Raleigh, NC: Public Event on Student Loan Servicing 6/22/2017

Good morning, and welcome to the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau’s public event in Raleigh, North Carolina at North Carolina
State University. My name is Chrissi Johnson. I serve as the Chief of Staff for the External
Affairs Division at the CFPB. We are grateful that the Honorable Josh Stein,
Attorney General for the State of North Carolina, is here with us today and will provide remarks. Let me spend just a few minutes telling you
about what you can expect at today’s event. First of all, you will hear from Attorney
General Josh Stein, then from the CFPB’s Director, Richard Cordray, who will provide some remarks
about public service and student loan servicing. Following the Director’s remarks, you will
hear testimonial from consumers about their experiences with student loan servicing. After the testimonials, General Stein will
provide closing remarks. As a reminder, today’s public event is being
livestreamed at consumerfinance.gov. You can also follow CFPB on Facebook and on
Twitter. So let’s get started with an introduction
of the Attorney General. Josh Stein was sworn in as North Carolina’s
50th Attorney General on January 1, 2017. General Stein is focused on protecting North
Carolina families from crime and consumer fraud. Prior to being elected Attorney General, Stein
served as a State Senator and a Senior Deputy Attorney General in the North Carolina Department
of Justice. In the State Senate, General Stein successfully
led efforts to put more violent criminals behind bars and keep innocent people out of
prison by expanding the state’s DNA database. Stein wrote the School Safety Act and worked
to ban stalking using GPS tracking devices. While in the State Senate, Mothers Against
Drunk Driving and the AARP of North Carolina each named him Legislator of the Year, and
his Republican and Democratic colleagues elected him as the most effective Democratic Senator. As Senior Deputy Attorney General, Stein worked
to protect kids from online sexual predators and to help run the payday lenders who charge
loan shark interest rates on working families out of the state. Stein is a graduate of Dartmouth College and
earned law and public policy degrees from Harvard University. General Stein, we are honored that you are
here. You have the floor. Thank you for that very kind introduction,
Chrissi, and for helping put together this event. Good morning, everybody. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was
created to serve as an independent agency to protect people at a time when the banking
system was in crisis and people were being taken advantage of. It does important needed work. In fact, during the last year alone, the CFPB’s
supervisory actions led to financial institutions returning more than $58 billion to more than
half a million Americans who had been wronged. This includes its precedent-setting $100 million
case against Wells Fargo for its widespread illegal practice of opening up bank and credit
card accounts without authorization. And as a point of personal privilege, I want
to give recognition and a shout-out to my brother, Eric, who was the leading drafter
of the authorizing language for the CFPB 7 or 8 years ago. I am very proud of him and grateful to him
for the work he did on behalf of our country. Director Cordray, Chrissi, thank you for the
work you are doing today on behalf of the people of North Carolina. Today’s topic is one that I am passionate
about—protecting student loan borrowers. Student loan debt in the United States totals
more than $1.3 trillion. That is more than credit card and auto debt,
second only to mortgage debt. Here in North Carolina, more than 60 percent
of students who graduate from college have student loan debt, and the average amount
is $25,000. Education is a great investment but it’s a
big one. As North Carolina Attorney General, protecting
people is my top priority. That includes protecting people’s hard-earned
money. There are three main ways I work to protect
student borrowers: cracking down on fraudulent loan relief groups, holding for-profit colleges
accountable for the promises they make to students, and giving students the information
they need to make smart decisions for themselves, including their dealings with their loan servicer. Scam artists prey on our most vulnerable,
including those experiencing financial stress. This describes many student borrowers who
may not have the finances to pay their loans off right away or the life experience to understand
fully how they work. In North Carolina, we made it illegal for
groups to charge up-front fees to offer debt management or consolidation services. Recently, my office investigated a company
called The Student Loan Group for precisely this type of debt adjustment. We settled our case and secured $375,000 in
refunds for more than 377 North Carolina borrowers. We have a number of similar investigations
underway. If a company is charging student borrowers
illegal fees, my office will aggressively enforce the law. My office is also investigating a number of
for-profit colleges over misleading advertisements and claims. We led investigations into and settled with
Corinthian Colleges, ITT Tech, and Education Management Corporation. These cases have resulted in debt relief and
reforms for how the schools recruit students and disclose outcomes. We are currently investigating the Charlotte
School of Law under our state’s consumer protection laws. The bottom line is this: for-profit schools
cannot be dishonest when they recruit students, they cannot make false promises, and when
