Betsy DeVos Loses Lawsuit Over Delaying Obama-Era Law to Protect Students From Predatory Lenders

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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos lost a lawsuit on Wednesday brought by 19 states and the District of Columbia which accused the department of wrongfully postponing the implementation of the Borrower Defense regulations, drafted under Obama, which offer protection against fraud for students entering into loan agreements, according to Bloomberg.


That ruling comes after the administration’s highest official to protect students from predatory lenders quit in August after writing a scathing letter detailing DeVos and her team’s failures.

The law was created as a reaction to the tactics of for-profit colleges, who offered students loans by advertising the future professions students would qualify for with a degree. But most of those degree programs didn’t give out certifications that qualified students for the promised jobs, and the Washington federal court ruled the department’s delaying of this law was “procedurally improper.” In July, DeVos’ attempted to change the law and implement a more restrictive set of regulations, with less debt relief for defrauded students in its place.

U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss wrote in his decision that the Department of Education, in postponing the law, denied students “of several concrete benefits that they would have otherwise accrued.”

“The relief they seek in this action—immediate implementation of the Borrower Defense regulations—would restore those benefits,” he continued. Moss will hold a hearing on Friday to consider how to move the process forward.