The CFPB published its Consumer Response Annual Report for 2023, which discusses the consumer complaints received by the CFPB in that year and how companies responded to those complaints. The CFPB monitors consumers’ complaints and companies’ responses in order to glean information about the types of challenges consumers are experiencing with financial products and services.… Continue Reading

On March 28, 2024, four former Walden University students (“Plaintiffs”) filed a proposed settlement both individually and on behalf of a putative class of current and former Walden University (“Walden”) students with the Federal District Court for the District of Maryland to resolve allegations first raised against Walden in a complaint more than two years ago.… Continue Reading

On February 20, 2024, the California Court of Appeal largely affirmed an eight-figure judgment against Ashford University (“Ashford”), an on-line, for-profit college, and its parent company, Zovio, Inc. (formerly Bridgepoint Education) for violations based on false and misleading statements to prospective students. Ashford and Zovio had not challenged the trial court’s liability determination, but sought review and reduction of the penalty awarded in that action.… Continue Reading

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently entered into proposed stipulations with a group of student loan debt relief providers to resolve allegations that the group conducted deceptive marketing and sales practices in collecting over $8 million in “junk fees” for nonexistent debt relief services.

Last August, the FTC filed a complaint against Express Enrollment LLC (d/b/a SLFD Processing), Intercontinental Solutions LLC (d/b/a Apex Doc Processing LLC), and their operators Marco Manzi, Ivan Esquivel, and Robert Kissinger alleging violations of the unfair or deceptive acts or practices (“UDAP”) prohibitions of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act , the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”), and Section 521 of the Gramm Leach Bliley Act, which prohibits obtaining a person’s financial information by making false statements, in connection with their deceptive marketing and sale of student loan debt relief services.… Continue Reading

With federal student loans approaching $1.7 trillion, private student loans approaching $129 billion, strident consumer group advocacy, and national elections on the horizon, student loan origination and servicing continues to be a focal point for federal and state regulators.  In this episode, which repurposes a webinar, we first discuss recent developments at the Department of Education involving loan forgiveness, the framework for servicer accountability, preemption guidance, and new repayment plan. … Continue Reading

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau highlighted its observations of the resumption of federal student loan payments by consumers after more than three years of a payment moratorium due to COVID-19 in a report released on January 5, 2024. The report, titled “Issue Spotlight: Federal Student Loan Return to Repayment,” highlights several issues it maintains are confronting consumers, including extended call hold times, processing delays in income-driven repayment applications, and inaccurate billing and disclosure statements.… Continue Reading

The White House signaled last week that, with the resumption of federal student loan payments, federal student loan servicers can expect to face increased scrutiny. The Department of Education issued a “Framework for Student Loan Servicer Oversight and Accountability to Protect Borrowers” and indicated that “[t]he framework’s strategies help the Department to encourage servicers to better support borrowers and allows the Department to hold their feet to the fire when they have servicing failures.”… Continue Reading

On October 13, 2023, the California Department of Financial Innovation (DFPI) published final regulations implementing the Student Loan Servicing Act (“SLSA”) and the Student Loans: Borrower Rights Law. The final regulations are the culmination of two sets of proposed regulations from the DFPI, which we previously covered here. The final regulations become effective January 1, 2024.… Continue Reading

The CFPB recently released a report regarding higher education tuition payment plans that discusses prevailing practices and highlights certain CFPB concerns regarding consumer impact. The CFPB’s report was based upon (a) a review of hundreds of postsecondary school and college websites that contain publicly available information on tuition plans and related contracts, (b) consumer complaints submitted to the CFPB and Department of Education, and (c) interviews with consumers and meetings with industry participants.… Continue Reading

The CFPB has published a notice in the Federal Register seeking comment on its request for approval by the Office of Management and Budget of a new one-time survey of student loan borrowers.  Comments must be received by September 18, 2023.

The survey is intended to allow the CFPB “to understand [student borrowers’] borrowing decisions, their experience managing their loans, and their expectations for the future.” … Continue Reading