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Attorney General Frosh calls for cancellation of federal student loan debt

BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh on Friday joined a multistate coalition urging the adoption of U.S. House and Senate resolutions that call for the cancellation of up to $50,000 in federal student debt owed by every federal student loan borrower nationwide.

In their letter to Congress, the attorneys general stress the relief needed for borrowers struggling with unmanageable student loan debt, which they say has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and current financial crisis. The resolutions, Senate Resolution 46 and House Resolution 100, call on President Biden to exercise his authority to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

“Terrible mismanagement of federal student loan programs has left student-borrowers with an enormous amount of debt, often after being persuaded to take out loans for educational programs that offered no real hope of meaningful employment,” said Attorney General Frosh.

According to the letter, the existing repayment system for federal student loans provides insufficient opportunity for struggling borrowers to manage their debts. As many as one in five federal student loan borrowers are in default. Options for student borrowers to obtain relief have also proven to be inadequate, the letter claims. Only 2 percent of borrowers who applied for loan discharges under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program have been granted a discharge, and efforts by state attorneys general to obtain student loan discharges for students defrauded by for-profit schools have been stymied by the U.S. Department of Education.

The letter specifically highlights misconduct by for-profit schools, and how the industry’s predatory practices have disproportionately harmed people of color. The attorneys general also allege that cancelling federal student loan debt can substantially increase Black and Latino household wealth and help close the racial wealth gap.

Joining Attorney General Frosh in today’s letter are the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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