Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is among those suing the federal government to stop delaying rules protecting student-loan borrowers.
Washington has joined with 18 other states in a federal lawsuit that seeks to stop the U.S. Department of Education from delaying rules that protect student-loan borrowers from predatory and deceptive practices by higher-education institutions.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In the suit, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and 18 other attorneys general argue that the Education Department did not provide adequate justification, or a notice and comment process, regarding its delay of the rules.
The rules were written this past year by the Obama administration and were scheduled to go into effect this month. On June 14, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced she would delay implementation of the rules.
The rules, which are known as the borrow-defense regulations, make students eligible for forgiveness from their student loans if a state attorney general successfully litigates against the school.
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A number of Washington students who attended for-profit schools run by the education company Corinthian Colleges could be eligible for loan forgiveness under the Obama rule. In 2015, Corinthian filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and sold its Washington colleges, which are named Everest Colleges and are now being operated by another company.
Before it went out of business, Corinthian was being sued by several states — although Washington was not one of them — for allegedly deceiving students by misrepresenting job-placement rates and the earnings of its graduates, and for its student-lending practices.
In June, Ferguson’s office sent DeVos a letter asking her to stop delaying loan cancellations for those Corinthian students who have been granted student-loan forgiveness.