The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) files this comment in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule that would amend the Borrower Defense to Repayment provision of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and rescind and rewrite previously promulgated regulations from 2016. CRL is extremely concerned about the Department’s decision to rewrite rules meant to protect students and taxpayers from unscrupulous for-profit colleges and its tacit refusal to hold these schools accountable for their predatory tactics and activities. Moreover, CRL finds the Department’s current proposal woefully inadequate to meet the aims of the statute or to conform to the Department’s own mission. The proposal would dramatically curtail relief for wronged borrowers by providing a very limited basis for claims, coupled with an insurmountable evidentiary standard. The proposed rule would also compound the already negative effects of a poor, costly education with even more economic risk by forcing borrowers to default in order to even pursue relief. Finally, the rule would increase costs to students and taxpayers by billions and ensure that even the worst actors continue to receive federal funds. Combined, the new standards will ultimately fail to hold bad actors accountable and allow them to continue to take advantage of the federal loan program. Continue reading the comment.

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