Reforming Laws Governing Student Debt

“Student debt poses a large and growing threat to the stability of our economy,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan testified March 20 before a U.S. Senate judiciary subcommittee hearing in Washington on the looming student debt crisis.

“Just as the housing crisis has trapped millions of borrowers in mortgages that are underwater, student debt could very well prevent millions of Americans from fully participating in the economy or ever achieving financial security,” Madigan said.

In January, Madigan’s office sued for-profit Westwood College, claiming it misleads students enrolled in its criminal justice program, puts them deep in debt and awards a nearly worthless degree. She told the Senate last month that since filing the suit, 1,000 former and current Westwood students have come forward to complain about their experiences.

A spokesman for Westwood said Thursday that a motion to dismiss the case is pending.

The hearing was convened by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who is pushing legislation, the Fairness for Struggling Students Act, which would allow students who borrowed from private lenders for their education to wipe out that debt in bankruptcy proceedings, just as credit card borrowers and many other unsecured debtors may do. In 2005, Congress changed bankruptcy laws and made private student loan debts nondischargeable in bankruptcy, with few exceptions.

“It’s clear that too many students have been steered into loans that they will not be able to repay and that they will never be able to escape,” Durbin said.

Private student loans often carry higher and variable interest rates and fewer consumer protections than government loans, which are more likely to offer interest rate caps, loan limits, income-based repayment plans and forbearance in times of economic hardship.

Student debt seen as threat to overall economy – Chicago Tribune

This entry was posted in Degrowth Economics, Future of the University, Occupy Wall Street. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>