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 August 21, President Trump issued a presidential memorandum to Secretary Betsy DeVos of the U.S. Department of Education directing the Department to implement a streamlined process to automatically discharge the federal student loan debt of totally and permanently disabled veterans (TPD...InfoBytes
On August 19, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan held that a Pennsylvania-based student loan servicing agency violated the TCPA by calling the plaintiffs’ cell phones over 350 times using an automatic telephone dialing system (autodailer) after consent was revoked...InfoBytes
On August 15, NYDFS announced a settlement with a student loan servicer and its parent company to resolve allegations that the companies failed to comply with state financial services law requirements when servicing, purchasing, and originating student financing agreements. According to the consent...InfoBytes
On August 16, the CFPB announced Robert G. Cameron as the Bureau’s private education loan ombudsman. Cameron, who served in the U.S. Army for 29 years and is a Colonel and Staff Judge Advocate for the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, joins the Bureau from the Pennsylvania Higher Education...InfoBytes
On July 31, NYDFS published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the New York State Register. The proposed rule would implement legislation related to the supervision, regulation, and licensing of private student loan servicers passed in March as part of the state’s FY 2020 budget. As previously...InfoBytes
On August 12, the CFPB announced a proposed settlement with a defunct for-profit educational institution to resolve allegations that the defendant engaged in unfair and abusive acts and practices in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act through its private student loan origination...InfoBytes
5th Circuit says Congress, not courts, is responsible for changing rules for discharging student loans in bankruptcy
On July 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit affirmed decisions by a bankruptcy court and a district court to dismiss a borrower’s student loan discharge request under the Bankruptcy Code, holding that Congress, not the courts, is responsible for changing the rules for discharging...InfoBytes
New Jersey establishes Office of the Student Loan Ombudsman, provides student loan servicer regulations
On July 30, the New Jersey governor signed S1149 to, among other things, establish the Office of the Student Loan Ombudsman within the Department of Banking and Insurance and provide licensing requirements for student loan servicers. Notably, federal or state chartered banks, savings banks, savings...InfoBytes
On July 18, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) sent a letter to CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger and U.S. Department of Education (Department) Secretary Betsy DeVos requesting an explanation as to why a statutorily required Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) terminated by the...InfoBytes
On July 15, the Rhode Island governor signed HB 5936 , which creates the “Student Loan Bill of Rights Act” to define responsibilities for student loan servicers and establish guidelines related to the issuance of postsecondary loans. Notably, federal or state chartered banks or credit unions, as...InfoBytes
Our Student Lending Team
Recent Blog Posts
August 23, 2019
President directs Ed to discharge disabled veterans’ student loan debt
August 23, 2019
District court concludes loan servicer violated TCPA
August 21, 2019
NYDFS fines non-licensed student loan servicer for alleged TILA disclosure violations
August 20, 2019
CFPB names Cameron private education loan ombudsman
August 15, 2019
NYDFS proposes student loan servicers regulation