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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Senators warn CFPB of student loan servicers’ mismanagement of IDR programs

Federal Issues CFPB U.S. Senate Student Lending Student Loan Servicer Consumer Finance

Federal Issues

On April 14, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to CFPB Director Rohit Chopra urging the Bureau to investigate recent reports of student loan servicers mismanaging income-driven repayment (IDR) programs. The letter alleged that servicers have failed to properly count qualifying payments or accurately track borrowers’ progress towards cancellation. Specifically, the senators noted that servicers’ mismanagement is affecting the lowest-income borrowers the most, citing report findings that 48 percent of IDR borrowers are eligible for $0 monthly payments that can be counted towards loan forgiveness, but are not being tracked. In addition, IDR cancellation requires servicers to “proactively notify borrowers when they are within six months of qualifying for loan cancellation”—a process that requires servicers to accurately count payments and properly track borrowers’ progress. According to the senators, “out of 4.4 million eligible borrowers, recent reports indicate that only 32 borrowers have ever had their student loans canceled through IDR.”

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