California Attorney General Urges Secretary DeVos, Acting Secretary Miller To Guarantee Critical Student Loan Interest Relief For U.S. Veterans

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November 12, 2020 – SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Wednesday sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller for updates on their efforts to relieve military members of their obligation to pay interest on student loans while serving in a combat zone. In 2008, Congress waived all interest charges for direct student loans for military personnel serving on active duty during a war, military operation, or national emergency, and receiving hostile fire or danger allowance. imminent. However, the Office of Consumer Protection estimates that in 2015, military borrowers eligible for the rebate paid more than $ 100 million in unnecessary interest charges on their federal student loans. In today’s letter, Attorney General Becerra urges Secretary DeVos and Acting Secretary Miller to do everything possible to ensure that payments on unnecessary interest charges are automatically refunded and eligible military personnel are protected. against illegal overcharging in the future.

“Today we recognize the service and sacrifice of service members, veterans and their families. These American heroes have stood up for us, so in any way we can, we must support them ”, said Attorney General Becerra. “Historically, the Department of Education has failed to honor its commitments to our country’s military, including the obligation to provide interest relief on student loans to veterans. Every dollar counts for a soldier with past due student loan debt. I am seeking information from the Pentagon and the Department of Education to determine whether these agencies are fulfilling their obligations to those who have dedicated their lives and careers to serving and protecting our country. It’s time to turn the corner.

Last November, the Department of Education and the Department of Defense announced a proposed data matching program that would provide automatic debt relief to eligible veterans. Since then, it is not known whether, and to what extent, this program has been implemented or used to provide repayments or other debt relief to eligible borrowers. In the letter, Attorney General Becerra calls on agencies to confirm whether an automatic debt relief program has been implemented for eligible borrowers. If the program has been implemented, the letter requests a description of the program, as well as critical information regarding the administration and effectiveness of student loan relief for eligible military personnel. If the program has not yet been implemented, the letter asks for an explanation of why and seeks information on the number of borrowers who are eligible for the relief but have not yet received it.

Attorney General Becerra is committed to protecting and supporting our military families. In May 2019, Attorney General Becerra sent a letter urging the Department of Education to pay off student loans for tens of thousands of disabled veterans as part of their service, by developing an automatic release program. In June 2020, the Attorney General Becerra filed a complaint against Secretary DeVos and the Ministry of Education for his failure to implement the extended civil service loan waiver program. In addition, in October 2018, Attorney General Becerra sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Condemning Acting Director Mick Mulvaney for removing the agency’s oversight of lenders under the Military Loans Act. In addition, the Attorney General’s office was instrumental in advocating for an automatic discharge of closed schools provision in the Obama-era borrower defense rule, which was passed in the wake of a negotiated regulation involving our office, and which provided automatic discharges to student borrowers who had attended the ITT technical institute and Corinthian colleges.

A copy of the letter is available here.
Source: CA. MJ

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