CFPB Presses Congress to Change Bankruptcy Code for Private Student Loans

The Obama Administration’s CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), helps student loan borrowers deal with private student loan debt.

According to the CFPB, “The largest subset of private student loan complaints we handled relate to the lack of repayment options and flexibility in times of distress.”

According to a new report filed by CFPB, CFPB is advocating to changes to the Bankruptcy Code to return dischargeability of private student loan debt (h/t to Georgetown).

In our education fraud practice, we have been dismayed many times over how even defrauded students of for-profit colleges cannot discharge their student loan debt, yet the for-profit institutions can avail themselves of the bankruptcy code’s protections if things go wrong for them.

If you are currently struggling to repay your private student loan debt, take a look at the CFPB’s help page.

Finally, contact your US Senators and Congressmen and ask them to support the CFPB’s efforts to reinstate bankruptcy protections for students with private student loans.



IL Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Stratford Career Institute Lawsuit

On September 30, 2014, the First District Appellate Court of Illinois affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the class action lawsuit filed against Stratford Career Institute which alleged the school violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and committed other wrongs against a class of plaintiffs by selling high school diploma courses that were not recognized by colleges.

The sole reason for affirming the dismissal was due to the plaintiffs’ filing bankruptcy prior to the class action lawsuit against Stratford Career Institute being filed. This was so, the appellate court found, even for the case of the second plaintiff who did not recognize she had a claim against the school until well after her bankruptcy case was closed. This is because the claim automatically became property of the bankruptcy estate, whether or not she was aware of the claim against the school.

The appellate court further stated that even for the first plaintiff, who discovered her claim against the school just prior to filing for bankruptcy, that the right “still belongs to the [bankruptcy] trustee.”

The opinion, Deweese, et al v. Stratford Career Institute, is appellate case number 14-cv-0074.



Everest College is Closing

Everest College, Wyotech, and Heald, all part of the Corinthian Colleges umbrella, will close NPR reported today:

“Under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, Corinthian Colleges will put 85 of its U.S. campuses up for sale and close the remaining dozen. The for-profit college chain operates campuses under the names Heald, Everest and WyoTech. It has more than 70,000 students across North America. It’s the largest-ever college, by enrollment, to be shut down in this way.”

Corinthian Colleges issues a press release on July 3 2014  Click Here for the full Press Release

Corinthian Colleges, U.S. Department of Education Sign Operating Agreement

SANTA ANA, Calif., July 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (Nasdaq:COCO) announced today that it has signed an operating agreement with the U.S. Department of Education that establishes an orderly transition plan for its 107 campuses and online programs, and allows its students to complete their educational programs. ED has also provided for an immediate drawdown of Title IV (student financial aid) funds for currently enrolled students and a mechanism for continued funding while the agreement is in place.

The operating agreement is consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding announced by the Department and Corinthian on June 23, 2014. Under the terms of the agreement, Corinthian will put 85 of its U.S. schools up for sale, and “teach out” (gradually wind down) operations at 12 other schools. Corinthian agreed to work toward signing definitive agreements for campus sales in approximately six months. Separately, the Company will also begin a sales process for its Canadian schools.

ED will also appoint an independent compliance and business Monitor who will serve as the primary liaison between Corinthian and ED. Corinthian has agreed to suspend enrollment of new students until July 8, 2014, when ED and Corinthian plan to have the Monitor in place.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with ED that helps protect the interests of our students, employees and other stakeholders,” said Jack Massimino, Corinthian Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This agreement allows our students to continue their education and helps minimize the personal and financial issues that affect our 12,000 employees and their families. It also provides a blueprint for allowing most of our campuses to continue serving their students and communities under new ownership.”

Click Here for the full Press Release

Opinions by Lawyer Jeffrey Antonelli