SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued the following statement in response to an announcement by the Department of Education of its proposal to replace the Borrower Defense Rule. The proposed rule would make it more difficult for college students to seek relief after being defrauded by for-profit schools:
“Secretary DeVos’s spineless replacement rule stacks the deck in favor of predatory, for-profit schools and lenders over the students she is sworn to serve,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Far from defending the rights of borrowers, this rule makes the process of seeking relief more difficult, if not completely impossible. Secretary DeVos’s utter contempt for students under her watch is disgraceful. We’re prepared to fight this rule and to defend students against an agency that continually fails to protect them.”
Attorney General Becerra has relentlessly fought for the rights of student borrowers and elevated the issues within the Department of Education under the watch of Secretary DeVos. In July 2017, Attorney General Becerra joined a coalition attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against the Department of Education for unlawfully delaying the implementation of the rule. Later that month, he criticized the department for proposing a new rulemaking process to replace the rule. Attorney General Becerra then filed a lawsuit on December 14, 2017 against the Department of Education and Secretary DeVos for refusing to process debt relief claims under the rule submitted by tens of thousands of students who took out federal student loans to attend Corinthian Colleges. In July 2018, Attorney General Becerra decried the Trump Administration’s attempt to gut the original Borrower Defense Rule and in August 2018 he led a coalition to submit comment. In October 2018, and again in August 2019, Attorney General Becerra called on Secretary DeVos and Federal Student Aid Acting Chief Operating Officer Jim Manning to address the 99 percent denial rate for Public Service Loan Forgiveness applications. This program helps student loan borrowers who aspire to give back to their country or community by working in a public service field. In May 2019, he sent a letter urging the Department of Education to discharge the student loans of tens of thousands of veterans who were disabled as part of their service, by developing an automatic discharge program.