AG Healey and U.S. Senator Warren Seek Cancellation of Loans for Students Victimized by For-Profit School
AG’s Office Urges U.S. Department of Education to Discharge Federal Loans from For-Profit Schools that Broke State Law; Former Corinthian Students Offered Free Loan Assistance
BOSTON – Joined by former Corinthian students seeking relief from mounting debt burdens, Attorney General Maura Healey and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren tonight called on the U.S. Department of Education to help students in Massachusetts get rid of the unsustainable loan payments students incurred by attending the now-defunct for-profit school.
AG Healey and Senator Warren hosted an event at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business to help students receive individualized assistance in enrolling in more affordable repayment plans and applying for cancellation of their federal school loans. The dozens of students taking part in the event had attended the Everest Institute’s Brighton campus – a Corinthian Colleges, Inc. school. The AG’s Office alleges that the school misrepresented its medical programs and job placement rates and falsely promised students high-paying jobs that resulted in substantial debt, and at times, loan defaults.
“For too long, predatory for-profit schools, supported by taxpayer dollars, have enriched themselves while loading up students with unaffordable debt,” AG Healey said. “Students deserve better. If a school breaks the law, Senator Warren and I believe they must be held accountable. We want to help get these students the relief they deserve.”
“When a college engages in fraudulent practices, students have a legal right to debt relief,” Senator Warren said. “If someone lies about the mileage on a car, the buyer can get her money back. I’m working with Attorney General Healey to ensure that the legal rights of any students who were cheated by Corinthian colleges in Massachusetts are fully protected.”
Tonight’s event was also attended by U.S. Department of Education Special Master Joseph Smith – charged with reviewing the debts of students who attended Corinthian schools and establishing state law discharge procedures – and other Department officials, along with representatives from National Consumer Law Center, Project on Predatory Student Lending and Crittenton Women’s Union.
At the event, students shared their experiences of attending the Everest Institute via sworn affidavits that will be used to support AG Healey’s push for its investigations and findings of predatory for-profit schools to be the basis of group relief to students seeking discharge of federal loans.
AG Healey continues to lead efforts to help students who were deceived by Corinthian Colleges and other predatory for-profit schools. According to her lawsuit against the Everest Institute in April 2014, the school engaged in deceptive marketing and egregious high pressure sales tactics that left students with exorbitant and unaffordable student loan debt and without proper training or a well-paying career.
AG Healey and Senator Warren have rallied state attorneys general and members of Congress to speak out on the importance of loan discharge, authoring letters and organizing calls and meetings with the Department of Education over much of the past year.
Under pressure from attorneys general, Congress, and student/consumer advocates, the Department recently announced it would be commencing a negotiated rulemaking session on state law discharge procedures – known as “defense to repayment” – beginning this month.
Last month, AG Healey led a second multistate effort with attorneys general in 11 states calling on the Department to provide clear procedures to help students apply for loan discharges. In April, AG Healey, along with attorneys general in eight states, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Education calling on them to take swift action to protect students victimized by for-profit schools.
For more information on AG Healey’s extensive consumer protection campaign and comprehensive and ongoing investigation into the for-profit education industry, click here.