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
Special Alert: CARES Act places significant burdens on servicers of consumer debt but provides some relief to depositories
President Trump late last week signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that attempts to soften the negative economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on consumers, including by suspending payments for certain student loan borrowers and enabling mortgage loan borrowers to...Special Alerts
"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 March 27, the CFPB issued guidance on the student loan provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Pursuant to the Act, borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their loan principal and interest payments paused until September 30...InfoBytes
On March 25, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that in order to provide additional relief for student loan borrowers, the Department will take a number of actions which include the following: Stop collection activities and wage garnishments for at least 60 days, effective March 13;...InfoBytes
On March 20, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced temporary relief for student loan borrowers in response to the Covid-19 national emergency. The borrower relief measures include: Automatic 0% interest rates on all federally held student loans for at least 60 days; Option to suspend...InfoBytes
On February 19, the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee introduced a bill that would require the Commissioner of Commerce to negotiate with credit reporting bureaus to waive negative credit reports, and to negotiate a federal waiver for federally guaranteed...InfoBytes
On March 11, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied the motion of a Minnesota-based indirect finance company (defendant) to dismiss allegations that its participation in a student loan relief operation violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (...InfoBytes
On March 10, the FTC announced that it obtained default judgments of over $10.7 million against three defendants in a student loan debt relief operation that the FTC alleged violated the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Act. The defendants were alleged to have deceptively marketed services to reduce...InfoBytes
On March 11, the U.S. Senate, in a 53-42 vote, joined the House in passing H.J. Res. 76 , which provides for congressional disapproval of the Department of Education’s 2019 Borrower Defense Rule (the Rule). As previously covered by InfoBytes , the Rule, published last September and set to take...InfoBytes
State student loan ombudspersons push for automatic student loan discharges for disabled civilian borrowers
On March 3, student loan ombudspersons from seven states and the District of Columbia sent a joint letter to U.S. Department of Education (Department) Secretary Betsy DeVos and Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner Andrew Saul advocating for the automatic discharge of student loans for...InfoBytes
On February 27, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent a letter to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) asking how the office plans to address reports of racial disparities within the federal student loan industry. The letter...InfoBytes
On February 14, the CFPB released its winter 2020 Supervisory Highlights , which details its supervisory and enforcement actions in the areas of student loan servicing, payday lending, debt collection, and mortgage servicing. The findings of the report, which are published to assist entities in...InfoBytes
Our Student Lending Team
Recent Blog Posts
March 27, 2020
CFPB issues guidance to student loan borrowers on Covid-19 debt relief
March 25, 2020
Department of Education provides Covid-19 relief by pausing loan collections, issuing refunds
March 20, 2020
Federal student loan payments suspended, interest waived during Covid-19 national emergency
March 19, 2020
Minnesota bill to address negative credit reports and student loans
March 19, 2020
District court rejects financing company’s dismissal bid in student loan debt relief scam