Written by Mirella Barrera-Betancourt
As of Friday, Oct. 28, six major lawsuits have been filed by opponents of the one-time federal student loan forgiveness program across the U.S.
The legal arguments contain claims of harm to borrowers, the program being unconstitutional, harm due to the devaluation of Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and harm to states and state agencies. They also claim that the program violates the Administrative Procedure Act — arguing that the program failed to provide notices of produced and final rulemaking, as well as failing to provide opportunities for the public to comment on notices of said proposed rulemaking.
On Oct. 21, a federal circuit court ruled for the issuing of an “administrative stay,” which would immediately halt student loan forgiveness payments indefinitely until the court rules on the motion for an injunction.
This news came after 22 million Americans applied for student loan debt forgiveness, following the first week of the student loan debt forgiveness beta application becoming available.
In an exclusive interview for News Nation on Oct. 27, President Biden acknowledged the court argument for debt relief, predicting that the issues would be quickly resolved and that students could see their refund checks in the mail within the next few weeks.
In other news, the student loan forgiveness plan has provided a hook for scammers, as an increasing wave of borrowers are becoming victims to scammers with fraudulent offers of help.
One of the more common scams is a company stating that an individual must pay in order to be eligible for student loan debt forgiveness — which is false. Other scammers attempt to persuade borrowers to provide their personal or financial information as a way to steal one’s identity. In a newly-introduced method, scammers are pretending to be an individual’s loan servicer.
If an individual is unsure about who their loan servicer is, they can visit studentaid.gov and scroll down until they find the section for “My Loan Servicers.” As a reminder, most borrowers receive an official email by their loan servicer upon accepting government loans. The official federal loan servicers include FedLoan Servicers, Granite State, Great Lakes Educational Loans Servicers, HESC/EdFinancial, MOHELA, Navient, Nelnet, and OSLA Servicing.
To avoid being scammed, unsolicited emails and other messages should be ignored and attachments inside of them should never be opened. Such emails could contain malware and viruses.
Individuals who believe they have fallen victim to student loan debt relief scammers should immediately report to the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Education or file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
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