Protect the Borrower's Defense to Repayment Program (Student Loan Forgiveness)

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Betsy DeVos Plans to Gut the Effectiveness of Borrower's Defense

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's proposed updates to BDAR will effectively kill this program's ability to eliminate fraudulent student debt.

The latest round of proposed updates are the worst I've ever seen, literally, in a decade of following the student loan industry, including:

1. Requiring that the school you accuse of fraud or illegal activity must have committed it with "known falsity, intent to deceive, or reckless disregard for the truth"; making it significantly harder to receive approval for a discharge.

2. Making it impossible for anyone to make group claims (similar to class action lawsuits) against the schools, lenders and servicing companies who have scammed millions of ordinary Americans out of billions of dollars in student loans.

3. Changing the "institutional financial responsibility standards" applied to these schools, lenders and servicing companies to make it even more difficult to get any money back from them, even when they're found guilty of committing fraud!

4. Making it impossible to apply for a Borrower's Defense Discharge unless you've already defaulted on your loans, meaning that you would need to destroy your credit and voluntarily default on your debt to even have a chance of getting approved for a BDAR discharge.

These changes will not help the ordinary American borrower. They're being put in place to protect the for-profit schools, wall street banks and big money student loan servicing companies preying on ordinary Americans via unsustainable student loan debt.

This proposal must be stopped! Please, contact your elected representative, your Senators, and anyone else who will listen to let them know that you are 100% against these updates proposed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

If we can't stop these changes from going into effect, the BDAR program will be effectively gutted and our best access to student loan forgiveness will be cut off forever.

Please share this petition with your friends, colleagues and family members, and request that they support us by spreading the message via Social Media. Without your support, Betsy DeVos will win and the Borrower's Defense Program will be entirely destroyed.

The more people who see and sign this petition, the better the odds we have in stopping Betsy DeVos from killing the Borrower's Defense to Repayment Program.

Previous Updates:

The Department of Education has frozen the Borrowers Defense to Repayment Program.

The Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Program was created to erase "the federal loan debt of student borrowers who were cheated by colleges that acted fraudulently". 

This program was originally negotiated by the Obama Administration, and set to go live on July 1st, 2017, but Betsy DeVos (head of the Department of Education) recently "froze" the new rules from going into effect, calling them "a muddled process that's unfair to students and schools".

Mrs. DeVos has promised to create "a new rule-making committee to reconsider the matter from scratch", but she cannot be trusted to protect the financial interests of ordinary Americans, as has been made clear by her recent actions to eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

In fact, Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey made it quite clear that Mrs. DeVos is woefully disinterested in helping the American taxpayer, as "since Day 1, Secretary DeVos has sided with for-profit school executives against students and families drowning in unaffordable student loans." 

The Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Program was the most powerful, most needed Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program on the books in 2017, and the most important program for the hundreds of thousands of students impacted by the closures of ITT Tech, Corinthian Colleges, and several other massive for-profit schools.

Without the Borrowers Defense to Repayment Program, these Americans will be stuck with billions of dollars worth of Federal student loans that never should have existed in the first place.

This program was created to allow Americans to discharge loans that were created due to false promises and fraudulent claims by the schools who swindled students into believing they were purchasing a valuable education, but who received nothing but frustration and stress for their time and money.

The plan to eliminate the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Program is an outrage to everyone who has been abused by for-profit schools, and it's elimination is sure to devastate the finances of thousands of American families.

We ask that Members of Congress do everything in their power to force Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education to restore the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Program.

References:

https://www.educationdive.com/news/how-betsy-devos-is-upending-the-obama-era-legacy-of-higher-education/529025/

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/08/betsy-devos-education-department-for-profit-colleges-debt/

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/08/07/devos-regulatory-framework-means-less-pressure-colleges-tougher-standard-student

https://www.forbes.com/sites/prestoncooper2/2018/08/02/borrower-defense-trump-administration-sullies-otherwise-sensible-reforms/#1f2093f356e8

https://www.forgetstudentloandebt.com/student-loan-relief-programs/federal-student-loan-relief/federal-forgiveness-programs/defense-to-repayment-student-loan-discharge/



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