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SBPC in the News

February 11, 2021: When Good Debt Goes Bad

Nationally, student loan debt is at crisis level. The share of students behind on loan payments equals the share of homeowners in default at the peak of the housing crisis. What’s the best way to help students struggling under a huge debt burden? Is there a better way to finance college

February 3, 2021: Student Debt Relief Is Back on the Table

Debt cancellation would grow the economy by hundreds of billions of dollars each year, creating the more prosperous future Americans hope to see when the health crisis is over. 

February 2, 2021: Group Urges Cancellation of Institutional Student Debt

Congress and the Biden administration should require colleges and universities to forgive all institutional debt as a condition of getting additional coronavirus relief funds, said the Student Borrower Protection Center.


February 1, 2021: Students and Former Students Face a $15-billion Debt Crisis — Potentially Holding Them Back From Graduating

As the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked financial havoc on colleges, their students and student-loan borrowers, the government has stepped in to provide billions of dollars of relief. But at least one group of students is still being left out. 

January 27, 2021: Should We Lift the Crushing Burden of Student Loan Debt? 

Is broad forgiveness of student loans the best way to get help to borrowers who most need it? MPR News host Kerri Miller took listener calls and talked to two consumer advocates about the student loan debt crisis.


January 27, 2021: These Private Student Loan Companies Got PPP Loans — Will They Be Forgiven, While Borrowers Struggle?

A new report issued this week found that several private student loan companies received substantial federal financial assistance and low-interest loans through pandemic relief programs. Some loans could ultimately be forgiven — a perk not currently extended to private student loan borrowers.

January 26, 2021: Will There Be Relief for Private Student Loan Borrowers?

Over the past year, more than 20 million federal student loan borrowers have been able to pause their payments to cope with pandemic-induced financial stress — a postponement that President Joe Biden recently extended through September 2021. But those who have private student loans? Not so much.

January 21, 2021: Student Loan Companies Return to Court to Collect on Private Education Debt

While the federal government continues to pause the collection of defaulted student loans during the coronavirus pandemic, private companies that initially followed suit are back in court.

January 20, 2021: Biden’s Pick to Lead Consumer Protection Agency Is an Aggressive Advocate for Student Borrowers

Rohit Chopra was on the forefront of identifying how this afterthought in consumer finance was growing more significant, more nefarious, in tens of millions of people’s lives.


December 22, 2020: Report: Dept. of Education Empowered Loan Servicers to Mislead Public Service Borrowers

An explosive new report released today by the Student Borrower Protection Center and the American Federation of Teachers sheds new light on the U. S. Department of Education’s role in mismanaging the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.


December 12, 2020 | Elizabeth Warren: Biden Has ‘Moral Obligation’ To Cancel Student Loans

Sen. Elizabeth Warren now says that cancelling student loans is a “moral obligation,” and not only an economic obligation.

December 11, 2020 | The Debate Over Joe Biden Canceling Student Debt, Explained

Until fairly recently, student debt cancellation was considered to be a fringe idea that, while popular among the Occupy Wall Street crowd and on the left, was a mainstream nonstarter. That’s begun to change.

December 11, 2020 | Warren: Biden Administration has ‘Moral Obligation’ to Forgive Student Debt

In a Friday speech, Warren insisted that the incoming administration has a “moral obligation” to wipe out billions of dollars in student loans and the legal authority to do so as soon as Biden takes office Jan. 20.

November 30, 2020 | Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Could Wipe Out Debt for 15 Million Borrowers

Seth Frotman, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, says removing the student loans “albatross around their financial lives” could mean the difference for consumers who aspire to buy a house, save for retirement or start a business.

November 25, 2020 | Biden Promises Some Student Loan Forgiveness. Student Borrowers Hope He Delivers

A report issued this week by student loan experts and advocates entitled, “Delivering on Debt Relief,” argues that the approaches — administrative action or legislation — are not mutually exclusive and will depend on the circumstances and the specific debt relief programs the Biden administration will try to reform.

November 19, 2020 | What Does Biden’s Student Loan Plan Mean for You?

So what is Joe Biden going to do about this when he takes office in January? Quite a lot, if he can pull off his wide-ranging higher-education policy. Here’s what he has proposed and/or supported in his plan, and how likely it is to actually happen.

November 19, 2020 | Push for Student Loan Forgiveness Puts Biden in a Tight Spot

Democratic leaders in Congress are pushing President-elect Joe Biden to take quick action on canceling student loan debt with an executive order to stimulate the economy and provide relief to struggling borrowers.

November 13, 2020 | The ‘Broken’ Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness System is Particularly Brutal for Military Veterans

new investigation by the Student Borrower Protection Center found that members of the military are facing several obstacles when it comes to getting student loan forgiveness.


