For Immediate Release:
January 14, 2020
Contact: Matt Baca — (505) 270-7148
Santa Fe, NM– Attorney General Baldears joined a coalition of states in supporting
Congressional efforts to reject a final rule by the U.S. Department of Education that fails to
protect students and taxpayers from the misconduct of unscrupulous schools. In a letter to
Congress, the attorneys general supported efforts to reject the U.S. Department of Education’s
2019 Borrower Defense Rule pursuant to a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional
“New Mexican students trying to make a better life for themselves and their families should
never be the victim of predatory lending, and this attempt to strip them of the protections they
need is unacceptable,” said Attorney General Balderas. “The safety and welfare of our students is
our priority, and we will continue to fight to protect them.”
According to the letter, the final rule provides no realistic prospect for borrowers to discharge
their loans when they have been defrauded by predatory for-profit schools, and it eliminates
financial responsibility requirements for those same institutions. “If this rule goes into effect, the
result will be disastrous for students while providing a windfall to abusive schools,” the letter
The Department’s new rule would rescind and replace its comprehensive 2016 Borrower
Defense Rule, which involved a thorough rulemaking process addressing borrower defense and
financial responsibility, in which the views of numerous schools, stakeholders, and public
commenters were involved. The 2016 Borrower Defense Rule provided defrauded borrowers
with a transparent process to seek debt relief and protected taxpayers by holding schools
accountable that engage in misconduct.
According to the letter, the Department’s new rule provides an unworkable process for defrauded
students to obtain loan relief and will do nothing to deter and hold accountable schools that cheat
their students. Instead of ensuring that borrowers are not bearing the costs of institutional
misconduct, the Department’s new rule empowers predatory for-profit schools and cuts off relief
to victimized students.
Investigations and enforcement actions by attorneys general have revealed the misconduct of
numerous for-profit schools and helped secure relief for tens of thousands of student borrowers.
Attorney General Balderas was joined in sending the letter by the attorneys general of California,
Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New
Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and
the District of Columbia.