URGENT NEWS for our members that went to a 4profit school

Hello community,
We had a big day yesterday. Please take time to read through the information posted here.
•If you attended a 4profit school, you do not want to miss this information.
•This does require action if have filed your DTR and want to be a part of this lawsuit. "
•This is TIME SENSATIVE

For-Profit College Students File Lawsuit to Force Betsy DeVos to Follow the Law and Cancel their Student Loan Debt | Press Releas
June 25, 2019

BOSTON, M.A. – Today, 158,110 defrauded former for-profit college students filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos seeking to force the agency to follow existing law and issue the debt relief to which the former students are entitled.
Under existing law, students and former students are eligible for federal loan cancellation if the college misled the students or violated state laws relating to the students’ education—as is the case for all the colleges these former students received loans to attend.
The former students are pressing Secretary DeVos and the Department to follow the law and immediately process their claims for debt relief. The Department has not processed a single claim in over a year and many of these students and former students have been waiting over four years for resolution. The Department’s inaction comes after it issued these predatory loans in the first place, using taxpayer dollars, and despite known fraudulent conduct by for-profit colleges.
The case, Sweet v DeVos, was filed today in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in the San Francisco Bay Area. The plaintiffs, represented by the Project on Predatory Student Lending at Harvard’s Legal Services Center along with Housing & Economic Rights Advocates (HERA), are suing on behalf of a class of more than 158,000 former students who have filed applications for borrower defense to repayment. As the complaint states, the Department of Education is intentionally ignoring students’ borrower defense claims, has taken no action to resolve them, and in many instances, forcibly collects loans in spite of the students’ claims that the loans are not valid.
“We’re suing Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education to hold them accountable and protect students across the country,” said Project on Predatory Student Lending Director Toby Merrill. “The law is clear: students who experienced fraud should not be required to pay back federal loans that should never have been made by the Department in the first place. Since Betsy DeVos continues to ignore these students’ legal rights, the only way they can have their voices heard is through the courts.”
Jessica Jacobson, one of the named plaintiffs, submitted her borrower defense claim in 2015 after being scammed by the for-profit college, New England Institute of Art. She is still waiting for her $30,000 in federal loans to be cancelled.
“This has put my whole life on hold. I can’t sign for home, a car, anything because I don’t know what’s going to happen to this debt. It’s extremely stressful and impacts my whole family,” Jacobson said. “It’s beyond disappointing. The Department of Education did nothing to stop these schools from doing this in the first place and now they are ignoring those of us who were cheated on their watch.”
“The Department of Education has knowingly enabled for-profit colleges to defraud students,” said Eileen Connor, Legal Director at the Project on Predatory Student Lending. “It recklessly continued to act as a loan broker for disreputable schools despite clear records of abuse and misconduct, and now the Department refuses to acknowledge the damage it has done by issuing these predatory loans to students, at taxpayers’ expense. With this lawsuit, we will hold Betsy DeVos accountable and deliver justice for those students awaiting debt relief.”
“The Department has a duty to act on behalf of the countless Americans, including dozens of HERA clients, who have been defrauded by predatory for-profit schools,” said Natalie Lyons, Senior Attorney for Housing & Economic Rights Advocates. “Rather, the Department is abdicating its duty while thousands of individuals struggle under the weight of burdensome student loan debt and without the benefit of a credible education to advance their lives and the lives of their families. We’re taking this action, because of the Department and Secretary DeVos’ failure to do so.”
In addition to filing suit, the Project on Predatory Student Lending is calling on students—specifically those who were cheated by for-profit colleges and are awaiting the Department’s decision on their borrower defense claims—to support the litigation and share with the court the countless ways they have been hurt by the for-profit college industry and the Department. Students can supply written testimony in this lawsuit by filling out a simple online form here.
Click here to view quotations from students across the country who were defrauded by for-profit colleges, as well as statements of support for today’s litigation from organizations and elected officials.
Currently, 45 million Americans have nearly $1.6 trillion combined in student loan debt, depressing the economic progression of families and the broader economy. Today’s lawsuit addresses the most pernicious type of student loan debt—the kind made to students at abusive for-profit colleges. The Department of Education issued these loans despite glaring indicators that the schools would do nothing but rip off students. Ultimately, the students are paying the price for a worthless degree that has failed to improve their lives, and in many cases, has caused severe personal and economic setbacks. For-profit colleges account for 13 percent of the student population, but 47 percent of federal loan defaults. And 98 percent of all loan cancellation applications sent to the federal government in 2016 and 2017 were due to fraudulent for-profit colleges.

