Nineteen Attorneys General Sue Over Student Debt Rules Revocation

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, alleges the Department of Education violated federal law by abruptly rescinding its Borrower Defense Rule, which cracked down on abusive higher education institutions that defraud students by allowing those students to obtain loan forgiveness.

In enacting the borrower defense rule previous year, the Obama administration reviewed over 10,000 comments from students, school officials and consumer advocates, and gave schools more than six months to prepare for the implementation.

These rules provide "updates to a regulation known as the borrower defense to repayment", which was established in the 1990s. Proponents of the revised rule were livid that DeVos made a unilateral decision without soliciting or receiving input from stakeholders or public. The Attorney General says the average student loan debt for a Pennsylvania college graduate is about $34,800, the third-highest average in the country.

The District of Columbia, Commonwealth of MA, along with 17 states filed the suit in Washington, D.C., Consumer groups Public Citizen and Project on Predatory Student Lending also sued over the delaying of the program which was drafted and then finalized towards the end of former President Barack Obama's administration.

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In a statement, Healey accused DeVos of siding with for-profit school executives "against students and families drowning in unaffordable student loans".

However both lawsuits argue that DeVos did not claim or make the case that any damage CAPPS would suffer would be irreparable.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is suing the US Department of Education and Secretary Betsy DeVos over delays in implementing Obama-era student loan borrower protections. Under the Borrower Defense Rule, former students of those schools who did not take out subsequent federal student loans qualify for automatic closed school discharge of their loans. The suit says the Department meant to delay large portions of the rule without soliciting or receiving any comment from stakeholders or members of the general public.

"Fraud, especially fraud committed by a school, is simply unacceptable", DeVos said in a statement when she blocked the rule. They also would ban mandatory arbitration agreements, which have prevented many students from suing schools that they believe have defrauded them.

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They students also claim they have a federal right to have the Education Department cancel their loans as a result of the school's unlawful conduct.

This new rule grew out of the recent collapses of major for-profit chains - like Corinthian and ITT - amid allegations that they had used inflated graduation and job-placement rates to mislead new students into paying top dollar for their education. But in a June statement, DeVos said her department would pause the regulations in order to "take a step back and make sure these rules achieve their goal: helping harmed students".

The Obama Administration developed the rules in response to state and federal investigations into for-profit schools. The Obama administration estimated the loan relief program would cost about $16.6 billion over the next 10 years.

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