Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Maura Healey said education officials are worsening the problem by garnishing wages and seizing tax refunds from students who qualify for debt relief. "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".
Becerra's lawsuit argues that the department has provided no reasonable or adequate justification for the delay in reviewing pending claims, which it says are indistinguishable from already approved claims.
The lawsuit also claims that the administration has unlawfully declared that some of the loans in question are still valid, which has since led to involuntary collections from the paychecks of the students in question, according to Reuters.
Borrower-defense applications allow student loan borrowers to apply for loan discharge when they are misled or defrauded by their institution. Claims were being processed by the prior administration after a settlement a year ago. 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.
Amid federal and state investigations into how many students found work after graduating from its schools, for-profit Corinthian filed for bankruptcy and abruptly closed its 28 schools in 2015. Corinthian illegally used the seals of the armed forces in its advertisements to recruit veterans.
Last year, the attorney general's office won a judgment of more than $1.1 million against the for-profit operator. Although the Department of Education granted 28,000 claims between 2015 and January 20 of this year, the Trump administration stopped processing the claims this year as it re-examined the existing process for ruling on applications. "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". "Now they have to pay".
When he assumed office, Attorney General Becerra made protecting for-profit college students a top priority.
In his latest effort to take on the Trump administration, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra claims the U.S. Department of Education is refusing to let students off the hook for loans they're entitled to have forgiven. On the same day, the attorneys general of Massachusetts, New York, and IL, all Democrats, filed a separate lawsuit alleging that the Trump administration is violating federal law by refusing to hand down decisions on pending claims, the Washington Post reported.