they do, the Office of Attorney General is ready to hold them accountable. While I continue to go after bad actors who
target student loan borrowers, there are things borrowers can do, proactively, to prevent
becoming a victim. We have learned that the best way to get out
of trouble with debt is to avoid getting into trouble with debt in the first place. That’s why I recently launched a new tool
on my website, ncdoj.gov/PayingForCollege. I have made protecting student borrowers a
priority in my office, to make sure that they and their parents have the resources and information
they need at every stage of the process—before, during, and after college. If you are a student applying for college
and deciding how to pay for it, evaluate potential schools the same way you would consider any
other major investment. Make sure the college will be worth what you
pay. Find out how much the school costs, what you
can afford, and what your monthly loan payments and other loan terms will be. Ask what the average salary is of people in
your field of study. Ask how many students find work in their field
of study after school. For students who are in college, take time
to learn how to be a smart consumer now. It will pay off for you down the road. Learn to manage student loan debt and avoid
repayment scams, make sure to use credit and debit cards wisely, do not pile on debt and
ruin your credit rating, and learn how to reduce the risk of identity theft. If you’ve already graduated, get in touch
with your lender or servicer. Find out what you owe and your options for
paying it back. If you can, try to get ahead in your payments,
and if you can’t meet your monthly balance, learn about options available to you. But be careful. Make sure that your loan servicer has your
interests in mind. Too many times, the servicers make it hard
for you to receive the benefits you deserve, like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program,
which Director Cordray will discuss this morning. If your servicer isn’t treating you fairly,
let my office or the CFPB know. I would like to thank, again, the CFPB for
holding this hearing in Raleigh and bringing attention to this important issue of student
debt. It is one I will continue to work with the
CFPB on as North Carolina’s Attorney General. And with that I would like to now introduce
Director Richard Cordray. Richard Cordray is one of those rare public
servants whose heart is as big as his brain, whose accomplishments are as meaningful as
his principles. Mr. Cordray serves as the first Director of
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He previously headed the Bureau’s Office of
Enforcement. Prior to joining the Bureau, Mr. Cordray served
on the front lines of consumer protection as Ohio’s Attorney General, and you know if
he’s a former attorney general he has to be a good guy. He has certainly worked hard to protect the
people of Ohio, recovering more than $2 billion for Ohio’s retirees, investors, and business
owners, and protecting its consumers from fraudulent foreclosures and financial predators. Mr. Cordray also served as Ohio’s Treasurer
and Franklin County Treasurer, two elected positions in which he led state and county
banking, investment, debt, and financing activities. As Ohio’s Treasurer, he pumped hundreds of
millions of dollars into accessed credit for small businesses. Earlier in his career, Mr. Cordray was an
Adjunct Professor at the Ohio State University College of Law, served as a State Representative
in Ohio, was the first Solicitor General in Ohio’s history, and was a lawyer in private
practice. Mr. Cordray has argued seven cases before
the United States Supreme Court, including, by special appointment of both the Bush and
Clinton Justice Departments. He is a graduate of Michigan State University,
Oxford University, and the University of Chicago Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of
the Law Review. He later clerked for United States Supreme
Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. Did I mention he had a big brain? Mr. Cordray lives in Grove City, Ohio, with
his wife, Peggy, and their twin children, Danny and Holly. Director Cordray, welcome to Raleigh. We are honored and pleased to have you here
and look forward to your remarks. Thank you. I was mentioning to Attorney General Stein,
to Josh, that my son will now be attending Duke in this area. Drop-off day is August 22nd, I have learned. So I am pleased to be here today to update
you on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s work to protect the millions of Americans
who carry student debt. Special thanks go to Attorney General Stein
for joining with us in standing up for students and student loan borrowers in North Carolina,
and to his team, who I know he has working very hard on these issues. We know our young people are bearing heavy
burdens, yet this issue touches Americans of all ages. In particular, we want to discuss an important
federal program that was created to recognize those who serve our communities by providing
them with deserved debt relief on their student loans. Public service workers are the teachers we
depend on to educate our children; the men and women in uniform who serve in our armed
forces; the nurses, doctors, and social workers we trust to take care of our families; the
prosecutors and public defenders who safeguard our justice system; and the police, firefighters,
and other first responders who are the everyday heroes who keep us safe. They include Peace Corps volunteers and members
of AmeriCorps, who learn essential skills that may translate into a lifetime of service. We estimate that fully one-quarter of the
