Donald Trump’s Education Department violated privacy laws according to a federal court in California. The privacy violation occurred when the U.S. Department of Education used the Social Security Administration (SSA) to help it analyze loan forgiveness for students who had been defrauded by Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit organization.
The department access student information in order to send cease and desist letters to debt collection agencies that were attempting to collect student loan payments from students who were the victims of massive fraud on behalf of Corinthian Colleges.
The privacy violation was undertaken at the request of Secretary Betsy DeVos who announced that former students who have only a portion of their federal loans forgiven.
Advocating For Defrauded Students
In issuing the court’s opinion, DeVos and her administrators were urged to reconsider the partial loan forgiveness for about 100,000 students. The court believes the full amount for each student loan should be forgiven because of the massive fraud that was discovered.
Harvard University’s Project on Predatory Student Lending is representing the student’s who were taken advantage of by Corinthian Colleges.
The California court began hearing testimony over the fraud in 2017 after DeVos said students would still be required to repay part of the loans.
An Unconscionable Act
“What Secretary DeVos is doing is unconscionable,” says California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
“It is hard to believe that we are forced to sue the Department of Education to compel Secretary DeVos to carry out the Department’s legal duty and help these students rebuild their lives.”
With nearly 100,000 students hoping to have their full student loan debt forgiven, this won’t be the last we hear from the courts and the Department of Education.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.