Durbin Statement on DeVos Settlement in Borrower Defense Lawsuit

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Education promised to process student loan forgiveness claims for nearly 170,000 borrowers within 18 months as part of a proposed settlement announced Friday in a federal lawsuit:

“One hundred seventy thousand defrauded student loan borrowers won big yesterday in federal court thanks to a settlement that forces Secretary DeVos to finally process claims for relief.  However, that still leaves thousands of future student victims uncertain of Secretary DeVos’ new rules.  It’s about time that Secretary DeVos stops making excuses for the rotten for-profit schools and stands with students and veterans.”

Last month, the Senate voted on a bipartisan basis to approve Congressional Review Act (CRA) H.J.Res. 76, which overturned the U.S. Department of Education’s 2019 Borrower Defense rule that guts essential protections for student borrowers and taxpayers.

In September, Durbin introduced the Senate version of the CRA, (S.J.Res. 56), and the House of Representatives voted on a bipartisan basis in January to pass its version of the measure, H.J.Res. 76, introduced by Lee.

The resolutions were supported by a number of organizations, including veterans’ organizations such as The American Legion.

The DeVos borrower defense rule makes it almost impossible for borrowers who are defrauded by their school or harmed by their school’s closure to receive the relief to which they are entitled, and which Congress intended, under the Higher Education Act (HEA).  According to an analysis by The Institute for College Access and Success, the DeVos borrower defense rule will cancel just three percent of all loans associated with misconduct.