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 October 10, the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee released a letter from Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Patty Murray (D-Wash) to the new CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman, Robert Cameron, outlining their expectations for his tenure in the Ombudsman’s Office. The senators state...InfoBytes
On October 9, NYDFS announced the creation of the Student Debt Advisory Board, which will advise on consumer protection, student financial products and services, as well as issues facing communities significantly impacted by student debt. The new advisory board is a part of NYDFS’s “Step Up for...InfoBytes
On October 3, the New York attorney general announced an action filed against a national student loan servicer for allegedly failing to properly administer the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and mishandling income driven repayment (IDR) plans. In the complaint, the attorney general...InfoBytes
On September 17, NYDFS announced that Winston Berkman-Breen has been appointed as the agency’s first-ever Student Advocate and Director of Consumer Advocacy. Prior to joining NYDFS, Berkman-Breen was a Justice Catalyst Fellow and Staff Attorney with the Consumer Protection Unit at the New York...InfoBytes
On September 24, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) will hold a rulemaking hearing to discuss amendments concerning mortgage loan originators (MLOs) as well as provisions related to student loan servicers. The proposed amendments will amend rules impacting Washington’s...InfoBytes
On September 12, the FTC announced two separate suits filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against various entities and individuals who allegedly engaged in deceptive practices when promoting student loan debt relief schemes. In the first complaint , filed jointly...InfoBytes
On September 5, NYDFS announced a new investigation into the student debt relief industry. NYDFS is issuing subpoenas to eight student debt relief companies to investigate deceptive practices in the industry, including misrepresenting the ability to achieve debt relief and charging improper fees...InfoBytes
On August 30, the Department of Education issued final regulations revising protections for student borrowers that were significantly misled or defrauded by the higher education institution they attended. The final Institutional Accountability regulations —first proposed in July 2018 (previous...InfoBytes
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
Our Student Lending Team
Recent Blog Posts
October 15, 2019
Democratic Senators lay out expectations for new CFPB ombudsman
October 11, 2019
NYDFS creates Student Debt Advisory Board as student loan legislation takes effect
October 10, 2019
New York AG sues student loan servicer for alleged PSLF and IDR failures
September 19, 2019
NYDFS names first Student Advocate and Director of Consumer Advocacy
September 19, 2019
Washington DFI proposes MLO and student loan servicer amendments