Education Law

Education Department announces plan it claims will help scammed students discharge school debt

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A 2019 U.S. Department of Education policy on student debt discharge, which raised the burden of proof for applicants claiming that they were misled by their schools and put in place a plan that only granted partial relief for some, was rescinded Thursday.

The agency has adopted a streamlined approach for full relief under the regulations, and that’s expected to help 72,000 borrowers, according to a DOE news release.

“This is the department’s first step in addressing borrower defense claims, as well as the underlying regulations. The department will be pursuing additional actions, including re-regulation, in the future,” according to the release.

Borrower defense applications were rarely made until the for-profit Corinthian colleges collapsed in 2015, and the business was accused of lying about job and graduation rates, MarketWatch reports.

The Project on Predatory Student Lending, a community law group at Harvard Law School, has an ongoing lawsuit against the DOE, seeking debt relief for 200,000 former for-profit college students who applied for but have yet to receive student loan discharge, according to the article.

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