U.S. workforce, one out of every four working Americans, is currently employed by a public
service employer. But student loan borrowers who want to serve
our communities have been caught in the crossfire of two economic trends—the need to earn
an advanced degree for a career in these fields, and the rising costs involved in securing
those credentials. In recognition of those unique challenges,
Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program in 2007, almost 10 years ago. This 10-year path to debt forgiveness—so
it is notable we are coming up on the anniversary of this—was designed to encourage people
to enter public service careers, despite the increasing burdens of student loan debt. Many of these jobs, including teaching, social
work, law enforcement, and public health, traditionally pay more modest wages than private-sector
jobs that require similar levels of education. More than 500,000 people have signaled their
intention so far to pursue debt relief under this program. According to the Department of Education,
almost two-thirds of them earn less than $50,000 per year, and 86 percent earn less than $75,000
per year. Many are in public service careers, such as
military service or social work, with no real private sector equivalent. In October of this year, the first eligible
borrowers, who started this program 10 years ago, will be able to start receiving benefits
from the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Today, I will discuss a new report from the
Consumer Bureau spotlighting complaints about certain practices of student loan servicers
that hamper borrowers seeking help through this program. I will describe updated supervision guidelines
in this area, and I will talk about a campaign the Bureau is launching to help teachers,
first responders, and other public servants stay on track for federal loan forgiveness. Our new report focuses on first-hand accounts
by borrowers in public service positions about the problems that stand between them and the
loan forgiveness they intend to pursue. We analyzed consumer complaints for the year
from March 2016 through February 2017, reflecting student loan servicing practices that borrowers
say delay or deny access to promised debt relief. To get on track for the Public Service Loan
Forgiveness program, borrowers must meet certain criteria. They need to have a qualifying loan; be enrolled
in a qualifying repayment plan, such as an income-driven repayment plan; and make 120—that
is 10 years, 12 months—on-time payments while working for a qualified public service
employer. Student loan servicers are responsible for
administering each of these requirements. What this means is that those in public service
positions who want to qualify for this program are depending on their servicer to help them
follow through. Borrowers need clear, accurate information,
and they need the servicer to properly evaluate their employment status and their applications
for payment plans. But borrowers reported that servicers are
giving them the runaround in ways that can hamstring their progress. They complained about servicers providing
incorrect or inadequate information about their eligibility for loan forgiveness, and
they said they do not receive timely or accurate information, in many instances, about eligibility
for this program, even when they identified themselves as public service workers. All of this can stall their progress toward
the debt relief they have earned, and can lead to months or even years of unnecessary
payments that can cost thousands of dollars and extend their time in debt. To stay enrolled in a qualifying repayment
plan and stay on track, borrowers must recertify their income and family size each year. When they submit their recertification application
on time, they can remain on their repayment plan until the servicer processes the application. But many borrowers reported processing delays
and errors on their application that cause them to miss out on payments that should have
gone toward loan forgiveness. Some borrowers complained that their servicers
put them into forbearance, which stops their payments or lowers their monthly payment,
but only temporarily. This can prevent them from making any payments
that qualify for loan forgiveness. To make sure that these borrowers are on course,
they complete a form, with help from their employer, to submit to the servicer to get
an update on the number of qualified payments a borrower has made. We heard from some borrowers who believe that
they are fulfilling the program’s requirements, yet receive inaccurate denial letters from
their servicer when they try to track their progress toward loan forgiveness. Borrowers complain that they do not know how
to take action to correct a mistake because their servicer does not explain the reason
for the denial. As a result, qualified payments may be miscounted
and not given proper credit. Other issues stand between borrowers and the
loan forgiveness they are seeking. As a benefit, public service employers may
offer assistance to their workers in the form of a monthly stipend that goes automatically
toward the employee’s student loan payments. But some borrowers told us that servicers
may take actions that inadvertently deny them credit for payments. This can go on for years before they are notified
that their payments are not actually counting towards loan forgiveness. These are serious issues with grave repercussions. For instance, we heard from a nurse who described
a series of servicing breakdowns that left her with additional years of unnecessary student
