Last week, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) announced that it had entered into “a landmark agreement” with Meratas, Inc., a company that acts as a program manager of Income Share Agreements (ISAs) used to finance postsecondary education and training. The agreement includes the DFPI’s finding that ISAs made solely for the purpose of financing a postsecondary education are “student loans” under the SLSA.… Continue Reading
The Department of Education has announced that it has selected former CFPB Director Richard Cordray as the Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid. In addition to having served as CFPB Director, Mr. Cordray formerly served as Ohio Attorney General.
Rohit Chopra, President Biden’s nominee for CFPB Director, previously served as the CFPB’s Private Education Loan Ombudsman under Mr.… Continue Reading
The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation announced last week that it has entered into a consent order with Lambda, Inc., which does business as Lambda School, to settle the DFPI’s claims that a provision in Lambda’s student financing contracts was misleading. The consent order also resolves the DFPI’s claim that Lambda’s marketing materials were misleading. … Continue Reading
The CFPB has created a student loan infographic to highlight the state of student loans in the pandemic. Among the statistics included in the infographic is that, based on Department of Education data current as of September 2020, 87% of federal student loan borrowers had their federal student loans in administrative forbearance.… Continue Reading
The Department of Education announced last week that it is changing how it determines relief for borrowers who assert “borrower defense claims.” Such claims allege that the borrower was misled by his or her school or that the school engaged in other misconduct in violation of certain laws. Borrower defense claims only apply to federal loans made under the William D.… Continue Reading
California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into law the Student Borrower Bill of Rights, AB 376, as part of a package of consumer protection legislation. He simultaneously signed AB 1864, which creates the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) and the California Consumer Financial Protection Law, and SB 908, which requires licensure of certain persons who are engaged in the business of collecting, on behalf of themselves or others, debts arising from consumer credit transactions with consumers who reside in California.… Continue Reading
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) published a notice of proposed rules implementing the Student Loan Servicing Act in the July 10, 2020 issue of the Illinois Register. Written comments will be accepted for 45 days.
The CFPB announced that it has entered into a proposed settlement with a company and its three owner/officers for allegedly charging unlawful advance fees in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) in connection with their student loan debt relief business.
The complaint alleges that the company, Timemark Solutions, violated the TSR and CFPA by charging and collecting advance fees before consumers had received any adjustment of their student loans or made any payments toward such adjusted loans.… Continue Reading
Last week, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) requesting information about how OCR “plans to address alarming racial disparities in our federal student loan system through vigorous enforcement of the nation’s civil rights laws.” Taking aim at for-profit colleges and federal student loan servicers and debt collectors, the letter requests that OCR:
- “Detail all current and ongoing activities to address alarming racial disparities in student borrowing and student loan outcomes, including any relevant enforcement actions OCR has taken since the beginning of the Trump Administration in January 2017;
- “Launch a comprehensive investigation into the roles that predatory colleges and the student loan industry play in contributing to racial disparities in student borrowing and student loan outcomes, including recruitment and loan counseling practices, servicing and debt collection practices (including the charging of fines and fees on defaulted loans), and access to repayment plans and debt cancellation options for borrowers of color; [and]
- “Develop a new plan to address racial disparities, which should include new policy guidance to all entities involved in federal student aid programs regarding their current responsibilities under federal civil rights law, and any recommendations to Congress for how to legislatively address racial disparities in student borrowing and student loan outcomes.”
My colleagues and I have the privilege of advising numerous clients on income share agreements (ISAs), including universities, service providers, and institutional investors. So we were excited by reports that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) plans to publish a Federal Register notice for an Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI) that would facilitate ISA programs at Title IV schools.… Continue Reading