Background on the Case:
Over the past several decades, hundreds of thousands of students borrowed federal student loans to attend various for-profit colleges, including ITT Technical Institute, Corinthian Colleges, the Art Institutes, the New England Institute of Art, Salter College, Brooks Institute of Photography, and more. The schools falsely and deceptively promised students high-paying jobs, state-of-the-art vocational training, and long and fulfilling careers.
Since 2015, over 200,000 of these former students have asserted their right according to existing federal law to a complete discharge of their federal student loans due to their schools’ misconduct. As it was legally obligated to do, the Department of Education started to adjudicate these borrower defenses, approving nearly 28,000 borrower defenses in the six-month period before January 20, 2017.
Since then, under Secretary DeVos’ tenure, the Department of Education halted all processing of borrower defense claims. It has refused to adjudicate any borrower defense from any student since May 2018, and has ordered the office of Federal Student Aid (“FSA”) to stop processing any borrower defense application.
The Department of Education’s affirmative decision to keep these students in limbo—some for over four years—has further destroyed students’ credit and limited their access to federal student aid. For students who have defaulted on their loans, the Department of Education has invoked extraordinary extrajudicial powers to garnish their wages or seize their tax credits (for many, their Earned Income Tax Credit).
Named Plaintiffs bring this lawsuit under the Administrative Procedure Act on behalf of themselves and all other former students whose claims for loan cancellation have stalled.
Today’s lawsuit builds on past legal efforts to hold this administration accountable and protect students through court action. In the case of Williams v DeVos, students fought back against having their tax refunds stolen by the Department of Education, and won. In the case of Calvillo Manriquez v DeVos, students stopped the Department from using its illegal partial denial rule. And in Bauer v DeVos, a judge told the Department of Education that it must implement the 2016 Borrower Defense rule.

:loud_sound: Dead line is updated to July 12th
You can still file the affidavt.

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Please post your thoughts and questions about this lawsuit here.

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Here are some of the supporting statements for this lawsuit.

It says action is needed. I filed my DTR. What else do I need to be apart of this lawsuit? Thanks

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:loudspeaker:ATTENTION!!! BE SURE TO COMPLETE THIS STEP :date: by July 12th, 2019

Here is information on how to submit the affidavit FOR THOSE THAT HAVE A DTR ONFILE WITH DOE.

https://predatorystudentlending.org/testimony/

Have you submitted a borrower defense (defense to repayment) application to the Department of Education but have not received a decision? Read on!

On June 25, 2019, we filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Education because it is refusing to decide any borrower defense applications. In our lawsuit, we’re asking the Court to force the Department to start making decisions.

We’re asking the Court to allow us to represent all borrowers who have applied for borrower defense but who have not received a decision (like you!). To support this request, we’re going to need to show the Court how the Department’s refusal to make any borrower defense decisions is harming students. That’s where you come in.

This form will help you create an affidavit (written testimony) to share your story that we can use as evidence in our case. We think your experience is a critical piece of evidence explaining how borrowers are impacted by the Department’s inaction. We want the court to hear directly from students like you. Our goal is to share as many borrower defense applicants’ affidavits with the court as we can. We may not end up using all of the affidavits submitted, but by sending one in, you’re giving us permission to use it in our case.

Everything you say needs to be 100% accurate. What you write here is the same as if you were in a courtroom giving testimony. At the end, you have to sign under the pain and penalty of perjury (in other words, you’re swearing under oath that everything you put in it is true and that you could be subject to criminal liability if you intentionally lie).

After you submit this form, we’ll review it, format it, and send it back for your review.

Nothing in this form does, or is intended to, serve as a solicitation or offer to represent you concerning any legal problem. It does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and our law firm or any attorney with our firm. Because of this, the information you put into this form is not considered confidential.

THE FORM CAN BE COMPLETED AT https://predatorystudentlending.org/testimony/

PLEASE LET US KNOW BELOW WHEN YOU HAVE COMPLETE THIS STEP


The 2nd step to help building power is to make a 1minute :video_camera: video :point_down:

Love,
The Debt Collective

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I filed my DTR today. I’m also not a student but I filed the form for the affidavit anyway. Im a parent who’s trapped on this mess as well

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Thanks John. Really glad you join the group in taking action.
We will have more updates and ways to get involved soon.

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Hi all, I completed the affidavit! We need IRS to give refunds for offsets!!!

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I’ve also completed the affidavit

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I completed the affidavit and I agree the IRS needs to return offsets

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Done!

Completed it a few weeks ago when the first email went out.

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I already completed my affidavit and mailed the signed copy and I hope to get a resolution soon. The debt needs to come off because of the predatory practices and flat out lies from this Corinthian Colleges.

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I have completed this step!

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I have completed and submitted the Affidavit.

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Hello,

I just completed the affidavit as well.

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Just to clarify, it doesn’t say anywhere on the Predatory Student Lending Project site that the affidavit is required in order to be a part of the class action lawsuit. It only states that the lawsuit is representing “all borrowers who have applied for borrower’s defense and have not received a decision”. The website seemed to be asking for the affidavits to be used as evidence in the case. They said that they want to share as many as possible with the court. I don’t think they’re expecting all 158,000 people to send one in.

Where is this new information about it being a requirement coming from?

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Affidavit completed. Lets hope this nightmare ends soon!

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I just completed the affidavit, hope this helps.

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Completed mine. Sending out signed one ASAP.

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