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02/08/21

WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, Illinois, chairman of the Senate Judicial Committee, announced today that Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raul will testify at tomorrow’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing called Student Loan Bankruptcy Reform. A.G. Raoul will testify to the need to revoke student loans in the event of bankruptcy as a last resort to help needy student borrowers, including those tricked into taking large loans to attend commercial schools that did not provide adequate education to enable students to study … find a paid job. Currently, 45 million Americans have over $ 1.7 trillion in student loan debt. Unlike most other types of debt, student loans are not repayable in the event of bankruptcy, except in very rare cases.

Key quotes from prepared comments by A. G. Raul are available below:

“In 2019, my office received over 700 higher education complaints, most of which related to commercial schools and student loans. These high-cost schools target low-income students and their federal student loans, which are incredibly and unnecessarily difficult for these students to get fired from bankruptcy. As a result, these students are saddled with loans that many will never repay in their lifetime. These loans negatively affect the students’ ability to make important life decisions. We have the opportunity to fix this financial disaster for American students here and now. ”

“Predatory commercial schools make a significant contribution to the growing student debt burden in our country. Commercial schools are the most expensive educational institutions by sector. For example, in Illinois in the 2018-2019 school year, the average tuition for a two-year public institution was $ 3,984, and for a private, commercial two-year institution, it was $ 14,815. ”

“We can do so much to stop the student loan crisis just by complying with consumer fraud laws. Many for-profit schools file for bankruptcy themselves, including ITT and Corinthian Colleges, limiting our ability to heal students. Students deserve the same right to bankruptcy relief as schools. ”

“Allowing student loans to be freely repaid 10 years after their first disbursement serves two key purposes: it provides relief for the most financially stressed Americans eligible for bankruptcy relief, and it protects the solvency of public students. loan. In addition, the Bankruptcy Code contains sufficient provisions to protect against fraud, bad faith and abuse, and to ensure that relief is limited to those debtors who deserve judicial protection. Paying off those debts will allow these former students to live the lives they might have put off: buying houses, getting married, and even starting families. ”

The full text of A. G. Raul’s comments is available. here

A.G. Raoul was sworn in as Illinois Attorney General in January 2019 after serving as an Illinois Senator for 14 years. Raoul and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office have been national leaders in investigating and suppressing consumer protection violations in higher education. Raoul has advocated the adoption of the Know Before You Must Act and the launch of Illinois’ first student loan ombudsman program to provide resources for student borrowers struggling to make payments. Raoul also sought to prosecute unscrupulous commercial colleges for defrauding students and secured debt relief for students who were defrauded.

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