Durbin Meets With Secretary Of Education To Discuss Debt Relief For ITT Tech Students

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with U.S. Department of Education Secretary John King, Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, and Chief Enforcement Officer Rob Kaye to discuss the closure of ITT Tech Educational Services, Inc. (ITT Tech), debt relief options for ITT Tech students, and the future of for-profit colleges. The group was joined by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH). During the meeting, Senator Durbin praised the Department for its decision in August to protect students and taxpayers by banning ITT Tech from enrolling new Title IV students. He pushed King to provide expanded relief to ITT Tech students through Closed School Discharges and Defense to Repayment.

“There is widespread evidence that ITT Tech engaged in unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices that could provide the basis for ITT Tech students to make a Defense to Repayment claim for federal student loan relief with the Department. I encouraged Secretary King to work with state Attorneys General and other federal agencies with this evidence to open the avenue for expedited relief for ITT Tech students,” said Senator Durbin. “While we must provide the relief to which students are entitled under the law, much more needs to be done to ensure the offending schools themselves are on the hook and not taxpayers.  I look forward to a strong Borrower Defense Rule from the Department that includes expanded use of Letters of Credit and bans mandatory arbitration without loopholes to allow students to hold schools directly accountable in court for wrongdoing.”
Earlier this month, Senator Durbin joined 22 senators urging the Department of Education to “use its existing legal authority to increase the total debt relief and support available to former ITT Tech students.” Specifically, the senators requested an extension of the current 120-day window to allow students who withdrew before the school’s closure to receive a discharge, making loan discharge more automatic for students who don’t fill out a formal application, stopping collections on ITT Tech borrowers in default, and preventing or retracting any negative credit bureau reporting by loan servicers.
ITT Tech operated four campuses in Illinois – three in the Chicagoland and one in Springfield. The company is under investigation by at least 18 state Attorneys General, including Illinois’ Lisa Madigan, for a variety of misleading and deceptive practices and is being sued by the New Mexico Attorney General, Massachusetts Attorney General, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Securities and Exchange Commission.
Students who believe they were defrauded, misled, or ITT Tech otherwise engaged in illegal practices with regard to their loans or the educational services they paid for can visit www.studentaid.gov/borrower-defense to learn how to submit a Defense to Repayment claim for federal student loan relief.