Twitter Roundup: House Committee on Financial Services and the #studentdebtbomb

Twitter Roundup: House Committee on Financial Services and the #studentdebtbomb

This morning, the House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing on the student debt crisis: A $1.5 Trillion Crisis: Protecting Student Borrowers and Holding Student Loan Servicers Accountable.

Not sure if you have four hours to watch? Here are some highlights from our live tweets of the hearing.

The Panelists

Five witnesses testified over the course of the five hour hearing, brining a variety of perspectives and expertise.

Seth Frotman served as the Student Loan Ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the top government watchdog over student loans, for three years. Frotman left the CFPB after an eleven year career in August 2018, citing a lack of faith in the Trump Administration’s ability to protect borrowers. “It has become clear that consumers no longer have a strong, independent Consumer Bureau on their side,” he said in his scathing resignation letter. In his position as the Executive Director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, Frotman continues to advocate for student borrowers.

While the hearing wasn’t directly related to bankruptcy and student loans, it did look at the bigger picture of how the rights of student borrowers have been chipped away over time.

Joining Frotman on the panel of witnesses was Hasan Minhaj, host of Netflix’s Patriot Act. Minhaj hosted Frotman on the Patriot Act episode examining student loans, which is definitely worth a watch.

 

Also on the panel was Persis Yu, a Staff Attorney from National Consumer Law Center; Ashley Harrington Senior Policy Counsel for Center for Responsible Lending; and Jason Delisle, a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

The Representatives

Only one cosponsor of Student Borrower Bankruptcy Relief Act is on this particular committee: Madeleine Dean.

However, several members of the committee echoed our stance that borrowers need options and protections:

There was even a mention of the 2005 bankruptcy bill from Representative Sean Casten!

Though bankruptcy is not the answer for everyone’s debt, not even having that option has left borrowers without leverage, creating an environment where abuse can flourish.

Next steps

Unfortunately, the Student Borrower Bankruptcy Protection Act has been sitting in committee for months now. Contact your senators and representatives and let them know that you want them to cosponsor the Student Borrower Bankruptcy Relief Act! Click here for more information. And if they’re on the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law? Ask them what their next steps are on getting the billed passed.

 

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