Rising home prices and conservative borrowing have today's homeowners sitting on a record amount of potential cash. Today's mortgage holders saw their home equity increase by...Real Estateread more
Stocks have been grinding sideways, but technical analysts say once they breakout, the move to the upside could be powerful.Market Insiderread more
SpaceX is deep into development of its Starship rocket, with recent updates from CEO Elon Musk showing the first one under construction.Investing in Spaceread more
The new wireless earbuds, codenamed "Puget," are expected to come with an accelerometer and be able to monitor things like the distance run, calories burned, and pace of...Technologyread more
The Mac Pro is the only major Apple computer to be assembled in the United States. Most of Apple's products, including the iPhone, are assembled in China and are facing tariff...Technologyread more
SoftBank wants to push Neumann out of the CEO role ahead of the IPO.Technologyread more
Toys R Us' bankruptcy caused a 7% surge in sales for the toy industry during the first half of 2018 as parents stocked up, then sales fell 2% as manufacturers experienced...Retailread more
After an unexpected loss of subscribers and increased competition in the streaming war, shares of Netflix erased all of its 46% gain for the year at its peak and officially...Marketsread more
The UK's Civil Aviation Authority said Thomas Cook had now ceased trading and the regulator would work with the government to bring the more than 150,000 British customers...Europe Marketsread more
"Apple is not only going to make money on their own service they're also going to make money selling everybody else's services, and so will Amazon," consultant Michael J. Wolf...Technologyread more
CNBC's Jim Cramer calls on investors to be wary of the slew of hyped-up unicorn companies going public this year and encourages the focus to be on deliverable earnings.Investingread more
More than 150,000 former students of for-profit colleges filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday, claiming the agency is depriving them of the student debt relief to which they're legally entitled.
The plaintiffs, represented by Harvard Law School's Project on Predatory Student Lending and Housing & Economic Rights Advocates, accuse the Department of Education under DeVos of failing to implement an Obama-era regulation known as "borrower defense," which allows students to have their federal student loans cancelled if their school misled them or engaged in other misconduct.
"The law is clear: Students who experienced fraud should not be required to pay back federal loans that should never have been made by the Department in the first place," said Toby Merrill, director of Harvard Law School's Project on Predatory Student Lending.
More from Personal Finance:
These are the ways student loans stop people from buying a house
Student loan nightmare: Some borrowers have to start over
People with massive student debt hope Trump allows bankruptcy
Around 160,000 people have filed claims with the government that their school defrauded them, and new applications continue to pour in. Almost all of these complaints concern for-profit schools, of which there are some 7,000 around the country and which take in around 15% of government financial aid.
However, student loan borrowers have found themselves waiting without answers. The Department of Education hasn't approved or denied a borrower defense claim since June 2018.
An audit in 2017 by the Department of Education's Office of Inspector General found that government staff working on borrower defense claims had been instructed not to submit any additional applications for approval.
A federal judge ruled last year that DeVos' delays of the borrower defense regulation were unlawful. Still, advocates say the agency continues to neglect the applications.
Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for the Education Department, said the agency stands ready to process borrower defense claims.
"The only thing stopping the Department from finalizing thousands of these claims is the constant stream of litigation brought by ideological, so-called student advocate special interests," Hill said.
Barmak Nassirian, director of federal relations at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, says the Department of Education needs to proceed with these applications as quickly as possible.
"These folks need relief desperately," Nassirian said. "Their lives are on hold."
One of those people in limbo is Brandon Schultz, who decided to finally pursue his dream of becoming a graphic designer in 2008. He enrolled in the online division at the Art Institute, one of the for-profit schools that has produced a slew of borrower defense claims.
"I wanted to get into a field I enjoyed," Schultz, 38, said. "The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, it sounded fancy. "
He was disappointed to discover how basic the classes were. "It was just a bunch of beginner lessons on how to use these programs," Schultz said. "I never did any graphic design work."
He says communication with professors was sparse and his time with the school's tutors was strictly limited. "I could only talk to a tutor for so long until they cut me off," he said. "A lot of them couldn't really speak English."
Schultz went on interviews for graphic design positions, but said he was unprepared for common job tests such employers assign.
Today, he strings together a living through odd jobs, including painting and landscaping, and says there's no way he can repay the nearly $90,000 he owes for his time at the Art Institute. He makes less than $20,000 a year.
He filed a borrower defense application in 2015. The Department of Education tells him his case is still undecided.
"It's scary," Schultz said. "All I can do it wait for the government to give me some type of judgment."
Are you waiting for an answer on a borrower defense claim? I'd like to hear your story. Please email me at email@example.com.