On November 14, a coalition of non-profit organizations—including Student Borrower Protection Center; Community Legal Services of Philadelphia; Delaware Community Legal Aid Society; New Jersey Citizen Action; and New York Legal Assistance Group—filed an amicus brief to support the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) efforts to hold the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts (NCSLT) accountable for unfair and deceptive conduct harming student loan borrowers.
NCSLT has filed thousands of debt collection lawsuits based on false affidavits and testimony to manipulate courts and force financially distressed student loan borrowers to pay illegitimate debts. In 2017, CFPB attempted to end this misconduct by filing a complaint and proposed consent judgment against several of the Trusts for violating the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). This amicus brief comes after several years of the Trusts and various intervening parties attempting to avoid that foundational consumer protection law.
In addition to arguing that NCSLT’s engagement in the acquisition, servicing, and collection of private student loans clearly brings them within the CFPB’s enforcement authority, the brief highlights that borrowers of color are disproportionately harmed by the Trusts’ misconduct. Due to historic and systemic economic and educational barriers, borrowers of color are more likely to have taken on student loan debt, attended a predatory, for-profit college and, ultimately, defaulted on those loans. CFPB’s continued oversight of the Trusts is both required to uphold Congress’ intent in enacting the CFPA and necessary to protect the most vulnerable student loan borrowers.
Read the Amicus Brief to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals here.