Before Judiciary Committee Hearing On Student Loans, Durbin Meets With Illinois Attorney General Raoul

WASHINGTON – Prior to today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on student loan bankruptcy reform, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, met with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.  During the hearing, AG Raoul testified about the need for student loan bankruptcy dischargeability as a last resort to assist struggling student borrowers, particularly for students misled by for-profit schools that fail to provide adequate education. During their conversation, Durbin thanked AG Raoul for being a valuable partner in fighting against predatory for-profit colleges.

“Over the last decade, I’ve worked to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges that leave students drowning in debt without job prospects. Attorney General Raoul has worked alongside me to push back against this injustice and help students find relief. Today’s hearing on student loan bankruptcy reform is an important step forward to give struggling students a real chance for a fresh start. We must continue working to ensure that students in Illinois and nationwide are able to obtain a quality education without a mountain of debt.” said Durbin.

“For too many Americans, student loan debt is an unmanageable burden that prevents them from starting families or purchasing homes or vehicles. That debt is even more unmanageable for borrowers who attended for-profit schools and were misled into taking out expensive loans to pay for programs that did not result in the good-paying jobs students were promised,” Raoul said. “As Attorney General, I have worked to hold for-profit schools and bad actors in the student lending industry accountable, but states need the federal government’s support to help borrowers obtain relief. I am appealing to Congress to pass bankruptcy reform that will give student borrowers at least the same protections already enjoyed by the schools that broke their word. The time for reform is now because student borrowers who did everything right should not be left with debt they can never repay.”

A photo of their meeting is available here.

Today, Durbin unveiled new, bipartisan legislation, the FRESH START Through Bankruptcy Act, to restore the ability of student loan borrowers to discharge federal student loans after a waiting period of ten years. The bill also includes an accountability measure for schools that have consistently high default rates.