient evidence,” “failure to state a claim under borrower defense regulation,” and “other.” One student, Yvette Colon, submitted a 175-page application for debt relief to the DoE. She already qualified for restitution through an agreement between the NY attorney general and Career Education Corporation (which owns and operates Sanford Brown, the college she attended). In their denial of her claim, the DoE stated she had supplied insufficient evidence.
According to The Project on Predatory Student Lending, the presiding judge has requested that the Department of Education provide more information about the details.
An Attorney-Advisor Who Will Fight for You
If you're a student (or a parent) who carries debt associated with for-profit schools and qualifies to file a borrower defense claim, an attorney-advisor can assist you with the process. You deserve not to have your credit negatively impacted by predatory for-profit practices, and to have the opportunity to build long-term wealth via purchasing a house or investing in retirement funds. The Lento Law Firm has extensive experience fighting on behalf of their clients and successfully advocating for their rights. Call Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or contact us online today.