April 5, 2019
Carson City, NV – Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford joined a coalition of 20 attorneys general sending a letter to Department of Education (Department) Secretary Betsy DeVos. With their letter, the attorneys general renew their request to the Department to reverse limitations placed on the routine disclosure of student loan information to state law enforcement agencies.
In June 2018, without notice or opportunity for public comment, the Department changed its longstanding policy of routinely disclosing information about student loan borrowers to state law enforcement agencies. This includes information provided to state attorneys general working to protect students and student loan borrowers from predatory practices and to secure relief for those victimized by fraud and other unlawful conduct. In July 2018, 20 state attorneys general wrote to the Department to urge reversal of this change. Today’s letter renews this request.
“As attorney general, I’m in a unique position to ensure student loan servicers are conducting their businesses in compliance with Nevada’s consumer protection laws,” said AG Ford. “My fellow attorneys general and I are re-raising our concerns about the Department of Education’s policy that impedes the efforts of law enforcement agencies to protect the students the Department exists to serve.”
In the letter, the attorneys general note several reports, including one by the Department’s own Inspector General, that identify concerns with the Department’s oversight of student loan servicers, which are private companies that contract with the Department to service the student loans the Department owns. The attorneys general voice concerns about the need for dual oversight of these servicers due to increased concerns in recent years about these companies’ compliance with the requirements for servicing federal student loans and state consumer protection laws.
State attorneys general have taken numerous actions to enforce state consumer protection laws against servicers. They have also taken action to prevent widespread fraud in the for-profit education sector and the student loan debt adjustment sector. These actions have secured significant relief for struggling borrowers in states across the country.
In addition to Nevada, attorneys general from the following states participated in this letter: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington.
To view the issued letter, click here.