November 11, 2020 | A Sobering Figure for Veteran’s Day: 200,000 Service Members Owe Nearly $3 Billion in Student Loans

Roughly 200,000 service members owe nearly $3 billion in student loans and yet, just 17,534 have officially begun the process of having their loans discharged under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

October 21, 2020 | Council Mulls Action on Student Debt

City Councilors heard testimony Monday from recent college graduates and higher education activists about the impact of student loan debt on Bostonians — a crisis some characterized as a “second pandemic” that disproportionately affects Black and Latino borrowers.


October 14, 2020 | New Report Uncovers 5 Million Student Loan Servicing Errors, Jeopardizing Loan Forgiveness And Costing Borrowers Thousands

A new investigatory report issued by the Student Borrower Protection Center and the American Federation of Teachers has uncovered millions of student loan servicing errors that have caused lasting financial harm to borrowers.

October 9, 2020 | ‘The Federal Government is AWOL’ on Student Loan Protections, California Attorney General Says

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra blasted the federal government’s handling of student debt, arguing that agencies have dropped the ball on protecting borrowers.

October 3, 2020 | FedLoan’s Board Needs Student Advocates, Finance Experts, Pa. Auditor Say in New PHEAA Report

Sixteen of its 20 board members are state legislators, ranking it among the most politician-heavy public boards in the nation, and it is lacking in outside financial experts.


September 17, 2020 | How “Cancel Student Debt” Went From A Fringe Idea To Mainstream

The Tweet was concise, but the message it sent was profound: broad cancellation of student debt, a relatively fringe idea with minimal institutional support as recently as just a couple of years ago, had gone full mainstream.

September 17, 2020 | No True American Recovery Without Tackling Student Loans

In an election year with a pandemic-induced economic crisis, any attempt to ease financial burdens on New Yorkers in an inclusive way must not overlook those struggling with student loan debt. In fact, addressing this issue is a key part of the solution.

September 2, 2020 | Interview on State Protections for Student Loan Borrowers

With California lawmakers passing landmark new protections for student loan borrowers, Seth Frotman talked about what this means for borrowers across the country.


September 1, 2020 | This State Legislature Just Passed Sweeping Protections For Student Loan Borrowers

In a landmark move, California’s state legislature passed sweeping legislation this week to protect student loan borrowers.

August 31, 2020 | Student Loan Giant Navient Reaps Backdoor Federal Reserve Subsidy

The Trump administration then extended the suspension by executive action until December 31. But while this relief helps over 35 million borrowers who carry federally owned student loans, it leaves others out. 


August 27, 2020 | 50 Organizations Call For Student Loan “Bill Of Rights”

Over 50 state & national civil rights, higher education, & consumer advocacy organizations, including the heads of state universities and community colleges, are calling on the Massachusetts state legislature to pass a student loan borrower “bill of rights.”

August 21, 2020 | Consumer Groups Alarmed by PayPal’s Role in Education Finance Want Regulators to Investigate

The groups say the financing options the companies offer can leave borrowers in significant distress with few protections. The advocacy groups also raised concerns that many of the institutions accepting the form of payment are unaccredited and largely unsupervised.

August 21, 2020 | Consumer Groups Take PayPal to Task Over Student Loan Credit Line

Students at some for-profit career schools could find themselves paying hefty interest charges when using a credit line offered by PayPal, a group of consumer watchdog groups warned this week.


August 12, 2020 | After 6 years, This Nurse Practitioner was Told Her Public-Service Job Did Not Qualify for Student-Debt Forgiveness. She Fought that Decision, But Many Others are Left in Limbo

A new report suggests that Straw is not alone in her experience. Since 2012, the Department of Education has told borrowers more than 50,000 times that their employer is ineligible for PSLF.

July 31, 2020 | Senate Democrats Raise Concerns About Educational Redlining in Student Lending

An emerging practice of using education data to determine creditworthiness is drawing scrutiny on Capitol Hill, where Senate Democrats are questioning whether private student lenders are engaging in educational redlining by raising the price of credit for historically marginalized groups.

July 29, 2020 | Unsanitized: The Student Loan Hustle Inside the HEALS Act

Democrats must not lose sight of the overlooked pieces of the HEALS Act that could get grandfathered in. Because it’s such a big bill, this level of attention is important. That should nullify all of his provisions. One big one is student loans.

July 28, 2020 | In HEALS Act, Student Loan Borrowers Don’t Get Much

Republicans have introduced their proposal for the next coronavirus relief package, a $1 trillion plan called the HEALS Act. Notably absent from their agenda: relief for people with student debt.


July 24, 2020 | 40 Million Americans Face Student Loan Cliff

The federal government’s emergency relief for more than 40 million student loan borrowers is set to expire at the end of September, amid sky-high levels of unemployment and an overall economy still stifled by rising coronavirus cases.


July 20, 2020 | A $5 Billion ‘Shadow Debt’ Market is Helping Keep For-Profit Colleges Afloat, New Report Charges

Over the past decade, students have borrowed more than $5 billion through an opaque web of companies to pay for training at for-profit schools, the Student Borrower Protection Center, an advocacy group, found. These products, which aren’t traditional federal or private student loans, often carry high interest rates and other risks for borrowers, according to the SBPC. 

