Borrowers demand responses from DeVos over “general refusals” to forgive student loans

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Student loan borrowers have filed new legal documents in an ongoing legal battle with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over widespread denials of student loan cancellation requests.

The last flight of Soft against DeVos concerns the program of defense against the repayment of the borrower in difficulty. This loan forgiveness program was originally created by the Obama administration to provide student debt relief to students who have been misled, defrauded, or otherwise harmed by predatory colleges and universities – often for-profit schools.

Under Secretary DeVos, the Education Department attempted to rewrite the rules governing the borrower advocacy program. New rules that went into effect on July 1 of this year significantly weaken the borrower defense relief given to student loan borrowers by increasing the burden of proof required to prevail and imposing a strict limitation period.

Borrower advocates have previously accused DeVos and the Department of Education of deliberately delaying the processing of more than 170,000 borrower advocacy claims, in some cases for years. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Education disputed this, saying some requests had in fact been processed and the department had not processed additional requests due to an ongoing litigation. A recent preliminary settlement agreement in the Soft against DeVos the case would force the Ministry to process the thousands of remaining delayed borrower defense submissions.

However, the borrowers are now accusing the department of circumventing the spirit of the settlement agreement by essentially arbitrarily denying relief to almost everyone. “Since the preliminary settlement in Soft, [the Department of Education] has issued blanket denials of borrower defense demands, ”said Project on Predatory Student Lending – which represents borrowers – in a Tweeter Monday. “Reviews don’t make sense, [and are] in violation of the law and [settlement] agreement.”

In one movement For a case management conference, the applicant student loan borrowers informed the court of their concerns that the ministry “is issuing denials using catchy, conclusive language that provides no rationale for the decision … language is a formula and gives no indication that the Ministry has bound the evidence submitted by the Borrower or otherwise possessed by the Ministry with its final decision.

Borrowers also noted that in some cases the decisions of the Ministry were “foolish”. Citing an example, the brief indicated a case where the borrower alleged that ITT’s Technical Institute had committed a fault relating to “educational services”. The Ministry denied the borrower any redress, stating simply: “This allegation fails for the following reason (s): educational services. In other cases, the Ministry says its decisions were based on unspecified evidence, which it then refused to provide to borrowers on request.

The Ministry challenged the characteristics of its Borrower Defense decisions. In an attached affidavit, counsel for DeVos and the Department stated that they[traduction]”Do not agree with the [borrowers’] characterization of the issues addressed in their motion.

The Predatory Student Loan Project reported that during a hearing into the plaintiff’s petition, the presiding judge asked the Education Department to provide more information on the denials by next week.

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