California sues U.S. Department of Education over borrower defense rule changes

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — For the second time within a week, California’s attorney general announced the state is suing the U.S. Department of Education and its leader Betsy Devos.

The lawsuit claims the department is trying to upend student borrower protections.

“They rigged the system against students, flat and simple,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

The Obama-era ‘borrower defense rule’ provided a pathway to debt relief for students who enrolled or took out loans because of false claims made by a college or lender.

Becerra said under the U.S. Department of Education’s new regulations, there isn’t a meaningful process and that only about 4% of students could get financial relief.

In a statement, the Department of Education said the move is another grandstanding, politically driven lawsuit meant to grab headlines, maintaining the new rules protect students from fraud and hold schools accountable.

As of May, the education department had 128,000 pending applications under the borrower defense rule.

“The better news is that almost every time we sue Secretary DeVos, we all win,” said Becerra.

This is the tenth time California has sued DeVos and the Department of Education and nearly the 90th lawsuit against the Trump administration.

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