Series Features Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal, and Leading Experts Highlighting Key Flaws and Fixes to our Broken Student Loan Default System
August 2, 2022 | WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) released Beyond Fresh Start: Addressing the Flaws of the Current Student Loan Collection System, a new paper series from top academics, legal scholars, and advocates that outlines the flaws of our current system of student loan default and collections. This paper series features proposals for federal and state policymakers to end punitive student loan collection practices and ensure meaningful pathways for borrowers to get out of debt.
A copy of the paper series, Beyond Fresh Start: Addressing the Flaws of the Current Student Loan Collection System, is available here: https://protectborrowers.org/beyond-fresh-start-addressing-the-flaws-of-the-current-student-loan-collection-system
In addition, the SBPC also kicked off a three-part virtual panel series today on debt collection featuring three conversations with leading scholars, practitioners, and advocates, moderated by key journalists covering student loan issues. These panels will also feature remarks by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary James Kvaal.
More information about the panel series is available here: protectborrowers.org/events/panel-series-beyond-fresh-start/
“For far too long, defaulted borrowers have slipped through the cracks, experienced ruined credit, and been subject to draconian and retaliatory tactics by the Department of Education and its contractors, which routinely takes away their wages and earnings, Social Security Benefits, and tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, throwing many borrowers into poverty,” said Persis Yu, Policy Director & Managing Counsel at the Student Borrower Protection Center. “The Department now has an opportunity to fix the broken student loan default and collection system, and the Beyond Fresh Start series offers a pathway toward a more humane and fair system for borrowers.”
In April 2022, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it is taking steps to give a “Fresh Start” to the millions of struggling borrowers who are currently in default on their federal student loans by automatically placing their loans back in good standing. While this relief is critically needed for people living in or close to poverty, many aspects of our harsh and counterproductive system of debt collection will remain.
Proposals to Address Debt Collection, Default, and Repayment
The Beyond Fresh Start paper series covers a range of topics related to the flaws of the current debt collection system, solutions for federal policymakers, and the role of states in addressing student loan debt and default. Taken together, these papers offer a roadmap toward fixing a crisis decades in the making.
- Creating an Income-Driven Repayment Structure for Defaulted Loans
Claire Torchiana & Persis Yu, SBPC
- Untapped Tools: The Power of State Debt Collection Laws to Protect Student Loan Borrowers
Claire Johnson Raba, University of Illinois Chicago School of Law
- Ensuring Debt Relief for Older Borrowers
Kate Lang, Justice in Aging, Bethany Lilly, The Arc of the United States & John Whitelaw, Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (Delaware)
- Illogical Collections: How the Department of Education’s Involuntary Collection Efforts Undermine the Higher Education Act
Josh Rovenger, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
- Turn the Ship: The Moral Imperative and Legal Authority to Protect Retirees with Defaulted Student Loans from Social Security Offset
Johnson Tyler, Brooklyn Legal Services
About Student Borrower Protection Center
The Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) is a nonprofit organization focused on alleviating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans. The SBPC engages in advocacy, policymaking, and litigation strategy to rein in industry abuses, protect borrowers’ rights, and advance economic opportunity for the next generation of students.