Committee Democrats Call on Secretary DeVos to Fix Borrower Defense Application Process

WASHINGTON – Today, Committee on Education and Labor Democrats sent a comment letter to Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos opposing some of the Department’s proposed changes to the application to the Borrower Defense program. The Members expressed serious concerns that some of Department’s proposed changes are unnecessary and may deter applicants. 

The Borrower Defense program allows student loan borrowers to seek debt relief if they are defrauded by their institution.

In the letter, the Members note that some of the proposed sections may incorrectly apply regulations to the wrong pool of borrowers, present unnecessary challenges to borrowers completing the application, or contain incorrect information. 

“Overall, the Department should take steps to shorten the form, better target the questions depending on when the borrower took out his or her loan, and only ask questions that are needed to establish the facts,” wrote the lawmakers. “We request the Department consider making changes we have outlined above to improve the form’s clarity and accuracy.”

The Members also specify that much of the information requested by the Department contradicts the goal of the Paperwork Reduction Act, which requires federal departments to “minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond.” 

The letter comes after Secretary DeVos reached a settlement in federal court mandating that the Department process student loan forgiveness claims, after refusing to do so for 18 months.

Full text of the letter is available here.


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