BUZZFEED: The Education Department Is Working On A Process For Forgiving Student Loans
Career College Central Summary:
The Department of Education is developing a formal process to forgive student loans if schools have broken the law, it said yesterday, in its first public acknowledgment of work on such a system.
The statement, buried at the end of a press release announcing a $30 million fine for the troubled for-profit college operator Corinthian Colleges, comes in the face of growing pressure from activists pushing for student debt forgiveness. The department had previously remained largely silent about how students might apply for forgiveness, saying only that it would consider all requests submitted, and leaving students and lawmakers in the dark.
The department said in the release that it is “working on a process to help federal student loan borrowers submit a defense to repayment of their federal student loans.”
The so-called “defense to repayment” provision, a once-obscure clause in the promissory note signed by all federal student loan borrowers, says students could be eligible for loan forgiveness if their schools had “done something wrong” under state law. As part of an activist campaign, more than 250 former Corinthian students submitted defense to repayment claims to the department earlier this month, saying that they had been lied to by their school about job placement rates and the quality and cost of Corinthian’s programs.
The Corinthian activists also demanded that the department develop a process for students to submit the claims, echoing requests from Democratic senators for the department to clarify how the defense to repayment clause would work. Lawyers who wanted to file such claims for clients who had been wronged by Corinthian and other schools said that, in the absence of any guidance or form to submit, they were left scrambling to put together the claims.
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