Wednesday, October 30: A hearing and business meeting in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to mark up legislation (including H.R. 2094, the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act) and review Department of Education nominations has been postponed until October 30. This is the second time the hearing and business meeting have been rescheduled, as they were first rescheduled to take place during the shutdown.
FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN SERVICERS
The Department of Education announced that it will begin its initiative to ensure that borrowers of Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loans only have one servicer for their loans. The transfer initiative will start this month and be completed by March 2014.
PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its Annual Report of the CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman on Wednesday, October 16, which continued to highlight concerns with private lenders. The report reviewed approximately 3,800 complaints, 87 percent of which were directed at only eight companies.
In the report, CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman Rohit Chopra again likened consumer issues with the student loan industry to those of the mortgage market in the wake of the financial crisis. He noted that “[r]ecent changes to mortgage servicing and credit card servicing practices may shed some insight on possible approaches to remedy student loan servicing concerns.” The CFPB announced in March that it would like to extend its oversight to companies that collect payments from borrowers and on behalf of lenders (e.g., “student loan servicers”). The CFPB is expected to finalize that rule expanding such authority over servicers by the end of 2013.