Trump's secretary of education is actively helping the loan industry rip off students all across the country.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a government watchdog agency, revealed that the Betsy DeVos-led Department of Education is obstructing efforts to police the student loan industry, NPR reported on Thursday.
According to NPR, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger disclosed the Education Department's strategy in response to an April inquiry from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and other lawmakers, who asked Kraninger about reports that the agency had "abandoned its supervision and enforcement activities" in relation to over $1 trillion in student loans.
Kraninger told Warren DeVos' department was getting in the way of justice.
"Student loan servicers [at the Department of Education] have declined to produce information requested by the Bureau for supervisory examinations," Kraninger wrote.
Kraninger also noted that the stonewalling stems from a memo issued by the Department in December 2017, and that the flow of information coming to CFPB has stopped ever since.
"The head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is telling the world that the secretary of education has put in place a series of policies that are obstructing federal law enforcement officials from standing up for the millions of Americans with student debt," Seth Frotman of the Student Borrower Protection Center told NPR.
Frotman also said that DeVos' actions are "quite remarkable." He served as CFPB's student loan ombudsman until last summer but quit in protest. At that time, he slammed the Trump administration for "turning its back on student borrowers."
As an example of the sort of situation DeVos' policies are enabling, NPR spoke to Jessica Saint-Paul, a woman with $80,000 in student loans who was told by the company servicing her loans that after 10 years of consistent payment, the remainder of her balance would be forgiven.
Instead, after 9 years, she found out she was in the wrong plan, and still owed thousands of dollars.
"I just cannot believe this happened to me. That's like criminal, it's not right," she told the outlet.
Thanks to DeVos' actions, the agencies and regulators who are supposed to be looking out for consumers in similar situations are not doing their jobs.
DeVos is on the side of companies scamming students and has been since she became a part of Trump's Cabinet. At every turn, she has worked to undermine students while weighing in on the side of profiteers.
CFPB's letter exposes yet another way Trump is hurting Americans, with DeVos abusing her position in favor of corporate interests.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.