July 20, 2020 | ‘Shadow’ Lenders Can Leave College Students in the Dark

Thirty-eight percent of students borrow additional money for college via credit cards, home equity loans and other non-student loans, according to a May 2020 report from the Federal Reserve. The SBPC has dubbed this the “shadow education finance market” because these options can lack transparency.

July 14, 2020 | Bad With Money With Gaby Dunn Podcast

Seth Frotman, the executive director of the SBPC, comes on the show to talk about the 45 million Americans who get a student loan bill every month. Why won’t the federal government just take this financial burden off its people? 

June 29, 2020 | Student Debt Crisis Creates a ‘Vicious Cycle’ of Inequality in Black, Latino Neighborhoods, Report Finds

Students of color are more likely to take on student debt and disproportionately struggle to pay it back at higher rates than their white counterparts, perpetuating a “vicious cycle” of economic inequality along racial lines, research released Monday suggests.


June 29, 2020 | Another Thing Your ZIP Code Determines: Your Experience With Student Debt

Borrowers living just a few blocks away from one another can have vastly different experiences with their student loans and that wide gulf in outcomes corresponds strongly with the racial makeup of a neighborhood.

USA Today

June 11, 2020 | Student Loan Glitch Affected up to 5 Million Credit Scores

The nonprofit Student Borrower Protection Center helped to bring about a class-action complaint filed in California on behalf of the borrowers against Great Lakes, a subsidiary of Nelnet; the credit reporting agencies, and VantageScore.

June 9, 2020 | With Payments on Pause, Watch Your Credit Score

The degree to the law protects credit varies by loan type. And with millions of people putting various types of loan payments on pause, lenders may make errors when reporting a loan’s status to the companies that compile credit-related information.

The Washington Post

June 5, 2020 | Why the Trump Administration is Still Garnishing Wages During the Pandemic

Court filings this week are raising concerns about the Trump administration’s management of an unwieldy system for recouping past-due student debt, as thousands of borrowers continue to have their paychecks shorted or await the return of their seized pay.


June 3, 2020 | Financing College by Signing Income-Sharing Agreements Sounds Tempting — but Consumer Advocates Raise Red Flags

The National Consumer Law Center and the Student Borrower Protection Center filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on Monday, asking the agency to look into practices by Vemo Education, alleging the company provided potential customers with inaccurate information about its own and competitors’ products.

June 2, 2020 | College Students Are Being Misled About the Costs of Income Share Agreements, Consumer Groups Say

Vemo Education, which designs and manages income share agreements for colleges, uses deceptive marketing that could result in students paying back thousands of dollars more than anticipated, according to The National Consumer Law Center and Student Borrower Protection Center in a new complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission.

The Washington Post

June 1, 2020 | Groups to FTC: Company Pushing Student Income-Share Agreements Deceives Customers

The Student Borrower Protection Center and the National Consumer Law Center on Monday filed an official complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, calling on the agency to investigate Vemo’s business practices.


May 26, 2020 | 5 Million Student-Loan Borrowers May See their Credit Scores Fall After CARES Act Paused Loan Payments — ‘It’s Another Battle’

She appears to be one of up to roughly five million borrowers whose score was dinged, despite instructions from Congress that the pause on student-loan payments shouldn’t affect borrowers’ credit scores.

The American Prospect

May 22, 2020 | For-Profit Colleges See Opportunity in Depression

As public universities face budget cuts and uncertain futures, for-profit colleges and nonprofits that behave like for-profits are entering a time when, historically, they see increased enrollments as Americans turn to education in an attempt to acquire the skills they need to get back to work.

May 22, 2020 | A Mistake Caused Credit Scores to Drop for Tons of Student Loan Borrowers. Here’s How to Fix Yours

Millions of student loan borrowers have been left worrying about the state of their credit reports after a company that manages repayment botched a program to help borrowers during the pandemic, according to a class-action lawsuit filed on Wednesday

May 21, 2020 | Student Borrowers Sue Over ‘Illegally Damaged’ Credit Scores Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Consumer advocates are suing federal student loan servicer Great Lakes and three credit reporting agencies over failure to stop reporting borrowers’ credit despite the federal government announcing that it would suspend credit reporting.

May 21, 2020 | Your Student Loans are on Pause, But Check Your Credit Score

A class action lawsuit, brought on behalf of millions of federal student loan borrowers, alleges that Great Lakes Educational Loan Services inaccurately reported the payment status of millions of federal student loan borrowers, lowering their scores and jeopardizing their access to credit during a recession. 


May 20, 2020 | Report: Your Student Loan Have a Hidden Cost

A new report from the Student Borrower Protection Center says that if you have student loans, you may be paying a “secret price” in the form of higher rates for other credit products – including credit cards, mortgages and auto loans — simply because you may have student loans. 

The Washington Post

May 1, 2020 | Borrowers Sue Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for Garnishing Wages After Congress Ordered Halt

Barber is the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit filed late Thursday against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Education Department, accusing them of mismanaging a federal order halting involuntary collection for past-due student debt during the pandemic.

