student loan debtThe Department of Education and Betsy DeVos, in her official position as U.S. Secretary of Education, have been hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that they have stalled the process of canceling student loan debts for colleges that closed their doors.

The plaintiffs say that the Department of Education has not allowed any loan cancellation applications since July 2018.

Plaintiff Theresa Sweet, who graduated from the Brooks Institute of Photography in 2006, alleges that the school “violated state law in various ways, including by misrepresenting students’ post-graduation income.”

Brooks closed its doors in August 2006 and 588 former students filed an application to cancel their student loans under the “borrower defense” program, offered by the Department. The Department of Education class action lawsuit states that all of these claims are still pending.

“Attending Brooks was the worst mistake of Ms. Sweet’s life. And now, as the Department sits on her borrower defense, Ms. Sweet is losing faith that the government will protect students like her,” the Department of Education class action lawsuit states.

Another named plaintiff, Tresa Apodaca, attended Heald College and graduated in 2010. Heald is a “Corinthian-owned school” and was the subject of numerous investigations by various government agencies. The school closed its doors after Corinthian was fined $30 million for “substantial misrepresentations.”

Apodaca applied for and was told that she would qualify for a borrower defense, however, “the Department has not granted her borrower defense application, provided her notice of a decision, or discharged her debt,” the Department of Education class action lawsuit argues.

The Department of Education class action lawsuit states that “According to the Department, as of December 31, 2018, there were 56,533 pending borrower defenses from former Corinthian students.”

The plaintiffs say more than 160,000 former for-profit college students have filed an application for the borrower defense, based on the misconduct of their schools, but the Department is not acting upon them.

The Department of Education class action lawsuit claims that “The schools promised high-paying jobs, state-of-the-art vocational training, and long and fulfilling careers,” but did not deliver on these promises.  

The Department was tasked with overseeing the colleges involvement in the federal student aid program, the plaintiffs argue.

“The Department has ignored the growing pile of borrower defenses, reduced its capacity to decide borrower defenses, and diverted its increasingly limited resources to un-do all of the prior administration’s work,” the Department of Education class action lawsuit asserts.

By not addressing the applications for borrower defense, the Department has, in effect, damaged students’ credit and has reduced access to federal student aid, the class action states.

In addition, the lack of movement by the Department of Education on the borrower defense applications has “caused significant emotional distress, associated physical harm, and a loss of wealth and opportunity that students will never recover.”

The Department of Education class action lawsuit is not asking the government to arbitrate their borrower defenses. Instead, “they seek an order compelling the Department to start granting or denying their borrower defenses and vacating the Department’s policy of withholding resolution.”  

The plaintiffs filed this class action lawsuit against the Department of Education in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

The plaintiffs are represented by Joe Jaramillo and Natalie Lyons of Housing & Economic Rights Advocates and Eileen M. Connor, Toby R. Merrill, Kyra A. Taylor, and Joshua D. Rovenger of the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School.

The Department of Education Student Loans Class Action Lawsuit is Sweet, et al. v. Elisabeth DeVos, et al., Case No. 5:19-cv-03674, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.



  • Terrellyn Owens-Byer May 12, 2020

    Please add me to the list.

  • Samantha Marsan April 27, 2020

    Please add me.

  • CERINA M GYAMFI April 25, 2020

    Please add me.

  • Regina Burleson April 25, 2020

    Please add me.

  • John P Moore April 24, 2020

    Please add me to the student loan forgiveness settlement case, I was a victim

  • Velvet S Bern April 24, 2020

    Please add me I was promised the world and a great job. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA and perfect attendance and never got one interview. I had to find my own externship. Now I have over 28K in student loan debt. Please add me.

    • Temeka Davis April 26, 2020

      Please add me to the student loan forgiveness class action lawsuit my loans are over 20’years old. I’ve applied before but no resolution , thanks

  • Deborah Denise Smith April 24, 2020

    Please add me. Thank you!

  • Eric R Straatsma April 24, 2020

    add me

  • Lanamay Archer April 24, 2020

    Please add me

  • Jennifer Valentine April 23, 2020

    add me please

  • Shakia J. April 22, 2020

    Add me

  • DeeAnn Padilla April 22, 2020

    Please add me

  • Conilia Yobo April 21, 2020

    Please add me to the list… I am still paying on my loan after 15 years….. Which is ridiculous!! This is America for goodness sake…

  • Danielle Starr April 21, 2020

    Add Me

  • Liza Rivas April 21, 2020

    Please add me

  • Erica Buresh April 21, 2020

    Please add me to this lawsuit. I have been unable to pay everything owed. I have over $20,000 in interest when I borrowed $27,000 making me pay over $47,000. Please contact me asap.

