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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

New York AG settles with student loan servicer for alleged PSLF and IDR failures

State Issues State Attorney General New York CFPA Student Lending Student Loan Servicer

State Issues

On April 27, the New York attorney general announced a settlement with a national student loan servicer, resolving allegations that it failed to properly manage student loans and administer the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program by inaccurately counting loan payments, improperly denying applications, and not processing applications in a timely manner. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the New York AG filed a complaint against the defendant in 2019 alleging violations of the CFPA and New York law, whereby the defendant, among other things, (i) failed to accurately count borrower’s PSLF-qualifying payments; (ii) failed to provide timely explanations to borrowers for PSLF payment count determinations; (iii) failed to process income driven repayment (IDR) plan paperwork accurately and timely; and (iv) lacked clear policies and procedures for addressing errors, resulting in inconsistent treatment of borrowers.

Under the terms of the settlement, the defendant is required to automatically review nearly 10,000 accounts of New York borrowers for various potential errors, including incorrect information provided about PSLF or IDR eligibility and inaccurate monthly payment charges, among other things. In addition, more than 300,000 current New York residents may be eligible to have their accounts reviewed at no cost to them. The defendant is required to send out notices to borrowers within 30 days. Borrower relief may include crediting of undercounted payments, refunds of overpayments, interest, monetary payments, and modifications to past payments to designate them as PSLF-qualifying. The defendant will implement enhanced quality assurance review procedures designed to identify errors.

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