Booker and Warren introduce law to stay garnishments for student loan borrowers


Booker and Warren introduce law to stay garnishments for student loan borrowers

The End of Administrative Wage Garnishment Act 2020 will also reform the administration of the administrative wage garnishment program.

WASHINGTON DC – Presentation of US Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) the End Administrative Wages Garnishment Act, 2020, legislation which suspend wage garnishments for those who have defaulted on student loans; and revise income-based repayment plans.

The COVID-19 crisis has put millions of Americans in financial danger. According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 25% of American adults have been laid off or a member of their household has been laid off, with young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 being the majority. This economic fallout has largely affected student loan borrowers and hit low-income Americans and communities of color the hardest, further fueling socio-economic and racial inequalities. Black and brown students also borrow student loans at higher rates, taking on thousands of dollars more in debt due to long-standing disparities in household wealth.

“Even before the public health and economic crisis created by this pandemic, nearly 45 million Americans were burdened with student loans and hundreds of thousands of student loan borrowers had their wages garnished for overdue payments.” said Senator Booker. “The suspension of wage garnishments for student loan borrowers is a common sense step and an urgent step we can take to help those who already have financial difficulties to cope with and recover from economic instability. created by this pandemic. ”

“Student debt is an anchor that drives our struggling economy and holds back millions of dollars, especially for black and brown borrowers. The Education Department has demonstrated that it cannot shoulder the immense responsibility for garnishing the wages of borrowers – and that’s why Congress should revoke that power and end the garnishment indefinitely student salaries to bring immediate relief to millions of Americans. We must also largely cancel student loan debt ”, said Senator Warren.

Specifically, the 2020 law putting an end to the garnishment of administrative salaries will do the following:

  • Suspend wage garnishments of individuals until the date on which the secretary submits a certificate to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Work and Pensions and to the Committee on Education and work of the House of Representatives.
  • Provide that if a person’s salary is entered incorrectly, the Secretary of Education will reimburse the borrower for double what he paid.
  • Indicating that the US Department of Education cannot garnish an individual’s salary if the loan has been outstanding for more than ten years.
  • Prevent the Department of Education from seizing more than one student loan borrower than a borrower in a similar situation would pay under an income-driven repayment plan.
  • In addition, this bill would grant a right of action against employers if they improperly withhold wages owed to an employee.

Earlier this year, Senator Booker and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) led 30 of their colleagues in Congress to call the Trump administration for continuing to garnish the salaries of millions of student loan borrowers in difficulty, despite the CARES law prohibiting such wage garnishments during the public health emergency linked to the coronavirus. Senator Booker also wrote a letter to the New York Federal Reserve early last year regarding disparities in student loan defaults aggregated by demographics.

The full text of the legislation can be viewed here.

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