Democrats

Read NACBA’s Last Washington Update of 2017!

 

Take a moment to read NACBA’s last Washington Update of 2017! Stay informed about significant and relevant activity on the part of Congress, regulatory agencies and interest groups/think tanks.

ON THE HILL  Earlier this month, Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA) introduced H.R.4584, the Student Security Act. H.R. 4584 is described as a completely voluntary program, that would empower borrowers who opt in to receive $550 in student loan forgiveness (or roughly the average cost for 1 credit hour at a public university) in exchange for raising a participant’s full-retirement age for Social Security benefits by 1 month with a maximum amount of $40,150 in debt relief and a corresponding 6 years, 1 month raise in retirement.

Two House Democrats sent letters on December 18th to four of the largest student loan servicing companies, seeking information about their policies and procedures for collecting. Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Pramila Jayapal of (D-WA) say they’re concerned about “the rising rate of student loan defaults and continuous claims of fraudulent practices in lending, servicing, and collecting” of student loans. The two lawmakers urged the companies to take steps to improve customer service and focus more attention on “high risk” borrowers. Read the letters they sent to the leaders of Navient, Nelnet, Great Lakes and FedLoan Servicing.

On Wednesday, December 13th House Republicans passed a partisan revision of the Higher Education Act that would restructure federal student loans and reduce accessibility to higher education by limiting financial aid options. The bill consolidates the six current federal student loans into three and removes the Graduate PLUS and Parent PLUS loan options. PLUS loans offer no limit and cover the entirety of the institution’s cost of attendance. Under the House’s revision, all federal loans would have maximums, with annual and lifetime loan caps.

IN THE AGENCIES The Education Department announced Wednesday, December 20th a reversal of the Obama administration policy of wiping out student debt. This means that students who were defrauded by the for-profit Corinthian Colleges may not get their loans forgiven entirely. Under President Barack Obama, tens of thousands of students deceived by the now-defunct schools had more than $550 million in federal student loans canceled in full. But Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Wednesday she is putting a new process in place that she says is more efficient and fair. The department will now look at average income for specific programs to determine if the loans should be forgiven fully or partially.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit on December 14th against the U.S. Department of Education and its Secretary, Betsy DeVos, for refusing to process debt relief claims submitted by tens of thousands of students who took out federal student loans to attend Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (Corinthian). Students became eligible to apply for this relief after the courts found that Corinthian defrauded these students in violation of California consumer protection laws. More than 1 in 4 of those students with pending debt relief claims resided in California.

FROM THE INTEREST GROUPS Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) strongly condemns the Department of Education’s announcement that they have denied relief to 8,600 borrowers who applied for debt discharges through borrower defense to repayment. The Department has not specified—but must immediately supply—the reasons for those denials, and how many of them came from Corinthian or ITT, schools that closed under the weight of their own illegal and abusive acts. “The news of the Department’s scheme to grant only partial relief to scammed students is just one more piece of an abundance of evidence that the Trump Administration and the DeVos Department of Education care more for the proprietary institutions that break the law than they do for the students they defraud,” said Alexis Goldstein, Senior Policy Analyst at Americans for a Financial Reform. “For Secretary DeVos, it’s predatory companies first, students last.”

 

Feedback should be directed to Krista.DAmelio@NACBA.com

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Stay Informed With NACBA’s Latest Washington Update

Happy Veterans Day to all those who have served and continue to serve our country. NACBA appreciates your service!

Stay informed about significant and relevant activity on the part of Congress, regulatory agencies and interest groups/think tanks with NACBA’s latest Washington Update.

ON THE HILL Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, announced on Thursday, November 9th that he will not seek reelection in 2018. Goodlatte extend his deepest thanks to the people of Virginia’s Sixth District and advised that there is much he hopes to accomplish in the next year, including simplifying the tax code in order to stimulate job growth, enacting criminal justice reform, repealing Obamacare, and advancing protections of the freedoms and liberties enshrined in our Constitution.

The House passed H.R. 2201, the Micro Offering Safe Harbor Act, on November 9th. This Act is said to build on Congress’ commitment to give startup businesses the room to grow. By clarifying the rules of the Securities Act to exempt nonpublic offerings—such as funding from family and friends—from unnecessary regulatory burdens, new private companies can operate without fear of unintentionally running afoul of the law.