May 1, 2020 | For People with Private Student Loans, Little Relief Amid the Pandemic

The private student loan market has been growing for a decade, and now, amid an economy on near lock-down from the coronavirus pandemic,  borrowers find themselves with few relief options.

April 30, 2020 | It’s Time to Ban Dangerous Debt Collection Threatening Public Health During COVID-19

This is a national emergency that affects all of us living in every state and territory. We need a national solution. And we should have one in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

April 16, 2020 | The Government Promised to Suspend Wage Garnishment on Student Loans in Default. But It’s Still Happening

It’s unclear how long it will take for all the affected borrowers to see the results. In the meantime, some are struggling to pay their bills. One borrower who emailed MONEY said her entire $6,000 tax refund was seized as payment for her defaulted student loans. She’s a single mother with three children.


April 9, 2020 | Exclusive: These For-Profit Colleges Could Reap Up to $1 Billion in Federal Bailout Money

Dozens of for-profit colleges that are among those most likely to benefit from stimulus funding face thousands of claims from students demanding their money back because they say they were defrauded, according to analysis prepared for MarketWatch.

The Washington Post

April 3, 2020 | As Americans Faced Layoffs and Lost Wages, Student Loan Companies Kept Going to Court to Collect

But even as Congress and the Trump administration acted, it was, and in some cases still is, business as usual in the private sector, with private education lenders and creditors filing a flurry of lawsuits throughout March to recover past-due debts, according to advocates and court records.

April 2, 2020 | ‘I Feel Like I’ve Gotten Trapped in This Loan.’ Here’s Why the COVID-19 Stimulus Package Only Helps Some Borrowers

But for millions of people whose student loans are from private lenders such as Wells Fargo, Sallie Mae, or SoFi, the package, which is intended to alleviate financial pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic, brings no relief.

March 25, 2020 | Coronavirus Shutdown: Consumer Advocates Worry About $100 Billion Private Student Loan Market

As Democrats call for aid to assist federal student loan borrowers affected by the coronavirus, or COVID-19, consumer advocates worry about those holding private loans.

March 5, 2020 | Del. Lesley Lopez: Crack Down on Predatory Lenders

Now, as a legislator, I’m using that same spirit to come up with new ways to fight predatory lending on private student loans, including a first-in-the-nation bill that was heard this week and shows how states will begin to look at how creditors manipulate the state courts.

The Washington Post

February 5, 2020 | Where You Attend College Could be Costing You More to Borrow and Refinance Education Loans, Report Says

This scenario is at the heart of a report released Wednesday by the Student Borrower Protection Center examining how the use of education data in underwriting private student loans may exacerbate economic and racial inequality.

January 16, 2020 | NH Voices: Rep. Willis Griffith — Student debt hurts all Granite Staters

More than 23,000 Granite Staters over the age of 60 owe student loan debt — a 73% increase since 2012. New Hampshire borrowers are teachers, nurses, service members, and veterans. The people struggling with student loans are our neighbors, relatives, and coworkers.

December 24, 2019 | Why Student Loan Debt is Ballooning for Those 50 and Up

Student loan debt isn’t something you’d typically think about needing to pay in your 50s or 60s. In some cases, though, retirees now owe as much for a student loan as they would for a typical new car loan. 

December 5, 2019 | UCI Law Student Loan Law Initiative (SLLI) Convenes Scholars and Student Loan Experts to Advance Policymaking and Litigation Strategy

SLLI convened leading legal scholars, student loan experts, and practitioners from across the country to share their work and shape the future of student loan research and litigation.


November 25, 2019 | Consumer Protection Agency is Failing Student Loan Borrowers, Lawsuit Says

A nonprofit student loan group is suing the nation’s most powerful consumer watchdog agency. The lawsuit, first obtained by NPR, alleges that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has abandoned its obligation to oversee companies that manage student loans, in particular a troubled loan forgiveness program.

November 21, 2019 | Student Loan Borrowers Need More Protection—and California Is Leading the Way

the California Student Borrower Bill of Rights, California’s bill could pave the way for states across the country that intend to stand up for student borrowers and fight back against the Trump administration’s efforts to shield predatory companies and reduce borrowers’ rights.

November 6, 2019 | ‘Has not lifted a finger’: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos blasted for increasingly rocky tenure

Now NPR has learned that the nation’s most powerful consumer watchdog, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, launched an effort to fix problems but the Trump administration blocked it from trying to help.


October 15, 2019 | Exclusive: Turf War Blocked CFPB From Helping Fix Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Now NPR has learned that the nation’s most powerful consumer watchdog, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, launched an effort to fix problems but the Trump administration blocked it from trying to help.

September 20, 2019 | Here’s another way student loans are screwing you over, consumer advocates say

According to the Student Borrower Protection Center, a consumer advocacy group, the memo shows that Navient “orchestrated a predatory scheme to place borrowers in high-cost repayment options to boost corporate profits.”

