Department of Education will miss the deadline to gut borrower protections this year

In a filing last night, the Department of Education announced that it will miss a November 1 statutory deadline to publish a rule that rolls back protections for student loan borrowers and students defrauded by for-profit colleges. Those protections, part of what’s known as the Obama-era borrower defense rule, were set to go into effect in July 2017 but have been unlawfully delayed by Secretary DeVos.

The Department’s inability to push through the new changes is good news for the public and taxpayers, who were intended to benefit from those protections. Now the Trump Administration’s deregulatory action on these protections can’t possibly take effect until July 2020.

Getting relief to the students who need is an ongoing effort, though. Last month a federal district court held that the delays of the Obama-era rule that were still in force were unlawful. However, it held off on vacating one of those delays until October 12 to give the Department an opportunity to correct the deficiencies of that delay, if it could.

In the meantime, litigation over the rule has heated up in a separate case brought against the Department by a trade association representing for-profit schools. That association has moved to enjoin the Obama-era protections until it can fully litigate its claims. Two borrowers and a group of states are participating in the suit to help defend the rule from industry attack.

You can see the filing here.

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