Home California Attorney General Takes Education Secretary DeVos To Court For Withholding Student Loan Debt Relief

Attorney General Takes Education Secretary DeVos To Court For Withholding Student Loan Debt Relief

by ECT

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education and its Secretary, Betsy DeVos, for refusing to process debt relief claims submitted by tens of thousands of students who took out federal student loans to attend Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (Corinthian). Students became eligible to apply for this relief after the courts found that Corinthian defrauded these students in violation of California consumer protection laws. More than 1 in 4 of those students with pending debt relief claims resided in California.

“What Secretary DeVos is doing is unconscionable,” said Attorney General Becerra. “After having their American Dreams stolen by a so-called higher education institution, Corinthian students are now being denied critical relief by a Secretary of Education hostile to their plight. It is hard to believe that we are forced to sue the Department of Education to compel Secretary DeVos to carry out the Department’s legal duty and help these students rebuild their lives. We will work to ensure that all who seek a college degree can do so without worrying about unscrupulous for-profit purveyors of a sham college education.”

The federal Higher Education Act entitles student loan borrowers to relief if they are defrauded by their schools. More than 50,000 such claims submitted by Corinthian students are pending before the Department of Education, 13,000 from Californians. The Department of Education promised many of these borrowers “expedited” student loan discharges. Prior to Secretary DeVos’s appointment, the Department had granted this critical relief to 28,000 student victims who were no different than those with pending claims. However, since the change in administration on January 20, 2017, the Department of Education has completely and inexplicably halted processing these claims. Today’s lawsuit follows repeated calls by state attorneys general from California and several other states, Members of Congress, and student advocates urging the Department to do its job and provide federal loan relief to defrauded Corinthian students.

In 2013, the California Attorney General’s Office led the charge against for-profit Corinthian Colleges and its subsidiaries, seeking to put an end to abusive practices that left students under a mountain of debt and far too often without the jobs Corinthian had falsely promised its degrees would provide. Corinthian specifically targeted low-income, vulnerable students through false advertisements that misrepresented job placement rates and the value of its educational programs. Corinthian illegally used the seals of the armed forces in its advertisements to recruit veterans. It also engaged in illegal debt collection practices. The California Attorney General’s Office ultimately obtained a $1.1 billion judgment against Corinthian for its misconduct.

The California Attorney General’s Office was instrumental in moving the Department of Education to implement a borrower-defense process to grant widespread, expedited loan relief to defrauded Corinthian borrowers. Based on a joint investigation with the California Department of Justice, the Department of Education under President Obama announced that tens of thousands of former Corinthian students were entitled to federal student loan relief. The Department announced a streamlined process by which former Corinthian students could apply for that relief.  Former Corinthian students can log on to https://oag.ca.gov/corinthian to find out if they are eligible to use this streamlined process.

When he assumed office, Attorney General Becerra made protecting for-profit college students a top priority. Since then, he has sued the online for-profit Ashford University and its parent company Bridgepoint Education for false advertising and illegal debt collection, announced a settlement that will provide $51 million in private student loan debt relief to Californians who attended Corinthian schools, and also twice sued the Department of Education and Secretary DeVos for unlawfully delaying key federal regulations – the Gainful Employment Rule and Borrower Defense Regulations – that would help protect students and taxpayers from misconduct by predatory for-profit schools.

Attorney General Becerra’s complaint was filed in parallel with a separate lawsuit by the Attorneys General of Massachusetts, Illinois, and New York. A copy of the complaint filed is attached to the electronic version of this release at oag.ca.gov/news.

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American Dec 14, 2017 - 11:46 am

Don’t you just love it when our tax dollars goes to suing ourselves?

This Becerra guy has to go. He is suing too many other government entities with our money. What a waste!

Buh-bye Dec 14, 2017 - 1:18 pm

Becerra has to go! This ignorant libtard continues to lower the bar. It’s no wonder all the other 49 states think CA is a joke.

