Democratic AGs Object to Delay of Borrower Defense Rule

The Democratic attorneys general of 19 states and the District of Columbia this week objected to the latest postponement of the Obama-era borrower defense rule, which aims to make it simpler for defrauded students to have their student loan debt wiped clean, Politico reported.

The U.S. Education Department issued an initial delay in June—blocking the rule set to take effect on July 1—and announced the appointment of a negotiated rulemaking committee to reconsider the regulation. Last month, the agency issued an "interim final rule" that immediately delayed the regulation until at least July 1, 2018, then separately announced a second delay until 2019. That timeline, the department said, would allow it to complete a bureaucratic rewrite of borrower defense through a negotiated rulemaking process starting this fall.

The group of AGs, led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, filed an amended complaint in federal court on Monday, arguing that the moves to prevent the rule from taking effect "are not merely procedural delays." Instead, the states argue, the department's action effectively rescinds the rule without going through the proper rulemaking process.

The latest actions will push back the timeline for resolving the lawsuit, according to Politico. The Trump administration asked the judge on Monday to set a new schedule for receiving back-and-forth filings in the case, under which documents from both sides would be completed by January 19. The administration said the states do not oppose that requested schedule.


Related Links