Category Archives: Student Loan Servicing

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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

The Looming Student Debt Crackdown: Compliance and Enforcement Lessons from the Foreclosure Crisis

Given the parallels between the current student loan debt crisis (including the CFPB, Illinois and Washington’s recent lawsuits against Navient) and the foreclosure crisis of 2010-14, now is a good time to reflect on the lessons learned from past experience. From our experience negotiating comprehensive deals with regulators, advising companies on how to comply in … Continue Reading

CFPB and Two States File Suit Against Student Loan Company Navient

The CFPB announced on Wednesday that it had filed a lawsuit against Navient Corporation, formerly part of Sallie Mae, and two of its subsidiaries for alleged “systematic” failures in student loan servicing. The complaint alleges claims under the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices … Continue Reading

Student Loans: Departments of Treasury and Education Move to Simplify Income Driven Repayment Plans

Much of the regulatory focus for student lending has been directed toward Income Driven Repayment (IDR) plans in recent months. The first student loan related move in 2017 by the Departments of Education and Treasury is no exception. On Tuesday, the Departments announced a joint effort to simplify borrower participation in IDR plans. Currently, borrowers … Continue Reading

CFPB Midyear Update Signals 3 Steps Student Loan Servicers Should Consider Taking Now

As regulatory pressure on student loan servicing continues to increase, servicers are paying close attention to the steady stream of news and publications issuing from the CFPB and the Department of Education. The most recent of these publications is the CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman’s Midyear Update on Student Loan Complaints. The Midyear Update gives an … Continue Reading

The Four Cornerstones: Regulatory Focus Sharpens on Student Loan Servicing Industry

We have previously written about recent regulatory focus on the student loan servicing industry. In particular, we discussed the issuance of a 151-page report issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) titled “Student Loan Servicing: Analysis of Public Input and Recommendations for Reform,” as well as the “Joint Statement of Principles on Student Loan … Continue Reading

CFPB Releases Report on Student Loan Servicing and Recommendations for Reform

Last week, the CFPB released a report summarizing the results of a two-month public inquiry into student loan servicing practices. At the same time, the CFPB, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, issued a Joint Statement of Principles on Student Loan Servicing, which “offer[s] a roadmap … Continue Reading

Changes to Military Lending Act on the Horizon

The Department of Defense (DoD) recently published its Final Rule amending the Military Lending Act’s (MLA) implementing regulation. The MLA, passed by Congress in 2006, provides active duty service members and their dependents with certain protections in a limited number of consumer credit transactions. It originally applied to (1) closed-end payday loans of less than … Continue Reading

CFPB Public Database Provides Access to Close to Half a Million Consumer Complaint Narratives

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently launched public access to its Consumer Complaint Database (Database), which is the nation’s largest public collection of consumer financial complaints. According to the CFPB, the Database is a collection of over 424,000 complaints, sent to nearly 3,000 companies for response and is updated with additional complaints nightly. The … Continue Reading

CFPB Turns Focus to Student Loans to Servicemembers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently published a report highlighting the difficulties military personnel encounter when dealing with servicers of student loans. Driven by the receipt of over 1,300 complaints from servicemembers regarding the collection and servicing of their student loans, the CFPB’s report (Overseas & Underserved: Student Loan Servicing and the Cost to … Continue Reading
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