loan payments, in part because her servicer never told her she had been bumped off track. To get ahead of her debt, she opted into a
program where her employer paid extra toward her loans, putting them in “paid-ahead status.” But then her servicer stopped counting her
monthly payments, even though she made them on time and for the right amount. The borrower was not aware that her payments
were no longer being counted toward loan forgiveness, which cost her part of her eligible public
service. She told us, and this is in her words, “I
find it outrageous and disheartening that by default, overpaying your bill each month
would result in…disqualifying payments. This results in 3 years of additional payments,
which to me is real money.” Borrowers working in public service should
not miss out on key consumer benefits because their student loan servicer failed to comply
with the law. So today, we are updating our exam procedures
to guide how examiners assess risks to consumers and review servicers’ compliance with the
law when they administer this program. Our examiners will scrutinize whether servicers
are telling consumers what they need to do to qualify for loan forgiveness. We will also be checking whether servicers
accurately calculate the number of qualifying payments to make sure that borrowers get their
full benefits, and we will note whether servicers properly evaluate the borrower’s eligibility
and progress toward loan forgiveness. We are also moving forward with a campaign
to help student loan borrowers who are working in public service positions gain access to
these benefits and make sure they are on track for loan forgiveness. We call it “Certify Your Service.” We have published new guides specifically
for first responders and teachers. These guides offer information about the programs
that are available, things to consider based on each individual’s circumstances, and how
to get started. They complement guides we have devised for
servicemembers, members of the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, and other public service employees. We have also updated our tools for employers
to help their employees get started in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. For borrowers trying to navigate the process,
we are providing tips to help them make progress toward loan forgiveness. First, borrowers need to be sure they have
the right type of loan. Only federal Direct Loans qualify under the
Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Those with other types of federal loans may
be able to roll them into a Direct Consolidation Loan to become eligible. Borrowers should also make sure they are in
the right payment plan. Income-driven repayment plans may lower monthly
payments and maximize the amount forgiven. But some repayment plans, such as extended
repayment plans, do not count toward public service loan forgiveness. Borrowers should be sure to certify that they
work in public service to help track their progress through an employer certification
form. And finally, to stay on track, they should
keep a copy for their records, follow up with the loan servicer, and update the form each
year. If borrowers working in public service have
a problem with their student loan, they can submit complaints to the Consumer Bureau and
get a timely response. The filing of complaints also helps inform
our ongoing oversight of these companies. For example, much of the information we are
presenting today is known to us largely because of what we have heard directly from consumers
through our complaint process. We want every eligible consumer to be able
to take advantage of the benefits of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program without having
to worry about servicing breakdowns that can cause them to lose out on months of qualifying
payments. For borrowers that qualify, this program is
intended to offer the peace of mind to direct their energy and expertise toward strengthening
their communities, that is, doing their jobs. It is meant to provide them with breathing
room to buy homes and start families while still satisfying their debts. Many of these borrowers work for relatively
modest wages in low-income areas where their help is desperately needed, as teachers, public
defenders, social workers, and nurses. Some have moved to underserved communities
or turned down private sector jobs that would have paid them more.  All of them are serving our country in important
ways, and we deeply respect them for that. Hardly anyone has ever been as passionate
about public service as Sargent Shriver, the founder of the Peace Corps. He once said, “What can change the world today
is the same thing that has changed it in the past, an idea and the service of dedicated,
committed individuals to that idea.” I have recommended his biography to many who
have come to work with us at the Consumer Bureau, and we try very hard to imbibe that
same spirit in all the work we do. America has an immense reservoir of dedicated
women and men who have shown that they are ready and willing to commit their energy,
time, and effort to public service professions. Because higher education is more important
now than ever in doing those jobs, they deserve to know everything they can about their options
to make it more obtainable and more affordable. When slipshod student loan servicer practices
make things even harder for borrowers who are already struggling to repay their debt,
the financial fallout can be severe. Our potential leaders of tomorrow should not
be forced to forgo their public service careers just to make ends meet. If they cannot follow their dreams to serve,
