Category Archives: Student Loan Servicing

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Federal Law Preempts Connecticut’s Student Loan Servicer Licensing Law, According to Federal Court

Several states have recently ramped up their regulation of the student lending industry by passing laws requiring student loan servicers to be licensed in the state in order to operate there. Many of these state licensing laws are creating conflicts for servicers in an industry already dominated by federal law. Now a U.S. District Court … Continue Reading

Misrepresentation Claims Not Preempted: Eleventh Circuit Rules Against Preemption in Student Loan Case

As we’ve been tracking for over a year now, courts across the country have addressed the significant question of whether the federal laws governing federally owned or guaranteed student loans preempt state laws placing burdens on servicers of those loans. Last week, the Eleventh Circuit became the latest court to weigh in, holding in Lawson-Ross … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Acts to Bolster Auto Finance, Credit Card, Student Lending Industries

In an action somewhat lost amidst the unprecedented $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors announced a series of five “extensive new measures” to provide liquidity for certain sectors of the nation’s economy. One of those liquidity facilities, the reintroduced Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020: Implications for Consumer Financial Services

On Friday, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020 (CARES Act). The significant legislation directs more than $2 trillion into fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and stimulating America’s economy for the duration of the pandemic. This blog summarizes some of the provisions that are most relevant to financial institutions that make or service … Continue Reading

What Will COVID-19 Relief Look Like and How Will It Affect Financial Services Companies?

Both parties have recognized the need for significant and immediate relief to assist consumers and small businesses affected by COVID-19. On March 18, 2020, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, released plans for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this point, the plans are merely a high-level list of … Continue Reading

How Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacting the Student Lending Industry?

Like the country and economy at large, the COVID-19 pandemic is significantly impacting secondary education and the student lending industry. In response to the pandemic, colleges across the country closed their campuses, sent students home, and turned to online learning platforms, creating uncertainty for current student borrowers. President Trump, Congress, and the U.S. Department of … Continue Reading

Credit Reporting During the COVID-19 Outbreak: Fannie Mae and the VA Offer New Guidance

We previously blogged about the push among lawmakers and regulators to encourage or force financial institutions to cease providing adverse credit reporting on consumer loans where the delinquency or default may be related to the outbreak of COVID-19. Given the rapidly changing environment, it is not surprising that there have been some material changes in … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Endorses Narrow Definition of TCPA Autodialer Creating Circuit Split

On January 27, 2020, a federal court of appeals issued a significant decision interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (commonly referred to as the “TCPA”) in a way that limits the expansive potential liability companies face under the statute. In Glasser v. Hilton Grand Vacations Company, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit … Continue Reading

Bankruptcy Court Rejects Brunner “Myth” and Discharges $220K in Student Loan Debt

Chief Bankruptcy Judge Cecelia Morris in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District recently reinterpreted Brunner’s “undue hardship” test and discharged over $220,000 in student loan debt. This opinion reflects a marked departure from a series of cases interpreting Brunner, a case that has guided the analysis of student loan dischargeability for over 30 years. … Continue Reading

First Circuit Holds that Parents’ Tuition Payments for Adult Children Are Fraudulent Transfers

Recently, the First Circuit held that a parent’s tuition payments on behalf of an adult child do not benefit the parent’s bankruptcy estate, and a Chapter 7 trustee may therefore claw the payments back as fraudulent transfers. The concept underlying fraudulent transfer law is that, if a person cannot pay his debts in due course, … Continue Reading

5th Circuit Joins the Growing Crowd Holding that Private Student Loans May be Dischargeable in Bankruptcy

The Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in Crocker v. Navient Solutions is a stark reminder to for-profit student lenders and servicers that bankruptcy caselaw continues to evolve relating to discharge. In Crocker, the Fifth Circuit joined the trend of cases holding that private student loans are dischargeable in bankruptcy. More specifically, the court affirmed a bankruptcy … Continue Reading

Navigating ADA Compliance Issues in an Online World

The landscape remains murky as to whether and how Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to websites. As the financial services industry moves increasingly and inexorably from a “bricks and mortar” presence to a virtual environment, these issues are likely to only become more prominent. With differing authority from courts across … Continue Reading

State Law Claims Based on Student Loan Servicer’s Loss Mitigation Representations Not Preempted by the HEA, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Holds

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck a blow to student loan servicers’ arguments that certain state law claims brought by borrowers are preempted under the Higher Education Act (HEA). In a lengthy opinion issued on June 27, 2019, in Nelson v. Great Lakes Educations Loan Services, Inc., the court held that a borrower’s state … Continue Reading

Student Loans in Bankruptcy: What’s on the Horizon?

