On December 12, 2022, the Supreme Court announced that it would grant a petition for certiorari as to the separate loan-forgiveness challenge pending before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and calendar the matter for argument in February 2023.

On December 1, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari to consider the standing of the plaintiffs who obtained an an injunction from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals that currently prevents the Biden Administration from enacting its plan to forgive approximately $400 billion in federal student loans. … Continue Reading

On December 1, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed an application by the Biden Administration to vacate an injunction entered by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals that currently prevents the administration from enacting its plan to forgive approximately $400 billion in federal student loans.  Justice Kavanagh—the designated Justice for certain emergency appeals from the Eighth Circuit—referred the Administration’s application to the full Court, which, on its own initiative, converted the application to a petition for writ of certiorari before judgment and granted the petition. … Continue Reading

Having stood up and promoted the whistleblower program at the CFPB, it appears that Richard Cordray may now be taking similar steps at Federal Student Aid (“FSA”).  On November 10, the Department of Education (“ED”) and FSA issued a bulletin inviting whistleblowers to provide information about potential violations of the Higher Education Act (“HEA”) and its implementing regulations. … Continue Reading

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced final regulations, effective July 1, 2023, designed to expand and improve the major student loan discharge programs authorized by the Higher Education Act.  Among other things, the final regulations prohibit institutions that participate in the Federal Direct Loan program from requiring borrowers to sign mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements or class-action waivers that would be applicable to disputes about Direct Loans. … Continue Reading

On September 29, 2022, the Attorneys General of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against President Biden, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, and the U.S. Department of Education (4:22-cv-01040) seeking to halt implementation of the Biden Administration’s student loan relief plan announced on August 24, 2022.… Continue Reading

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced proposed regulations designed to expand and improve the major student loan discharge programs authorized by the Higher Education Act.  Among other things, the proposed regulations would prohibit institutions that participate in the Federal Direct Loan program from requiring borrowers to sign mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements or class-action waivers. … Continue Reading

On April 19, one day before the release of a highly critical performance audit by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Department of Education (ED) announced a series of actions it is taking to “address[] historical failures in the administration of the federal student loan programs.”  The actions are directed at income-driven repayment (IDR) plans, which are used by student borrowers on over half of the more than $1 trillion in outstanding federal student Direct Loans. … Continue Reading

After reviewing the existing types of federal student loans and forgiveness programs, we discuss the current political debate over forgiveness, including the Education Dept.’s upcoming analysis of the President’s forgiveness authority and other analyses of such authority, potential legal sources of such authority, and how courts might respond to challenges to any Presidential action to forgive federal student loans.… 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 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