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AG Ferguson to DeVos: Stop delaying student loan forgiveness

Mon, Jun 5, 2017

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Attorney General Bob Ferguson is demanding that the U.S. Department of Education end delays in its program to cancel federal student loans for thousands of Washingtonians victimized by predatory for-profit colleges.

About 27,000 former Corinthian Colleges, Inc. students nationwide are experiencing delays in getting their loan cancelation applications. Some of these students are nearing the end of 12-month forebearances on their loans, and face restarting monthly payments on these debts.

“The Department of Education has already decided that these borrowers deserve to have their loans canceled.  The delays are unacceptable,” Ferguson said. “These students are deceived, and we owe it to them to relieve them of their financial burden as soon as possible.”

Ferguson wrote a letter Monday to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos urging the Department of Education to review applications and finalize the discharge of loans where forgiveness has already been approved. Ferguson co-wrote the letter with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

The letter was signed by 15 other state attorneys general and the attorney general of Washington, D.C., as well as the executive director of Hawaii's Office of Consumer Protection.

For-profit Corinthian Colleges stopped operating in 2015 after being examined by various government agencies. Corinthian owned and opened Everest College campuses in Everett, Fife, Tacoma, Bremerton, Renton, Seattle, and Vancouver until February, 2015, when they were sold to Zenith Education Group. The Fife location is no longer open.

The Department of Education found that while it was operating, Corinthain made widespread misrepresentations between 2010 and 2014 about post-graduation employment rates for certain programs at its Bremerton, Everett, Renton, Seattle, Tacoma, and Vancouver campuses, and elsewhere across the nation.

The department has already granted loan forgiveness to about 27,000 former Corinthian students nationwide, but has yet to discharge their loans.

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