The Washington Post

September 19, 2019 | Navient memo raises questions about its student loan servicing practices

“The evidence unsealed in federal court confirms that Navient’s practices that added billions of dollars of debt to struggling borrowers emanated from the top echelon of the company,” said Seth Frotman, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, an advocacy group. “The time has come for policymakers to admit this company’s practices are predatory and corrupt — it should not be given a single additional taxpayer dollar.”

September 9, 2019 | Inside the Education Department’s effort to ‘obstruct’ student loan investigations

Seth Frotman, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, a consumer advocacy group, said Jones’ response to lawmakers this summer underscores how “the department is engaged in a calculated, unprecedented effort to obstruct law enforcement officials working to protect borrowers.”

September 9, 2019 | Student-loan behemoth tightens its ties to Trump and DeVos

Earlier this year, Seth Frotman of the Student Borrower Protection Center tired and failed to get Virginia regulators to oversee the industry. “I don’t think that’s a partisan issue,” Frotman says. “I don’t think that’s a Democrat or Republican issue. I think it’s about who’s on the right side. Who is standing up for the people who have taken on student debt in their districts.”

September 7, 2019 | Student loan official who resigned: CFPB has been a ‘complete failure’ over the last year

“I honestly don’t say this lightly, but I don’t know how you could look at the things that have happened over the last year … [and] under the new leadership of the bureau and not say that it is a complete failure in doing its job on behalf of student loan borrowers,” Frotman said. 

August 22, 2019 | Protecting Student Borrowers

Earlier this year, Seth Frotman of the Student Borrower Protection Center tired and failed to get Virginia regulators to oversee the industry. “I don’t think that’s a partisan issue,” Frotman says. “I don’t think that’s a Democrat or Republican issue. I think it’s about who’s on the right side. Who is standing up for the people who have taken on student debt in their districts.”

August 19, 2019 | Trump Just Gave a Giant Middle Finger to Student Borrowers Everywhere

The last student-loan ombudsman, an Obama-era holdover named Seth Frotman, resigned last year in a bureaucratic blaze of glory, saying the Bureau had “turned its back” on borrowers and servicemembers. After nearly a year of searching, Kathy Kraninger, the Trump administration’s choice to run the CFPB, unveiled perhaps the most Trumpian pick possible to replace Frotman.

The Washington Post

August 16, 2019 | Consumer watchdog signals hands-off approach on federal student loans

“It is outrageous that an executive from the student loan company that has cheated students and taxpayers, and is at the center of every major industry scandal over the past decade, is now in charge of protecting borrowers rights,” said Seth Frotman, the previous student loan ombudsman at the consumer bureau who resigned last year in protest of the Trump administration.


July 24, 2019 | Your college major may affect your ability to get a loan — consumer advocates say that’s a problem

Ahead of the hearing, Frotman’s organization, the Student Borrower Protection Center, published an article Wednesday highlighting the ways in which using data points like college major, standardized test scores, and school for underwriting could put a lender at risk of discriminating against certain groups of borrowers. “Access to education in America has been very exclusive and limited,” said Aryn Bussey, a fellow at the SBPC, former legislative and executive branch education policy staffer, and the author of the post. “How can we use it to determine creditworthiness without further marginalizing people who have already been shut out of our credit system?”

The Philadelphia Inquirer

July 1, 2019 | Your student loan servicers — Navient, Nelnet, and FedLoan — pay big bucks to CEOs and lobbyists

“The student-loan lobby claims to support students and their families,” said Seth Frotman, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center and former top student loan official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “But the reality is that executives are profiting enormously off of a broken system that leaves so many borrowers crippled in debt. Over the decades, we’ve seen a revolving door of lobbyists peddle policies designed to exploit the pursuit of the American dream.”

The Washington Post

June 28, 2019 | Court rules student loan companies are subject to state consumer laws, contrary to Trump administration’s stance

“The decision is an enormous victory for student loan borrowers, state attorneys general and every American who rejects the idea that big companies should be able to trample on borrowers’ rights with impunity,” said Frotman, who now runs the Student Borrower Protection Center.

The Washington Post

June 5, 2019 | Civil Rights Groups Urge Consumer Bureau to Root Out Discrimination in the Student Loan Servicing Industry

Civil rights organizations are urging the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to step up oversight of the student-loan servicing industry and root out discrimination.

June 6, 2019Civil Rights Group Press CFPB

“Civil rights groups are urging the CFPB to protect student loan borrowers from discrimination in the industry. This move (in a letter to Dir. Kraninger) comes two years after the CFPB announced that it would prioritize the oversight needed to protect student loan borrowers from discrimination”

April 30, 2019 | Student Loan Debt Crisis: How Did We Get Here?

“The really scary thing is we don’t really have a plan to either address the millions of borrowers who’ve taken on student loan debt or a plan to really stop this,” said Seth Frotman, the former student loan ombudsman at the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


April 9, 2019 States Say DeVos is Hurting Efforts to Police Student Loan Servicers

“The department’s actions are like throwing sand in the gears, slowing down state law enforcement investigations aimed at protecting student loan borrowers,” said Seth Frotman, a former student loan ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who resigned last year and started a nonprofit called the Student Borrower Protection Center.