  • Josette Jackson April 21, 2020

    Please add me to the lawsuit. I have been submitting permanent disability doctors paperwork for years and then get no response or my info is being denied.

  • Chablis Williams April 21, 2020

    I would like to be added to the law suit

  • Harvey Cole April 21, 2020

    #me too.

  • Jessie Huck April 21, 2020

    I would like to be added itt tech

  • Diadranique Mitchell April 21, 2020

    Plz add me

  • Nilisha Jelks April 21, 2020

    Please Add me to the class action settlement. Borrowers Defense Claim IDs are as follows

  • Malinda Strunk April 21, 2020

    My doctor signed off on forgiveness with direct loans after first year wasn’t notified had to be signed every year now going to credit as late

  • Samone King April 21, 2020

    I will like to be apart of this class action

  • Marshana Wilson April 21, 2020

    add me

  • Angela April 21, 2020

    I would also like to be added

  • Anya Chudnovski April 21, 2020

    I would like to participate in this class action. I have over $250,000 in student loan debt. I was charged exorbitant fees and misled buy navient many times. Please contact me.

  • Julie Williams April 21, 2020

    I would like to know how to get involved in this lawsuit. I attended Tampa College years ago getting my Associates Degree in Medical Assisting. I was told we could make a lot of money taking this class in which after graduating I got offered no more than $9 an hour which was something to laugh at considering what I was promised I could make. So, I am wandering if I can get in on the Borrowers Defense issue.

  • Ramona Shiver April 21, 2020

    Please add me

  • Paula Knight April 21, 2020

    Please add me to this suit . I can provide information anything you need. Please contact me .

  • Rebekah Allen April 16, 2020

    Please add me to this. My college was a for profit and even closed its doors bit I am still having to pay back my student loans!!

  • Serena Robinson April 15, 2020

    Please add me to the list.

  • Serena Robinson April 15, 2020

    Please add me to the list for this lawsuit.

  • Shantellas April 15, 2020

    I went to Westwood College in Chicago and I need to he added to the list

  • Amanda Davis April 15, 2020

    How do i get added to this case .. ive had this student loan 30+ years and the interest per month makes it impossible for me to EVER catch up ..
    Please add me to this case

  • Aretha Stewart April 15, 2020

    Please add me to this case

  • Kitty Kirkpatrick April 14, 2020

    Please, please add me. Please. Almost 5 1/2 years ago I lost my job and I was on an income-based repayment plan and when I notified them that I lost my job they refused to help me in any way or even give me time to find a new job to be able to afford my monthly payments as a single mother and unemployed and pregnant. Because of my student loans alone, my life has been destroyed financially and I can’t even return to school and they continue to add outrageous interest fees without notifying me and I have never been given any information as to who to contact or how in 5 1/2 years.

    Please, please help me.

  • JessIca Wisdom March 21, 2020

    Yes I would like to be part of the settlement because I owe liberty University $1200 for classes I never attended. I also never received a dime from them or from federal student aid

  • Gina Troie March 16, 2020

    I keep getting phobe calls from student loan forgiveness and its annoying .i started signing up for colkege but i didnt go i never used a loan .can i be apart of that classaction

  • Brandi March 3, 2020

    How do i join them claim. I received the letter in the mail but ive misplaced it.

  • Stacey Landers September 21, 2019

    Please add me. They are taking money out of my disability check for the last two years.
    I only borrowed only one loan, but the are saying that I have two. As of April 2019 they are saying that I have took out another loan which would make me three. I have only had one loan from the start. Kentucky Higher ed. is the one that originated my loan . It has been sold at least three times.
    Please contact me on how to become a part of this class action.

  • Wes Stinson September 17, 2019

    I am completely disabled and have been trying to retrieve funds the dept of Ed took from my disability check to repay student loans while I have been forgiven of the loans due to my permanent disability, MS

  • cindy wallace September 7, 2019

    Please add me thank you

  • Caseymarie buss July 21, 2019

    Please add me. I’ve been trying to get a hold of a representative but they keep dodging my calls and yet my students loans are accumulating interest . On top of that it says I took out grants but I never received any funds . They did this to multiple students at the Stockton campus!!

  • Christopher E Zvolanek July 2, 2019

    Add me ! They refused and delaying my student loan forgiveness program on William D. Ford and full refund due student loan service messed up with TPD forms with doctor.

  • Lenore Landers July 2, 2019

    Please add me to list…. Have student loan with them.

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