NAICU Washington Update

Gainful Employment and Borrower Defenses to Repayment Regulations to be Renegotiated

June 21, 2017

The Department of Education has announced that it is renegotiating two major program integrity regulations published by the Obama Administration: gainful employment and borrower defenses to repayment.
Officials from the Department have also announced that the expanded borrower defenses regulations published in November 2016, and scheduled to be implemented on July 1, 2017, will not be implemented because of pending litigation.
Separate rulemaking committees will renegotiate the borrower defenses and gainful employment rules.  The Department has announced that public hearings to discuss the rulemaking agenda will be held in Washington, DC (July 10) and Dallas, TX (July 12). The Department will not identify specific objectives, and negotiators will be free to take the approach they consider prudent to reach consensus on the rules. The public will have the opportunity to present at the hearings, as well as provide written comments for the record. Following the public hearings, the Department expects the formal renegotiations to begin in November or December 2017.
The Department also restated its commitment to discharging loan debt held by students who have already been promised debt relief, and that Department staff will continue to review pending applications for loan discharge. There are currently more than 16,000 applications for debt relief under review.
The Department also expects to reconsider guidelines for guarantee agencies’ debt-collection practices. All three issues (gainful employment, borrower defenses, debt collection) will be discussed at the public hearings on July 10 and July 12.