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AG Nessel and others file suit against Secretary DeVos and U.S. Department of Education for repealing Critical Borrower Defense Regulations

Posted at 1:03 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 13:03:16-04

LANSING, Mich. — Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined 22 other attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). They are all challenging their action to repeal the 2016 borrower defense regulations and replace them with new regulations that appear to truly benefit predatory for-profit schools.

The 2016 borrower defense regulations established critical protections for student borrowers who have been misled or defrauded by predatory schools. The regulations thereby provide borrowers a pathway to get relief from their federal student loans, as well as creating deterrents for schools that engage in misconduct.

In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, the group of attorney generals argue that USDE’s decision to repeal and replace the Obama-era regulations violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

“At a time when the Department of Education should want to make every effort to ensure student borrowers are protected as they seek an education, my colleagues and I are left with no other choice but to take Betsy DeVos to court,” said Nessel. “We are calling on the Department of Education to do right by student borrowers who get robbed by for-profit institutions, rather than to make it more difficult for them to seek relief by rolling back the protections already in place. We have seen thousands of Michiganders fall victim to the misconduct of for-profit institutions. That is reason alone to join in this fight.”

Attorney General Nessel’s office has fought for and secured relief for student borrowers from failed for-profit schools including ITT Technical Institute, Art Institute of Michigan, and Career Education Corp.

A copy of the complaint is available here.

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