In recent years, scrutiny of consumer financial services offered to students has increased dramatically. This uptick in attention is the result of myriad factors, including mounting student debt and the challenges that many borrowers have experienced in repaying loans.
Government regulators, private litigants, consumer advocates, and others are focusing attention on traditional student loans as well as other financial products and services offered to students. Major industry participants such as lenders and servicers have been focal points for monitoring and increased regulation, but attention also is being placed on less prominent players such as vendors and other service providers. From marketing, disclosures, and origination terms to routine servicing, repayment restructuring, and loss mitigation, matters relating to the entire product lifecycle are being examined more closely.
Buckley is well-positioned to provide lenders, servicers, and other student lending industry participants with comprehensive, forward-looking, and practical advice to navigate this increasingly complex regulatory landscape.
We regularly advise clients regarding cutting edge student lending and servicing matters involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), prudential banking regulators, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and state attorneys general and consumer regulators. Over the past few years we have handled scores of regulatory examination preparations, supervisory matters, investigations, and enforcement actions for a variety of lenders, servicers, and service providers offering financial products and services to students.
We also assist clients with drafting and negotiating student lending-related agreements, including program, servicing, and loan purchase and sale agreements.
Our involvement in the full spectrum of matters relating to student lending and servicing gives us substantial visibility relating to the varied concerns of government agencies, as well as would-be private litigants, and we bring this experience to bear in our work. From proactive compliance management and risk-assessment to litigation and enforcement defense, Buckley is well-positioned to provide advice to industry participants.
Our recent experience includes:
- Representing student lenders, servicers, and service providers in connection with investigations by the CFPB, prudential banking regulators, the DOJ, and state regulators
- Representing student lenders and servicers in connection with examinations by federal regulators, responses to supervisory findings, and implementation of corrective action
- Conducting fair lending and unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP)/unfair or deceptive acts or practices (UDAP) risk assessments for student loan industry participants in order to identify and address compliance gaps
- Representing a large student loan servicer in parallel federal government investigations, focusing on issues related to UDAP and Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) compliance consensually resolved in 2014
- Assisted a national nonbank student lender launching a new loan program obtain state lending licenses and create a state law compliance program consistent with those licenses
- Advising student lending industry participants on compliance with the full spectrum of consumer financial protection laws as applied to the full product life cycle. These laws includes by are not limited to UDAAP/UDAP, SCRA, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), and laws governing electronic signatures
- Advising innovative players in the industry, including fintech companies, new product development
"The role of State AGs in solving student loan crisis" by Sasha Leonhardt and Dana Walsh Kumar (Law360)
State attorneys general are the chief legal officers of their state; state attorneys general are the chief law enforcement officers of their state; and state attorneys general must protect their citizens and vigorously enforce their state’s consumer protection statutes. As broad as these powers and...Articles
From presidential town halls to the local college dining hall, issues related to student lending have become the talk of the nation. According to recent estimates, over 41 million Americans owe more than $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, second only to mortgage loan debt. A quarter of these...Articles
When Congress reenacted the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) in 2003, Congress designed the SCRA to balance the interests of active duty servicemembers and their creditors, as it had done under the SCRA’s predecessor legislation. One of the benefits provided by the SCRA is a six-percent...Articles
In 2012 and 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released several major reports and held field hearings focused on private student lending and servicing. In addition to recent CFPB activity, on June 25, 2013, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing regarding private student loans at...Articles
Spotlight on Student Lending, Part 1: Facing Increased Regulatory Scrutiny, Student Loan Lenders Prepare for CFPB Examinations
Currently, total outstanding student debt (both federal loans and private loans) has risen to roughly $1.1 trillion dollars. That figure represents an over 50% increase since 2008 and makes student loans the largest source of unsecured consumer debt – surpassing credit cards. At the same time...Articles
On December 26, the CFPB denied a petition by a student loan relief company to modify or set aside a civil investigative demand (CID) issued by the Bureau last October. According to the company’s petition , the CID requested information as part of an investigation into the company’s promotion of...InfoBytes
On January 9, the CFPB announced that it filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against a mortgage lender, a mortgage brokerage, and several student loan debt relief companies (collectively, “the defendants”), for allegedly violating the FCRA, TSR, and...InfoBytes
On December 18, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a nonprofit guaranty agency that collected delinquent student loans was exempt from the FDCPA because its “collection activity was incidental to its fiduciary obligation to the Department of Education.” According to the...InfoBytes
On December 17, eight Senate Democrats wrote to CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger urging the Bureau to fulfill its statutory obligations related to the oversight of student loan servicers who collect loans guaranteed by the federal government. In the letter, the Senators express concern over what they...InfoBytes
On December 10, the FTC announced a settlement with a for-profit school and its parent company to resolve allegations that they employed deceptive advertisements in violation of the FTC Act that gave the impression that the school had relationships and job opportunities with various technology...InfoBytes
On November 22, the CFPB released a new Data Point report from the Office of Research titled “Borrower Experiences on Income-Driven Repayment,” which examines, among other things, the types of student loan borrowers who participate in income-driven repayment (IDR) plans, the evolution of borrower...InfoBytes
AG coalition calls on Department of Education to discharge loans for students who attended closed for-profit school
On November 13, a coalition of 22 state attorneys general led by the Massachusetts attorney general sent a letter to the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer to determine whether the Department has complied with federal regulations that allow student borrowers to...InfoBytes
On October 30, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California certified a class of borrowers who allegedly applied for student loan relief based on their higher education institution’s misconduct but have yet to receive a decision from the Department of Education. The borrowers...InfoBytes
On October 28, 23 Senate Democrats wrote to CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger urging the Bureau to open an enforcement investigation into a Pennsylvania-based student loan servicer’s alleged mismanagement of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The Senators contend that the servicer’s...InfoBytes
On October 30, the CFPB, along with the Minnesota and North Carolina attorneys general, and the Los Angeles City Attorney (together, the “states”), announced an action against a student loan debt relief operation for allegedly deceiving thousands of student-loan borrowers and charging more than $71...InfoBytes
Our Student Lending Team
Recent Blog Posts
January 16, 2020
CFPB denies petitioner’s request to postpone CID pending Seila decision
January 10, 2020
CFPB files claims against debt relief companies
January 8, 2020
9th Circuit: Student loan guaranty agency is not a debt collector under FDCPA
December 20, 2019
Democratic Senators question Kraninger on student loan servicer oversight
December 13, 2019
FTC obtains $191 million from for-profit school for deceptive ads