Education Secretary Betsy DeVos violated a court order to stop collecting on the debts of some former Corinthian College students and now a judge is weighing sanctions or finding her in contempt of court.
“I feel like there have to be some consequences for the violation of my order 16,000 times,” said US Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim at a hearing held Monday in San Francisco, according to an audio recording released by the court.
The Department of Education has said that more than 16,000 borrowers were incorrectly informed that they owed a payment on their debt, according to a September court filing. About 1,800 had their wages garnished and more than 800 were mistakenly subject to adverse credit reporting.”Whether it’s contempt or whether it’s sanctions, I’m going to entertain them,” Kim said.
When Corinthian College folded in 2015, it left thousands of students without a degree and saddled with student debt. The Obama administration told impacted borrowers that they would receive debt relief.
But under the Trump administration, the department attempted to change the way it calculated how much of a borrower’s debt would be forgiven. The Project on Predatory Student Lending and Housing and Economic Rights Advocate filed its case in 2017 and the judge granted a preliminary injunction in May 2018, ordering the department to stop collecting on the debts.
Will another Trump cabinet member face possible ramifications for failing to comply with the law?