This action is for everyone who attended a for-profit school who currently lives in California (so even if you used to live somewhere else or the for-profit school was located somewhere else, if you now live in CA this is for you).
As you probably already know, the Department of Education has been letting individual defense to repayment (DTR) applications sit on a shelf and gather dust. Many people have been waiting years for a decision on their individual application. The Department of Education’s strategy here seems to be to wait it out. They want to ignore these DTRs long enough for them to have time to rewrite the rules. Once they have rewritten the rules, they will be able to deny many more people the debt relief they deserve. At the moment we have no mechanism to force the Department of Education to actually process and make a decision on an individual DTR.
BUT, the good news is that there is another option here. The Attorney General can file a group discharge application which would cover all students who attended for-profits like Corinthian, ITT Tech, AI and other schools. Unlike an individual DTR, we do have a way to force them to respond to these group wide DTRs. Two other states have already done this, Massecuttes and Illinois. In a recent court case the judge ruled that the Department of Education cannot ignore these group DTRsin the same way that they are ignoring individual DTRs.
So what we want to do is organize everyone in California who has attended one of these schools to email the Attorney General’s office and tell them to file a group wide DTR.
We’ve created a template of for you to follow here:
What we would ideally like is to get the right contact person within the CA AG office to coordinate with, but for right now all of these letters should be routed through the “Public Inquiry Unit” so please email your letter to them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also cc me at email@example.com to help keep track of how many emails we have sent.
We have been talking with staffers in the Massecuttets AG office to help learn what is effective. They told us that it only takes a few dozen people to contact them about the same issue for it to get their attention. So let’s make a goal of getting 30 emails from people in California to get their attention. After that we can organize a group phone call or even in-person visits to their office to follow up and help them with the process of filing one of these group DTRs.
Please comment below if you get a response and share it with the rest of the group.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask them below. And if you know of anyone else in California who attended a for-profit school, like former classmates, friends or relatives, please recruit them to help with this action!