The Ministry of Education deliberately thwarted the loan forgiveness process
An official from the United States Department of Education filed a whistleblower complaint, alleging that the Trump administration and DeVos have deliberately made it more difficult for student loan borrowers to apply for a loan forgiveness program.
The whistleblower’s complaint concerns the Borrower defense program until repayment. This loan forgiveness program was originally adopted by the Obama administration to provide student debt relief to students who have been misled, swindled or otherwise harmed by predatory colleges and universities.
The Trump administration has been trying to rewrite the rules governing the borrower defense agenda since 2o17, weakening the relief given to student loan borrowers and increasing the burden of proof required to prevail.
President Trump recently sided with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and bipartite legislation with veto it would have restored the rules for defending borrowers from the Obama era. In the meantime, the Department is settle a class action brought by student loan borrowers, who alleged that the administration illegally refused to process more than 170,000 pending borrower defense claims, in some cases for years.
The whistleblower argues that career officials at the Department of Education were tasked with overhauling the department’s federal student aid website, and part of that overhaul involved the creation of a new user-friendly web interface. for borrowers interested in applying for a student loan exemption under the Borrower. Defense program. But, according to the whistleblower, senior education ministry officials rebuffed the website’s user-friendly nature. An official allegedly told the whistleblower that the website provided borrowers with too much information and made it too easy to apply, which was contrary to the Ministry’s vision for the borrower advocacy agenda.
The Department of Education ultimately took down the proposed website altogether. Career ministry workers are apparently in an ongoing internal battle with senior officials and people appointed by politicians to rework the site’s design. The whistleblower argues that the goal of these senior officials is to restrict access to borrowers’ Defense loan cancellation program and make it more difficult for borrowers to seek relief.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education disputed the allegations in the whistleblower’s complaint, stating that “Anyone who says anyone in the department has attempted to delay or obstruct the development of a new form of defense of the borrower or a new website is lying. “
In the meantime, student loan borrowers are sue Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, arguing that the new borrower defense rules are an illegal attempt to deny relief to student loan borrowers under the program. “These students were deceived and deceived by predatory schools, and every dollar in federal student loans was based on these lies. They have the legal right to write off every dollar of those loans, ”said Toby Merrill, director of Project on Predatory Student Lending, an organization representing borrowers in this lawsuit.