April 9, 2019 The Seven Minute Rule

Seth Frotman joins Michael Lewis on the popular podcast Against The Rules to discuss how the government protects us from some dangerous products, but not from others that, over time, ruin countless lives.

April 8, 2019 | POLITICO Morning Education

Meanwhile, Seth Frotman, the former top student loan official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is calling on Congress to adopt greater protections for students as part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

April 8, 2019 ‘Lousy System’: U.S. Official Who Resigned Explains How the Student Debt Crisis Got So Bad

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Ombudsman and current Executive Director of D.C.-based nonprofit Student Borrower Protection Center Seth Frotman explained that the ongoing crisis is a result of decades of unchecked behavior of various predatory parties and weak government regulation of the industry.

April 5, 2019 Senators To Consumer Watchdog: Prove You’re Protecting Student Borrowers

Six Democratic senators, including two presidential candidates, sent a letter to the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday demanding that the agency prove it is policing the companies, known as servicers, that the government pays to manage its trillion-dollar, federal student loan portfolio.


March 29, 2019 The Obscure Debt Holding Back Thousands of Students

Font is one of at least thousands of students across the country whose educational future is being put in jeopardy by a bill owed to a college or university. Colleges typically withhold students’ transcripts if they owe a debt to the institution. . . . The true scope of the problem is hard to gauge, but research published Friday by the Student Borrower Protection Center, a student loan borrower advocacy organization, aims to provide a window into these debts and the challenges they pose to students.

March 26, 2019 Former Federal Official On Why Maine Needs More Protections For Student Loan Borrowers

“Former federal official Seth Frotman testified in favor of the bill Tuesday in Augusta. Until 2018, he was the student loan ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He stepped down from the Trump administration at that time, saying the bureau had ‘abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting’ . . . He spoke with Maine Public host Nora Flaherty about what the bill would do, and why he feels it’s needed.”


March 18, 2019 First Look — Consumer Group Takes Aim at Navient on Private Loan Discharges

“A consumer advocacy group accuses Navient of “misleading borrowers” about whether their private student loans can be discharged in bankruptcy. The Student Borrower Protection Center, the group founded by the CFPB’s former top student loan official, Seth Frotman, is making the allegation in a new blog post. . .”

March 11, 2019 As Feds Ignore Student Debt Crisis, States like MD Step In

“A decade ago, in the throes of the foreclosure crisis, state lawmakers and law enforcement officials took on the mortgage industry and stood up for homeowners’ rights in the face of federal inaction and obstruction. The student debt crisis mirrors the worst aspects of the last crisis, and Maryland lawmakers can follow the same playbook — using state law to protect borrowers and halt abuses.”

February 22, 2019 The Government’s Trillion-Dollar Student Loan Office Is a Train Wreck

“Seth Frotman, the former student-loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, tells Rolling Stone that the audit of FSA shows the need for larger reforms of how the government manages student debt. ‘We dropped a trillion dollars of student debt on the backs of American families with no idea how to oversee it,’ Frotman says. ‘This is not just about a failure of leadership; it’s about creating a system that was bound to fail.'”

The New York Times

February 22, 2018A Teacher’s Student Loans Were Forgiven. Then FedLoan Wrecked His Credit.

Seth Frotman, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center and the former student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said he was not that surprised, given P.H.E.A.A.’s history of problems with credit reporting. He reminded me that P.H.E.A.A. had once asked the Supreme Court to spare it from having to abide by the rules that lenders in the banking industry must follow. ‘These companies are huge furnishers of credit reporting info, which means that the financial future and credit history and the cost of credit for millions of borrowers are tied up in these companies getting it right,’ he said. ‘This is just one example of the numerous ways in which they are failing at this miserably.'”

The New York Times

February 14, 2019Student Loan Servicers’ Frequent Mistakes Went Unpunished, Audit Finds

“The report infuriated some consumer advocates like Seth Frotman, a former student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who quit last year after complaining that the Trump administration was protecting lenders at borrowers’ expense. ‘The rampant breakdowns and lack of accountability this shows should be Exhibit A as state legislators and state law enforcement officials demand justice for student loan borrowers,’ he said.”

February 6, 2019Student Loan Advocacy Group Pushes Department of Education to Increase Oversight of For-Profit Colleges and Contractors

“The Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC)—an organization established by former CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman Seth Frotman—recently published an article examining the Department of Education’s oversight of ‘lead generators.’ Lead generators are outside entities that help for-profit colleges manage ‘pre-enrollment activities’ such as ‘recruiting and advising students,’ ‘determining eligibility for federal aid,’ and ‘delivering the Title IV funds.’ The article highlights state and FTC enforcement actions against lead generators and suggests that these entities qualify as third-party servicers under Department of Education regulations.”