we all will suffer the consequences. Thank you. Hi. Thank you for the opportunity to have all
of us here to speak today. My name is Amy Ryder-Burge, and I am a first-generation
college graduate. My mother completed one semester of college
and my father, largely due to a learning disability, never finished high school. Teachers in the ’50s and early ’60s had little
patience for a student with dyslexia. I am the youngest of three siblings and I
am the only one not only to complete my bachelor’s degree but also my master’s degree. I am a community psychologist and I received
this degree right here at NC State. Given my parents’ background, it isn’t surprising
to hear that I needed to take out loans to make college work. When I finished my master’s degree, I got
my dream job, and I still have that dream job. I then began the task of figuring out how
to pay back my loans. The Income-Based Repayment and Public Service
Loan Forgiveness programs enable me to pay back the generous support that I needed to
get ahead in life and achieve the education and experience that I need to do the work
that I do today. Unfortunately, my loan servicer has made participation
in these programs inconsistent. I am now starting my third year of IBR programs
and I am still discovering programs that would make my monthly payments lower than my loan
servicer has indicated that I was eligible for. For my first year of participation in PSLF
I had two loans. I worked with my loan servicer to get these
loans in place to participate in this program. They were well aware of what I was trying
to do. Each year you need to renew your application. At my 1-year anniversary point I learned that
one of my loans was not the right kind of loan and therefore was not eligible for PSLF. I lost an entire year of payments towards
PSLF because they misled me. Additionally, at this point, I had no confirmation
from my loan servicer that I have made any eligible payments towards PSLF. I know I have, but they have yet to acknowledge
that as well. When working through the details of being
here today, I was asked if it wasn’t for PSLF would I still hold the job that I have, and
the honest answer is, yes, I would. Every day I conduct research for ACF or SAMHSA
or the CDC, among other great organizations. For this work, it informs public policy at
the local, state, and federal government level. I work to evaluate the programs providing
services to youth and young adults with severe mental health conditions, or I assess the
well being of children who have had a claim of abuse or neglect substantiated on them. I love the work that I do. Without PSLF, though, other things will go
away. I worry about my retirement contributions. I know that they aren’t enough. I have a vastly inadequate emergency fund,
and I have no idea how I am going to pay for my children’s education. I know there are specific solutions to these
problems—I know you all are probably thinking that—and I’m working on them. But I am also smart enough to know that what
I am able to do right now is not enough. If PSLF and the IBR programs I rely on were
to go away, it will never be enough. If PSLF goes away, I never will be able to
pay for my children’s college education, and this vicious cycle is going to continue. Thank you. Good morning. My name is Sandra Mobley, and I work as a
paraprofessional in Jacksonville, Florida, so I thought it was very important for me
to come so that you all could know the headaches that we go through with our service provider. As a paraprofessional, working with children
with mental and physical disabilities is a challenging job. It is also a very physical job that requires
dedication and patience. I make less than $10 an hour, and yet my student
loans, when I went back to school to get my master’s, was supposed to be $32,000, but
when I finished it was $54,000. My loan payment was supposed to be $350 a
month. That is not including the other two loans
I had from my prior degree. So at $10 an hour, how can I pay $350, plus
pay on any other loans that I could possibly have? If it wasn’t for a professor telling me about
the IBR program, I wouldn’t have the payment plan that I have now to pay on my loans. Then I recently learned, in a debt clinic
class, about the Loan Forgiveness program, which can also help me as well. But this is something that should have come
from the service provider, not my professor. I appreciate my professor telling me about
it, and I also appreciate the debt class that told me about it, but at the same time, when
you’re still struggling with the family trying to accommodate yourself and pay the bills,
it is tasking. So I would say to anyone else, I would tell
them don’t quit. Continue on with your education but, at the
same time, set it at a pace where it is not going to make you feel like you’re being dragged
down. Out of three children, I am the first to graduate
and go to college, and the other two refuse to go because they refuse to deal with the
headaches that I deal with. And as a struggling student who is still currently
in school, still accruing interest, it is still hard. I don’t want to continue to be a paraprofessional. I love what I do but I would also like to
work with at-risk youth. But in order for me to do that, I have to
continue to go to school to do that. But at less than $10 an hour, working in the
state of Florida, where we are the lowest-paid for teachers and paras, that is kind of hard
to do. So I need the program to stay in effect in
order to help me, because not only would it help me, it would also help me encourage other
students and family members and friends to go to school and don’t be afraid to get a
