Rep. Stevens Votes to Protect Defrauded Students
WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI-11) voted to pass H.J.Res. 76, a resolution to overturn the U.S. Department of Education’s 2019 Borrower Defense rule that would have gutted essential protections for student borrowers and taxpayers.
In recent years, there has been a surge in higher education fraud, with predatory for-profit colleges luring students with false promises of guaranteed jobs upon graduation and inaccurate information about the transferability of credits. Many of these unscrupulous institutions have also collapsed, leaving student borrowers with crushing debt and without a degree. Under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the Department of Education has refused to provide debt relief to defrauded borrowers, while the list of defrauded borrowers seeking relief has grown to roughly 240,000 nationwide, including 7,916 in Michigan.
Earlier this week, Congresswoman Stevens spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of H.J.Res 76. In December, Congresswoman Stevens questioned Secretary DeVos about her failure to protect defrauded students during a House Education and Labor Committee hearing. She also told the story of Erica Maupin, a Michigander who was defrauded by a now defunct predatory for-profit college and had to abandon her dream of becoming a paralegal. Without relief from the Department of Education, Erica has been struggling to provide for her family while paying off the crushing student debt she accumulated to earn a useless degree.
Congresswoman Stevens has been a strong advocate for student borrowers this year, introducing several bills to provide relief for student loan borrowers:
- H.R. 4395, the Clean Slate Through Consolidation Act and H.R. 4396, the Cleans Slate Through Repayment Act. These bills would remove default records from the credit history of federal student loan borrowers who have consolidated their defaulted loan or repaid the loan in full.
- H.R. 2728, the Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act. This bipartisan, bicameral bill would provide relief to borrowers who previously consolidated their student loan debt, including victims of domestic or economic abuse, or those with an uncommunicative partner.
- H.R. 2888, the Stop Student Debt Relief Scams Act. This bipartisan, bicameral bill would give the Education Department tools to identify and shut down student debt relief scams that target student borrowers and parents.