SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Xavier Becerra today criticized Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for continuing to roll back important protections for student borrowers. Specifically, Secretary DeVos recently announced that the Department of Education would terminate two memoranda of understanding with the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB). These agreements were designed to increase cooperation between the two agencies on complaints and supervision of student loan servicers. Joined by 19 attorneys general, Attorney General Becerra sent a letter to Secretary DeVos urging the Department of Education to reconsider its short-sighted decision.

“The U.S. Department of Education should be on the side of students. Secretary DeVos has consistently shown she is not, with this decision being the latest example,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Under the leadership of Director Richard Cordray, the CFPB has been an invaluable ally when it comes to protecting our students. It is irresponsible, reckless, and illegal for Secretary DeVos to now tell the CFPB that their help is no longer needed without any explanation of how she will increase protections for students. Secretary DeVos must stop cozying up with loan servicers and for-profit colleges. Educational institutions should exist to serve students. Enough is enough.”

The letter to Secretary DeVos finds three main faults with the Department of Education’s decision to end its cooperation with the CFPB and the August 31st letter announcing that decision:

  • The Department falsely asserted it has exclusive jurisdiction over companies that service federal student loans when, in fact, student loan servicers are under the jurisdiction of the CFPB, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, state attorneys general and other law enforcement agencies.
  • The Department of Education’s decision is the latest in a series of actions that strip critical protections for millions of students and families repaying student loans.
  • The Department of Education misrepresents the strong work done by the CFPB on behalf of students and families across the country. 

Joining Attorney General Becerra in signing today’s letter were the attorneys general for Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia Washington, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of today’s letter is attached to the electronic version of this release at oag.ca.gov/news.

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