January 25, 2019 | Nearly Half of New York’s Young Adults Owe on a Student Loan

“Though the government offers these borrowers opportunities to get out of default, student loan companies and debt collectors often aren’t forthcoming with this information, Denerstein said. To curb this behavior, states need to step in, Frotman says. ‘The state needs to bring to bear all of the tools and all of the resources to stand up for these borrowers as they struggle to make their student loan payments in a really broken student loan system,’ he said.”


January 7, 2019 | New York reaches deal with student loan company long accused of misleading borrowers

“’The enforcement action against ACS is critical because it demonstrates what so many student-loan borrowers, including public servants, are facing when they try to repay their debt,’ said Seth Frotman, the executive director of the Student Loan Borrower Protection Center, an advocacy group. ‘This action demonstrates how countless student-loan borrowers are denied the protections and the benefits that would help alleviate that burden.’”

December 24, 2018 The Seven Wildest Scandals and Scams of 2018 That Don’t Involve Trump

“In some ways what happened this year was even more maddening: The top federal student loan watchdog quit in disgust at the government’s coddling of shady private interests like Navient. Seth Frotman, who had been an official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), blasted Mick Mulvaney—the Trump acolyte who was just named interim chief of staff (his third gig, in addition to being the president’s budget director and the acting head of the CFPB)—for failing the public by effectively not doing anything as a regulator.”

December 19, 2018 Watchdog Group Investigates Federal Loan Forgiveness Program for Public Servants

“‘For more than a decade, dedicated public servants have paid a heavy price for abuse and mismanagement by the student loan industry,’ said Frotman, who resigned in August from a senior position at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before joining the nonprofit advocacy group. ‘These failures have ruined student loan borrowers’ lives and can’t be swept under the rug.'”

December 14, 2018 Trump Administration Refuses to Publish Required Report on Student Loan Borrower Complaints

“Seth Frotman, the executive director of SBPC and the former student loan ombudsman at the CFPB, said his group decided to release the report because they felt the Trump administration ‘is trying to make the struggles of student loan borrowers invisible.'”

December 13, 2018 Tax Law Professor Argues for Automatic Disability Loan Discharges

“John R. Brooks, a Georgetown Law professor who specializes in tax issues, is pushing back against the Education Department’s reasoning that it can’t automatically cancel the loans of disabled borrowers because of state tax consequences. Brooks said in a blog post this morning at the Student Borrower Protection Center that the department’s refusal to automatically cancel the loans of borrowers who qualify for a discharge based on their ‘total and permanent disability’ is based on a flawed analysis of state tax law.”

December 12, 2018 Report Roll Call

“The Student Borrower Protection Center is out with a new report analyzing the more than 13,000 complaints by student loan borrowers submitted to the CFPB since September 2017. The group, which was formed by former CFPB student loan ombudsman Seth Frotman and other former bureau staffers, concluded that borrowers “continue to run into rampant, widespread problems with their student loan companies.”

December 11, 2018 Squelched Report Shows Wells Fargo Charged High Account Fees to Student

“Seth Frotman, the former student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, had accused agency heads of burying the report when he quit in protest earlier this year. ‘When new evidence came to light showing the nation’s largest banks were ripping off students on campuses across the country by saddling them with legally dubious account fees, bureau leadership suppressed the publication of a report prepared by bureau staff,’ Frotman wrote in his resignation letter.”

December 4, 2018 Ex-Trump Student Loan Official Launching New Watchdog Group (Live Interview)

“Millions of Americans owe money in student loan debt, but under new director Mick Mulvaney, the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau has eliminated programs designed to protect students. Stephanie Ruhle is joined by the Executive Director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, who is looking to change that.”

December 4, 2018 Student Loan Watchdog Who Resigned from Feds Forms New Nonprofit

“The Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC), with a startup grant from the Sandler Foundation, will be encouraging lawmakers at the state and city level to strengthen enforcement against the companies that serve the loans, debt collectors, and the for-profit schools that encourage students to take the loans in the first place. SBPC has a distinct advantage in that its founders are insiders—former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) employees who were in charge of student loan oversight.”


December 2, 2018 Student Loans Watchdog Who Quit under Trump Plans Own Initiative

“Frotman, who was appointed to the federal post under the Obama administration, says he is confident he can persuade Democrats and Republicans to support reforms. ‘The partisan and ideological war this administration has waged on student borrowers has no basis in anything outside the Beltway,’ he said, referring to Washington politics. ‘The student debt crisis does not have any partisan leanings in how it’s harming people.'”


November 30, 2018 Ex-Student Loan Official Who Resigned from CFPB in Protest Launches New Watchdog Group

“The goal of Frotman’s new organization is to provide some ammunition in the form of ‘deep subject matter expertise’ to state legislators, attorneys general, nonprofit organizations, legal aid attorneys and others taking on companies preying on borrowers. He also hopes the new group will help advocates highlight the extent to which student debt affects borrowers from many different walks of life.”