Federal law has long excepted student loans from discharge in bankruptcy in all but the rarest instances, recognizing the problems (and costs) associated with allowing borrowers to wipe out defaulted debts through a bankruptcy filing. However, as the issues of access to college and affordability become frequent topics in political discourse, new ideas for radical … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Strikes Down TCPA Exemption for Collection of Government Debt, Putting Loan Servicers and Debt Collectors at Risk

A recent decision by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has significant – and possibly costly – implications for loan servicers and debt collectors seeking to collect on loans owed to or guaranteed by the United States. On April 24, the … Continue Reading

Student Loan Servicers’ Fight over Federal Preemption of State Regulation May End Up in the Supreme Court

In courts across the country, servicers are facing off against states and borrowers over the extent to which federal laws preempt state regulation of federal student loan servicers. Numerous states have stepped up their enforcement activity against student loan servicers and begun enacting new laws aimed at regulating student loan servicing, partially in response to … Continue Reading

Take It to the Limit: Increase in Chapter 13 Debt Limits

Individuals have several options when filing bankruptcy. Chapter 13 is often preferred for individuals with regular income who wish to keep their homes and other secured assets. In a Chapter 13 filing, the court will approve the debtor’s three-to-five-year payment plan, which generally provides for curing any pre-petition delinquency, maintaining payments on secured debt, and … Continue Reading

California’s Servicemember Protections Expanded for Student Loans

With the start of the new year, California has expanded protections for military servicemembers with student loans. Student loans incurred by a protected servicember before entry into service have an interest rate cap of 6 percent during the period of service plus one year thereafter. Additionally, student borrowers can obtain a deferment on their payment … Continue Reading

Can You Hear Me Now? Important Considerations for Avoiding Penalties under the TCPA after ACA International

In a previous blog post, we examined the “mixed bag” result of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission. The ACA International decision narrowed the scope of potential liability for businesses under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by striking down inconsistent and overly broad portions of the … Continue Reading

CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman Abruptly Resigns in Protest

In another move reflecting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) shifting focus on student lending, the CFPB’s Student Loan Ombudsman announced his resignation on August 27, 2018. In his resignation letter, Seth Frotman, who served as the Student Loan Ombudsman for the past three years, criticized reforms implemented by the CFPB’s current leadership and charged the … Continue Reading

Administration Seeks to Up the Bar for Student Loan Forgiveness Based on Fraud

The Trump administration is looking to stiffen the criteria for borrowers to obtain forgiveness of their student loans based on fraud. If enacted, this higher criteria would mark a significant shift for students who seek forgiveness under the established borrower defense claim. According to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the Department of Education’s “commitment and … Continue Reading

Two Opportunities for Student Loan Companies to Speak Up

Two recent requests from lawmakers have provided student loan servicers and originators the opportunity to comment on hot-button issues for the industry: The CFPB issued a Request for Information last week, seeking comments and information “to assist in assessing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of its supervision program and whether any changes to the program … Continue Reading

CFPB Rolls Out Student Loan Servicing Campaign Focusing on Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Despite the uncertain future of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray partnered with North Carolina’s Attorney General Josh Stein to roll out a new campaign focused on how student loan servicers should address borrowers applying for, and currently enrolled in, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF … Continue Reading

Student Loan Servicers Still Looking for Clarification on Reporting Obligations

There is surprisingly little guidance for student loan servicers when it comes to credit reporting. The only recent guidance directed at loan servicers came by way of an announcement from the U.S. Departments of Education and Treasury and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on April 28, 2016 (DoE Fact Sheet). The DoE Fact Sheet … Continue Reading
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