The House Republicans’ Tax Cuts and Jobs Act calls for eliminating a number of special interest deductions — including those for medical expenses, adoption, and student loan interest. This means that millions of Americans would lose the ability to deduct up to $2,500 in student loan interest under the Republican tax bill, a proposal that education advocates say will make college less affordable. Supporters of the measure say the loss will be offset by other provisions in the bill. In 2015, according to the most recent government data available, 12.2 million taxpayers took the student loan deduction, which phases out at higher incomes. Repealing the provision would mean that the cost of student loans for borrowers would increase by some $24 billion over the next decade, according to the group, which represents 1,600 public and private colleges and universities.

On November 1stPresident Trump signed a repeal of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) rule on forced arbitration, winning praise from banking and business groups. Trump approved the resolution to repeal the CFPB rule, meant to prevent banks and credit card companies from blocking customers from joining class-action lawsuits against them, in a private Oval Office signing. Democrats and the CFPB criticized Trump, claiming he sides with banks over consumers. They’ve long called for action on forced arbitration, which they say denies fraud victims basic legal rights, and the CFPB rule was the most ambitious effort to regulate the practice.

SPECIAL VETERAN UPDATES ON THE HILL On November 7th the House passed seven Veterans Bills all aimed to help veterans find jobs and receive the health care they need. The seven pieces of legislation that passed are: H.R. 918, Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act, H.R. 1133, Veterans Transplant Coverage Act, H.R. 1900, National Veterans Memorial and Museum Act, H.R. 2123, Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support (VETS) Act, H.R. 2601, Veterans Increased Choice for Transplanted Organs and Recovery (VICTOR) Act, H.R. 3634, Securing Electronic Records for Veterans Ease (SERVE) Act, and H.R. 3949, Veterans Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform (VALOR) Act.

IN THE AGENCIES The Trump administration has signaled to members of an Education Department rulemaking panel that the administration opposes a complete ban on colleges’ use of mandatory arbitration agreements. The department’s negotiated-rulemaking committee is slated to meet next week for the first time to begin hammering out the Trump administration’s replacement for an Obama-era regulatory package known as “borrower defense to repayment.” The rules are aimed at protecting student loan borrowers defrauded by their schools and were halted by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos amid the upcoming rewrite. Consumer advocates and congressional Democrats had advocated for the Education Department’s ban on those practices, which are common at for-profit colleges. Proponents of the ban argue that arbitration can put students at a disadvantage in resolving their complaints and keeps allegations of misconduct against the college secret. Department officials argued in an issue paper on the topic that banning mandatory arbitration agreements and class action waivers violate the Federal Arbitration Act and suggested that the Higher Education Act doesn’t empower them to create such a ban. They also pointed to a resolution President Donald Trump signed last week that overturned the CFPB’s mandatory arbitration rule.

Feedback should be directed to Krista.DAmelio@NACBA.com

#NACBA25 Highlight!

 

Jump Into Hot Topics with  Keynote Luncheon Speaker: Matt Lewis 

Friday, May 5th 

12:30-2:15 PM

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#NACBA25 is excited to announce that Matt K. Lewis  a Senior Columnist for the Daily Beast, a CNN political commentator and author of the book Too Dumb to Fail: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections will be our Keynote Luncheon Speaker. Right Wing News named Matt one of the “50 Best Conservative Columnists” in 2013, 2014, and 2015. The American Conservative Union named him the 2012 CPAC Blogger of the Year. Business Insider named Matt one of the 50 “Pundits You Need To Pay Attention To Between Now And The Election” in 2011. Matt’s work has also appeared in outlets such as GQ, POLITICO, and the Guardian — and he has been quoted or cited by major media outlets including New York Magazine, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Associated Press. As a commentator, Matt has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, ABC’s Nightline, and HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.
Here’s a glimpse of Matt Lewis on one of his daily appearances on CNN

NACBA Presents: “Post Election: Now What?”

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Few people predicted that we would wake up on November 9th to a Trump Administration. But, come January 20th Mr. Trump will be in the White House and Republicans will control the Administration, the House of Representatives and the Senate for the first time since 2005.

NACBA invites you to join a webinar on Friday, November 18, 2016 to learn about how NACBA’s Advocacy program intends to respond to the new environment, the opportunities and challenges we see ahead, what the new Administration might mean for your bankruptcy practice, and how you can get involved to help NACBA reach its goals.

Date: November 18, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM Eastern / 12:45 PM Pacific (45 minutes)
Presenters:
– Maureen Thompson, NACBA Legislative Director
– Jonathan Yarowsky, NACBA Advocate
– Ike Shulman, NACBA Legislative Committee Chair
– Ed Boltz, NACBA President
Cost: No Cost to NACBA Members – Member Benefit

Register HERE