Sunday, 08 December, 2019

NC joins lawsuit against Betsy DeVos on behalf of student loan borrowers

Betsy De Vos Sued By 18 States Over For Profit College Full Story NC joins lawsuit against Betsy DeVos on behalf of student loan borrowers
Christy Curtis | 07 July, 2017, 01:03

A group of 19 state attorneys general are suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for delaying an overhaul of rules to erase the federal student debt of borrowers defrauded by colleges.

The lawsuit, joined by Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and 18 other Democratic attorneys general, alleges that DeVos and the Department of Education violated federal law by abruptly rescinding its Borrower Defense Rule, which was created to protect students from abusive higher education institutions. The rule also provides automatic relief for students who are unable to finish their degrees because their school closes. US officials also sought to ban colleges-many of them for-profits-from mandating that aggrieved students use secretive arbitration instead of going to court, on the theory that it'd be easier for regulators to spot wrongdoing and students would be at less of a disadvantage.

They were to have taken effect July 1 along with a new gainful employment rule that would have limited the amount of debt that students at career-training schools - for-profit and not-for-profit - could take out relative to the incomes they were expected to earn.

DeVos, a Republican and advocate of public-private partnerships in education, said she wanted to suspend the rule that accelerated the existing debt cancellation process because the steps were muddled. These regulations are created to protect students who have loans at for-profit colleges that have committed fraud and deceived students. For-profit institutions said the rules unfairly target them as applications for loan forgiveness dramatically spiked following the collapse of some high-profile institutions. The suit was filed on Thursday.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who's leading the coalition that filed the lawsuit, called DeVos's actions a violation of federal law. It also banned mandatory arbitration agreements, which prevented many students from suing schools they believed to have defrauded them.

"Since Day One of the Trump administration, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the administration have sided with for-profit schools over students", Healey told reporters.

China's Xi To Trump: Hopes US Handles Taiwan Issue Appropriately
And recent USA naval maneuvers into areas China claims as its territorial waters have drawn sharp rebukes from Xi's government. Here is a review of the various public statements and tweets released by Trump and the White House on China and North Korea.

Healy noted that DeVos announced a review of the rule in May following a lawsuit against the Department of Education to stop the rule, from a group of for-profit colleges.

A spokeswoman for DeVos did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Josh Stein, sworn in as NC attorney general in January, has joined in a lawsuit seeking a lift on the Trump administration's freeze on student loan protections.

"Fraud, especially fraud committed by a school, is simply unacceptable".

The filing says that as it stands, the borrower defense rule "deters misconduct by educational institutions, and protects the well-being of the states' respective residents". Data released by the Obama administration in January found that more than 800 programs across the country were failing to meet the rule's standards.

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