ROHNERT PARK, Calif., Nov. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The future of the student loan consumer is in flux. With consistent increases in student loan borrowers and national levels of debt, the only certain thing is that student loan debt is going nowhere but up. State regulators have been seeking protections for consumers by fighting for borrower policies like borrower defense to repayment, which allows loan forgiveness for eligible students defrauded by their schools, and against scam companies targeting student loan borrowers. Now, student loan servicers and collection agencies have asked the Department of Education to tell the states to step down, arguing that federal agencies such as the Department of Education govern the loan servicers' activities, not individual states. Ameritech Financial, a student loan document preparation company, works directly for borrowers, not the loan servicers, to assist borrowers in applying for repayment programs offered by the Department of Education.
"It's more important now than ever that borrowers get help with their student loans," said Tom Knickerbocker, executive vice president of Ameritech Financial. "Navigating the student loan landscape can be extremely confusing. Without the right help, borrowers can too easily fall behind with their payments or go into default. We're here to help our clients prevent that."
Attorneys general of more than 20 states sent a letter to the Department of Education explaining why the states have the authority to regulate servicing companies. In the letter, the state AGs argued that the states have a well-established role to protect their residents from fraudulent and abusive practices by all debt companies, citing several court opinions to support their contention that such oversight extends to federal student loans as well. They also argued that their oversight does not conflict with the federal rules for student loan servicing and collecting but instead works with them.
Furthermore, the states assert that the federal government simply does not have the power to keep states from operating within their consumer protection role.
In fact, the Department of Education even outlined the relationship in a January 21, 2016, letter to a Maryland state regulator: "[T]he Department does not believe the State's regulation of [student loan servicers] would be preempted by Federal law. Further," it continues, "such regulation would not conflict with the Department's contracts with those entities, which provide generally that loan servicers and [private collection agencies] must comply with State and Federal law."
Federal student loan servicers, however, are concerned about unnecessarily complicated and potentially contradictory guidelines for servicing federal student loans. They worry that state involvement will result in long processing times as rules are interpreted, which may hurt the borrower. The servicers hope that the Department of Education will continue its path toward simplifying federal student loans and agree that states should have no power to oversee a federal program.
"The battle between states and servicers is an important one, and the outcome will greatly impact federal student loan borrowers," said Knickerbocker. "Our greatest hope at Ameritech Financial is that the borrower doesn't get left behind. That's why our focus has always been on each borrower who calls us in need of help with their loans. By explaining all their federal repayment plan options and helping them enroll in the program that fits their needs, we always put the borrower first. We hope that whoever ends up overseeing the federal student loan industry does the same."
About Ameritech Financial
Ameritech Financial is located in Rohnert Park, California. Ameritech Financial has already helped thousands of people with financial analysis and student loan document preparation for federal student loan repayment programs offered through the Department of Education.
Each representative on the phone has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA). Ameritech Financial is a proud member of the Association for Student Loan Relief (AFSLR).
Ameritech Financial prides itself on its exceptional Customer Service.
To learn more about Ameritech Financial, please contact:
5789 State Farm Drive #265
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
SOURCE Ameritech Financial