Education Law

Student loan forbearance extended again as nominations sought for rule-making committee on discharges and forgiveness

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On Friday, two significant student loan announcements came from the U.S. Department of Education—it has made a final pause on repayments, extending the time period from September to the end of January 2022, and it’s seeking nominations for a rule-making committee that will rewrite student loan regulations.

News releases for the announcements can be seen here and here.

The rule-making committee will negotiate issues, including borrowers’ defense to repayment, public service loan forgiveness, income-contingent repayment, closed school discharge and total and permanent disability discharges. The department is seeking nominations for negotiators, advisers and subcommittee members.

“This rule-making committee will do the important work of improving borrowers’ access to benefits that reduce the burden of federal student loans, including targeted discharges. We look forward to convening the committee and remain committed to the mission of better serving our nation’s students and borrowers,” said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in the news release.

Nominations for committee, subcommittee or advisers should be emailed to [email protected] According to the news release, the DOE is “especially interested” in nominations from low-income or historically underserved communities.

Also, on Monday, the department released new legal interpretation regarding federal student loan servicing, which will help states enforce rules meant to protect borrowers.

In June, the ABA asked the Biden administration to take steps to relieve the burden of student loan debt, including by suspending or forgiving some of the debt.

ABA President Patricia Lee Refo said in a June 8 letter the association appreciates congressional efforts to resolve the problem.

Updated Aug. 9 at 7:19 a.m. to add information about student loan forbearance and borrowers’ bill of rights interpretation.

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