Attorney General Doug Chin and Office of Consumer Protection Executive Director Steve Levins Demand U.S. DOE Help Hawaii Students Victimized by For-Profit Schools

Attorney General Doug Chin and Office of Consumer Protection Executive Director Steve Levins joined 18 other state attorneys general in demanding that the U.S. Department of Education end long delays in its program to cancel federal student loans for thousands of students in Hawaii victimized by predatory for-profit colleges.Former Corinthian Colleges Inc. students are experiencing delays in review and approval of their loan cancelation applications. About 27,000 students nationwide who have already been approved for loan forgiveness have yet to see their loans discharged. Some students are nearing the end of 12-month forbearances on their loans, and face restarting monthly payments on debts that should be canceled.

Attorney General Chin said, “Students here in Hawaii have already been hurt by these for-profit colleges. The federal government should be protecting them promptly.”

In a letter sent yesterday to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Attorney General Chin urged the U.S. Department of Education to review the mounting applications and work to timely finalize the discharge of loans where forgiveness has already been approved. The letter was joined by 19 state attorneys general.

The letter presses DeVos to provide information on what the department is doing to rectify the growing backlog of applications, and to provide a timeframe for discharge of the student debt. In addition, since the U.S. Department of Education has already determined that these students are eligible for loan forgiveness, the letter urges DeVos to abandon the application process and automatically discharge all eligible loans.

After intense scrutiny by various government entities, for-profit Corinthian Colleges abruptly ceased operations in 2015. Corinthian owned and operated Heald College campuses in Hawaii.

The U.S. Department of Education found that while it was operating, Corinthian made widespread misrepresentations between 2010 and 2014 about post-graduation employment rates for certain programs at its campuses.

About 2,474 residents who attended programs at Corinthian schools received a letter in April explaining that they are eligible for streamlined federal student loan cancelation based on the U.S. Department of Education’s findings. The students were directed to fill out a short application for the U.S. Department of Education.

The Hawaii students were notified as part of a bipartisan effort by 47 attorneys general across the country to inform more than 100,000 former Corinthian students that they are eligible for streamlined loan cancelation.

“Relieving these hard-working Americans of their fraud-induced student debt will free them to participate more fully in their local economies, or even continue their educations with reputable schools,” the letter explains.

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