I. Every student deserves access to a quality, affordable education at a college that is cutting costs and increasing learning.
II. Every student should be able to access the resources needed to pay for college.
III.Every borrower has the right to an affordable repayment plan.
IV. And every borrower has the right to quality customer service, reliable information, and fair treatment, even if they struggle to repay their loans.You want this ludicrous, so-called "Bill of Rights" boiled down into a single sentence?President Obama is basically saying everyone has the right to borrow money at a reasonable interest rate to attend college and to be treated courteously by the debt collectors.
This ridiculous document does nothing to rein in college costs or to effectively regulate the for-profit college industry. It does nothing to ease the suffering and hardship of millions of people who have defaulted on their student loans.
What would a real Student Bill of Rights look like? Something like this:
I. Insolvent people who took out student loans in good faith have the right to have their student loans discharged in bankruptcy.
II. Elderly people who are living entirely off their Social Security income should not have their Social Security checks garnished because they defaulted on a student loan.
III. People should not be required to sign covenants not to sue as a condition for enrolling at a for-profit college.
IV. All colleges and universities that benefit from the federal student-loan program should be subject to an open-records law that would require them to disclose their financial affairs and their decision-making process for admitting students.
V. Student-loan defaulters should not have excessive fees and penalties added to their student-loan debt.
VI. A statute of limitations should apply to all efforts to collect on unpaid student loans. The statute of limitations should be six years, just as it is in most jurisdictions for lawsuits for breach of contract or nonpayment on a debt.
VII. The government and its collection agents should stop trying to force bankrupt debtors into 25-year repayment plans as they did in the Roth case, the Myhre case, and the Lamento case.
VIII. Students who take out loans from private banks and private financial institutions should be able to discharge their student loans in bankruptcy under the same terms that apply for discharging other debts.
But the Obama administration, Congress, and the higher-education industry don't really want to effectively curb the excesses of the student-loan industry. They want to tinker around the edges of this huge problem, while the colleges and the debt collectors gorge themselves on student-loan money.
|There's good money in student loans.|