Sean Maguidhir Dec 14, 2017 - 10:32 pm

I am very grateful Attorney General Becerra is pursuing these issues. As the legal representative for California, he is eminently qualified to present the state’s influence as the largest economic engine in the country.

General Becerra will never read this or any other comments. He has much bigger and better things to do.

Whack job Dec 15, 2017 - 10:33 am

Bigger things to do? Like actually win an election for the post he is currently serving? Perhaps you are unaware that he is filling a seat which he will soon have to run for. All of his “efforts” have been nothing more than political grandstanding (he wants to run for Governor). That’s right, he is playing you and you are falling for it. It’s campaingin #101. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Sean Maguidhir Dec 15, 2017 - 12:58 pm

To present a cogent reply, you should begin by using a better moniker.
However, I doubt AG Beccera has any interest in running for governor now. It is too late to toss his hat in the ring.

I suspect your belief that he is is held by you alone which is delusional. So, your moniker fits you perfectly.

EBJ Dec 17, 2017 - 6:52 pm

What in hell makes Becerra “qualified?’

American Dec 15, 2017 - 10:30 am

Sean, That’s nice, but it’s only intended for voters anyway. Stop wasting our tax dollars. He has to go.

Sean Maguidhir Dec 15, 2017 - 12:45 pm

I am more concerned about the obscene waste of our money by the this congress and show boat president. General Becerra will win his next full term easily. Maybe you could run for AG and show us all how it should be done. If AG is too lofty for you, try running for dog catcher.

just me Dec 15, 2017 - 10:53 pm

Mr. Maguidhir, I don’t think you know what you are talking about based on your commentary. I also don’t think you should be comparing political insight with those that you know nothing about.

That’s just my opinion, based on years of political experience. What is your opinion based on?

Sean Maguidhir Dec 16, 2017 - 12:23 pm

Who appointed you to the commentary police? Why do you feel the urge to comment on where I get my opinions? What does it matter? Knowing who I am or what are my political credentials are of little consequence to comment in an OPEN forum such as this.

I could easily turn this about and ask you the same questions. But, I won’t. I frankly don’t care about your sources and you should not care about mine.

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan often said, “Everyone, is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

just me Dec 17, 2017 - 10:24 am

And yet there you are Sean, projecting your unqualified opinion as fact.
“General Becerra will win his next full term easily.”

At least I repeatedly stated my comment was my “opinion” and qualifying it with my personal experience in the field. Trust me Sean, you couldn’t compete with my resume.

No one needed to appoint me. One might however wonder what the motives are in your overly defensive commentary posted on many of these threads. Defending Becerra, Frazier, the gas tax goes right to the heart of your alliances.

You outed yourself, no policing necessary.

Dawn Dec 17, 2017 - 10:54 pm

just me … You’re right-on-the-money .. Remember the saying, “illigitimi non carborundum”

Sean Maguidhir Dec 18, 2017 - 12:52 am

Your resume means nothing on a forum where everyone uses a pseudonym so it remains as nothing more than witless boasting.

Simply stating a preference for a political position does not disqualify my opinion as valid. Never stating any comment as a fact, they are opinions derived from my perspective. As is yours.

If you don’t agree with them, so be it. I will not loose one moment of sleep. However, your shallow attempt to rise to a lofty intellectual position will not sway me. This is not my first rodeo, nor will be my last.

Elizabeth E. Parker Dec 18, 2017 - 6:19 pm

I use my real name, Sean! Now, knock it off with the one-upmanship already! You’re not winning any converts!

Lola Saavedra Dec 16, 2017 - 8:52 pm

This Becerra guy is a total idiot! He is using tax payer money for other things like his “resistance” to the election of President Trump! He is the one who hired that idiot Eric Holder and his firm to file lawsuits against the Trump administration. The law firm for which Holder works were hired by the Saudi Arabian government to protect them against lawsuits filed by American victims and survivors of the 9/11 attacks! Holder should be run out of this state!

Comments are closed.