Herring asks DeVos to stop delaying student loan forgiveness

Attorney General Mark R. Herring and his fellow state attorneys general are asking U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education to live up to their commitments and cancel federal student loan debt for previously approved students in Virginia and around the nation who were victimized by for-profit Corinthian Colleges, Inc.

mark herringAbout 27,000 students nationwide who have already been approved for loan forgiveness have yet to see their loans discharged and some students face restarting monthly payments on debts that should be canceled. Many former Corinthian Colleges students are also reporting delays in review and approval of their loan cancelation applications.

“These students were victims of Corinthian’s deceptive practices and deserve to have their student loan debt forgiven as allowed by law,” said Attorney General Herring. “Delay in canceling this debt, especially for students who have already been approved, could put even greater financial strain on students in Virginia and around the country. I hope Sec. DeVos and DOE will do the right thing, honor their commitments, and forgive this student loan debt as soon as possible.”

In a June 5 letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Attorney General Herring urges the Department of Education to review the mounting applications and work to timely finalize the discharge of loans where forgiveness has already been approved. The letter was joined by 20 state attorneys general and regulators.

The letter presses DeVos to provide information on what the department is doing to rectify the growing backlog of applications, and to provide a timeframe for discharge of the student debt. In addition, since the Department of Education has already determined that these students are eligible for loan forgiveness, the letter urges DeVos to abandon the application process and automatically discharge all eligible loans.

After intense scrutiny by various government entities, for-profit Corinthian Colleges abruptly ceased operations in 2015. Corinthian owned and operated campuses in Arlington, Chesapeake, Newport News, and Tysons Corner.

The Department of Education found that while it was operating, Corinthian made widespread misrepresentations between 2010 and 2014 about post-graduation employment rates for certain programs at its campuses.

About 5,000 Virginia students who attended programs at Corinthian schools received a letter in December 2016 explaining that they are eligible for streamlined federal student loan cancelation based on the Department of Education’s findings. The students were directed to fill out a short application for the Department of Education.

The Virginia students were notified as part of a bipartisan effort by 47 attorneys general across the country to inform more than 100,000 former Corinthian students that they are eligible for streamlined loan cancelation.

“Relieving these hard-working Americans of their fraud-induced student debt will free them to participate more fully in their local economies, or even continue their educations with reputable schools,” the letter explains.

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