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Massachusetts in the News

How the student debt crisis and the need for state oversight is making local news

The Berkshire Eagle

March 12, 2019Our Opinion: Student debt problem is a social justice issue

“Part of the solution to the problem is to bring it to the full attention of the public, along with the economic ramifications that can have a chilling effect on the state’s economy. This bill, then, has a twofold purpose: to educate and rectify. Considering the potential good it can do, it should be passed and signed forthwith.”

Daily Hampshire Gazette

March 8, 2019‘A Generational Crisis’: Student Loan Debt in Massachusetts Reaches $33.3 Billion

“’There’s no real oversight of these servicers,’Lesser said, pointing to the fact that you need a license to do everything from selling a car to cutting hair in the state. Licensing requirements and an ombudsman to investigate complaints, he said, would counteract the ‘complete gutting’ of consumer protections at the federal level.”

The Lowell Sun

March 8, 2019EDITORIAL: Going After Student-Loan Servicers a Smart Step

“According to Lesser’s figures, of the 855,000 student-loan borrowers in Massachusetts who owe a combined $33.3 billion, almost 95,000 of them are delinquent on their loansa staggering 11 percent . . . Frotman also said over the last five years in Massachusetts, there’s been a 40 percent increase in seniors owing student debt. That’s backed up by Federal Reserve figures that show student loan debt carried by those 40 and older averages nearly $34,000.”

Boston Business Journal

March 1, 2018Massachusetts’ Rising Student Debt Said to Hurt Local Businesses

“And while rising debt levels hits college-age residents the hardest, experts contend that it hurts the state’s economy as a whole.”


April 12, 2018 | Massachusetts Defies Trump Administration with Crackdown on Student Loan Debt

“The federal government is asleep at the switch and is actively trying to dismantle really basic protections. In the absence of federal efforts the states must step up to fill the gap.”

Boston Globe

January 11, 2018Feds Say Healy Can’t Sue Student Loan Servicer

“Healey alleges that PHEAA, which does business as FedLoan Servicing, violated state and federal laws by causing teachers and others to lose benefits and financial assistance under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.”


April 11, 2018 | Massachusetts Senate Passes Student Loan Regulations, Setting Up Clash with Trump Administration

“‘It’s been the wild west with loan servicers over last several years, and the state had very limited ability and limited teeth to be able to step in and protect borrowers,’ Lesser said.”


November 15, 2018 | Student Loan Crisis: Company Accused of Predatory Practices

“‘I wish I would’ve known about something like an income-based repayment plan, but I feel like they gave me any other choices,’ Gniadek recalled. ‘They really steered me in a way that was more financially beneficial to them.'”

Boston Globe

March 29, 2018 | State Student Loan Agency Cuts Ties with National Group

“The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority, a student loan agency, announced Wednesday that it is ending its membership in a national group that has been lobbying the US Department of Education to ease regulations on loan servicers . . . working to undermine consumer protections for student loan borrowers.”

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