November 29, 2018 Your Former Student Loan Watchdog is Back

“’Tens of millions of American families are trapped in a broken student loan system, squeezed by rising debt and widespread abuses by a predatory industry,’ said Frotman, who serves as SPBC’s Executive Director. ‘The federal government hasn’t just walked away from the fight on behalf of borrowers, it is actually arming the other side. The Student Borrower Protection Center is here to fight back—in state capitals, in Congress, in court, and in communities across the country.’”

November 29, 2018 Loan Watchdog Starts Group to Fight for Borrowers

“Frotman said the new organization, the Student Borrower Protection Center, will push for state and city leaders to add new consumer protections for borrowers. And he said the group will campaign for California lawmakers specifically to pass a borrower bill of rights.”

November 29, 2018 Former Student Loan Chief Says Trump Administration Sided with Predatory Banks, Starts Watchdog Group

Frotman announced Wednesday the creation of his own watchdog group, the Student Borrower Protection Center, which would join with state and local policymakers to protect student loan borrowers, because the federal government had ‘walked away from the fight.'”

November 28, 2018 Former Fed Watchdog Launches Nonprofit to Help Fix $1.5T Student Debt Crisis 

“‘What became abundantly clear at the [CFPB], particularly over the last three years, is that we are in the midst of a student debt crisis,’ Frotman said. ‘There was no desire. There was no effort. There was no plan to help student loan borrowers who were struggling. The only way to continue do this work was to leave the federal government.'”

November 28, 2018 Former Govt. Student Loan Official Opens New Organization

“Frotman hopes his new organization will be able to step in and help state and local authorities where enforcement at the federal level has been scaled back under President Trump. The organization is partnering with the University of California-Irvine to publish new research on the issue of student loans. For example, five states are currently suing Navient, one of the nation’s largest student loan servicing companies, alleging that the company steered borrowers into higher cost repayment plans. Navient denies those allegations, but an investigation by The Associated Press this month found that the Department of Education, headed by Secretary Betsy DeVos, had evidence that the states’ lawsuits against Navient may have merit and chose to withhold that report from authorities.”

November 28, 2018 |  Sen. Eric Lesser Joins Board of New National Student Loan Advocacy Group

“Part of the initiative involves working with states and cities to put in place their own laws to regulate student lenders. The center will also sponsor a class of fellows – attorneys, researchers and advocates – working on student loan issues.”

November 28, 2018 |  Former CFPB Officials Team Up to Battle Trump Administration on Student Loans

“The new group, the Student Borrower Protection Center, will push states and large cities to pass laws cracking down on the financial services companies that collect student debt. It will also team up with the University of California, Irvine School of Law to produce research and analysis on student loans intended for policymakers and help consumer advocates build lawsuits.”

November 28, 2018 Trump Student Loan Official Who Quit in Anger Brings Fight to ‘Quiet Crisis’

“Frotman’s Student Borrower Protection Center, which is based in Washington, won’t have the enforcement power of the CFPB, of course. Instead, it will seek to publicize the cost of debt and delinquency on communities across the country, he said. The nonprofit has established partnerships with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment and the Attorney General of the District of Columbia, as well as the University of California, Irvine School of Law.”

November 28, 2018 New Watchdog Group Aims to Spur Action on Student Debt

“’One of the reasons why we are in the midst of a student debt crisis is for years, too many have looked to Washington to solve this problem,’ Frotman said. ‘I think the lessons of the last decade is that Washington has not and will not solve it.’”

November 28, 2018 | A Student Loan Help Center, Created by Critics of Trump’s Enforcement Efforts

“Mr. Frotman and other former bureau employees plan to continue the work they did for the government at a new Washington-based nonprofit announced on Wednesday, the Student Borrower Protection Center. The new venture will focus on aiding borrowers by working with state and local officials, rather than the federal officials who Mr. Frotman said have sought to favor lenders and servicers.”

October 17, 2018 | Why Public Service Loan Forgiveness Is So Unforgiving

“Later that year, in October 2017, after a host of warnings and red flags, the floodgates opened, and the first generation of borrowers to complete 10 years of public service began applying for loan forgiveness. Thousands of them. It has now been a year, and one thing is clear: Frotman was right.”

September 6, 2018 | After Scaling Back Student Loan Regulations, Administration Tries to Stop State Efforts

“As state law enforcement officials and legislators across the political spectrum stand up for student loan borrowers who have been ripped off at every turn, Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos have instead chosen to protect companies engaged in rampant illegal practices,” [Frotman] added. “At stake is the financial future of millions of Americans and a trillion dollar black hole in our financial markets.”

August 27, 2018 | Nation’s Top Student Loan Official Resigns

“‘It was important for me to speak out,’ Mr. Frotman wrote in an email. ‘As state law enforcement officials and legislators across the political spectrum stand up for student loan borrowers who have been ripped off at every turn, Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos have instead chosen to protect companies engaged in rampant illegal practices,’ he added. ‘At stake is the financial future of millions of Americans and a trillion dollar black hole in our financial markets.'”

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