Washington (CNN)The Education Department did not provide a single claim for loan forgiveness to folks that stated they were defrauded with the aid of their schools among June and December 2018, in line with facts sent to Congress and supplied to CNN on Friday.
While Education Secretary Betsy DeVos advised senators on Thursday that her branch had restarted loan forgiveness to defrauded college students, the statistics indicate it did now not, without delay, start doing so regardless of an October courtroom order.
More than 158,000 people are waiting to listen whether or not their debt will be canceled, in step with the Education Department statistics, which was sent to Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray’s office on Friday.
Many borrowers have been looking ahead to their declaration to be processed for years as DeVos fought to dam a rule referred to as Borrower Defense to Repayment from going into effect. It lets in college students to use for debt cancellation if they were defrauded via their university. However, DeVos desires to rewrite it to make sure taxpayers aren’t at the hook for college kids who their faculties didn’t without a doubt harm.
The rule applies to students whose colleges made erroneous claims or misled them about the achievement in their packages. It covers nursing students, as an instance, who located out after finishing their software that it didn’t have the right accreditation — maintaining them from getting a activity.
Applicants are commonly required to show that the faculty misled them by presenting them with inflated process placement prices, for example.
In September, a federal court sided with Democratic attorneys standard from 18 states and Washington, DC, and ordered implementing the rule of thumb in October.
At Thursday’s finances listening to — wherein DeVos was also blasted for proposing a cut to the Special Olympics — the secretary said she did no longer recognize what number of claims had been processed in the beyond five months.
“Has the department accepted even one Borrower Defense declare given that that courtroom order,” Murray requested.
“I accept as true with so. We are reviewing them frequently. I don’t have the unique wide variety,” DeVos responded.
“We are persevering with to study the right steps primarily based on the decide’s request that the 2016 regulation be implemented, at the same time as on the identical time we’re continuing to paintings on revising the regulation,” DeVos brought.
The branch had formerly launched information on Borrower Defense claims thru September, earlier than the courtroom order. The new facts changed into sent to the senator as a part of a regular quarterly file, and not in reaction to her questions at the listening to.
“It appears to me we haven’t moved forward at all in this, and that is not fair to the students or their families or their destiny,” Murray stated.
It’s possible that the Department of Education processed a few claims in 2019. However, it did now not confirm when requested via CNN on Friday.
“The department expects to post up-to-date facts about the federal pupil useful resource programs, which include borrower protection claims, in the coming weeks,” a spokesperson stated in an emailed statement.
The range of Borrower Defense applications soared as the Obama administration cracked down on for-profit faculties.
Department introduced that it might begin canceling loans for debtors eligible for a selected sort of loan cancellation. There is an automated mortgage discharge for the ones whose colleges closed even as they were enrolled.
As of March 1, the branch has forgiven greater than $168 million in debt to about 16,000 borrowers that certified for a closed-college discharge, according to facts the National Student Legal Defense Network acquired from the Department of Education about a lawsuit. The group sued the department in November for allegedly continuing to gather on these loans.
About half of the debt forgiven becomes owed by means of borrowers who attended one of the now-defunct for-profit Corinthian Colleges.
But borrowers who are not eligible for the automatic discharge are still waiting to hear the decision on their declare.
At the hearing on Thursday, Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin asked DeVos why it became taking so long for the department to give defrauded students a wreck.
“Don’t you’ve got a heart?” he asked.
“Senator, no scholar must be defrauded, and if fraud is concerned, there are effects, and there can be effects,” DeVos answered.