loan to go to school, because that’s what’s holding them back. So I needed to state it again because it is
key for my survival and for me to help others to go to school. Thank you. Good morning. My name is Ellen Weber, and I am a school
social worker at a middle school in St. Louis, Missouri. One hundred percent of the students at my
school are students of color, and 100 percent of them receive free or reduced price lunch. There is a high rate of trauma and extreme
concentrated poverty in the neighborhoods from where my students live. There is an urgent need for social work services
with my students and their families. Clinical social workers provide an essential
service, by helping people become well-adjusted, capable individuals in their communities. To become a licensed clinical social worker
in my state you must have a master’s degree in social work and complete more than 3,000
hours of supervised clinical experience. Requirements are similar across the country. I wanted to become a social worker in order
to give back to my community and help children. Many of the students I serve live in high-risk
environments without much support, and their needs include trauma response, support with
special education, and access to resources. And while I left undergrad with no student
loans, the only way I could earn my master’s degree was by taking on federal student loans. Social work is, by no means, a glamorous job. It involves low pay and long hours, and the
emotional toll is not for the faint-of-heart. So when it came time to repay my student loans,
I relied on Public Service Loan Forgiveness to ensure that I could devote my time and
energy to my work and not to worrying about how I would be spending the rest of my life
paying down my student loans. My standard payment is about $1,000 a month. I would love to be able to pay this amount
and have my entire loan paid off in 10 years, but I simply cannot afford it. In fact, the government’s formula for affordability
says that I can only afford $170 per month. I have now been making payments for 3 years,
and for 3 years my servicer’s inconsistency has ensured that I will be spending at least
the next few years worrying if I will qualify for PSLF. During my first year of repayment, my servicer
incorrectly calculated my monthly payment under Income-Based Repayment. I spent a year scrimping and saving to make
payments that were more than I could afford, only to find out that when my servicer recalculated
my payment the following year, I should have been paying much less. That was money that I could have used for
my retirement savings or for saving for a down payment for a house. I attempted to contest the miscalculation
by filing complaints with my loan servicer, the CFPB, and the Department of Education. At that time, the CFPB was not able to investigate
a federal student loan issue. I spent hours on the phone with my loan servicer
over the course of four months. During those conversations, I began keeping
my own notes and recordings of the calls, because the answers I was given would change
from call to call, and the notes that they would provide after the calls were woefully
incomplete. The complaint that I filed with the DOE was
resolved with a letter I received that had inaccurate information. The structures in place to help borrowers
like myself failed me, and I will never get that money back. After the year of making unaffordable payments,
my servicer did not adequately notify me that it was time to recertify my income-based plan. When my plan expired, without notice, I received
a bill for 10 times the amount that I had paid the previous month. After 3 months, and hours spent on the phone
trying to figure out what had happened, I finally received the information I needed
to recertify my payment plan. But in those intervening months, I was prevented
from making payments towards PSLF. Additionally, during those 3 months, when
I was supposed to be in forbearance, I continued to receive bills for more than $1,000, with
notes saying that I was past due. When I called my servicer to ask about the
bills, I was told, “Don’t worry about them. Just ignore them.” If you were receiving bills saying you were
thousands of dollars past due, would you just ignore them? I was terrified. In Missouri, we just had dramatic funding
cuts to education, which affects my school’s budget. When states make cuts to education funding
it directly impacts my earnings. I could make IBR payments for the rest of
my life, but not without sacrificing elsewhere to do so. PSLF means that after 10 years of repayments,
I can start planning for my future without planning for the funding whims of my state. I can put that money towards retirement, paying
down a mortgage, or savings. I did everything I was supposed to do. I got the education, I did the work, and I
got the job. But yet it still feels like I am being punished. Managing my loans has become like a second
job. I have educated myself on student loan repayment
plans and the requirements of PSLF because I cannot trust my loan servicer to explain
it to me accurately and truthfully. I have already lost money and months of qualified
payments due to sloppy servicing and I refuse to lose any more. Thank you. Thank you, Amy, Sandra, and Ellen. Those were very powerful testimonials. I want to thank, again, Director Cordray and
the CFPB for being here today in Raleigh and shining a light on an important issue—protecting
student borrowers. One important group of student borrowers are
our public servants. A quarter of all employees serve the public
in one way or another. They are teachers, they are social workers,
they are nurses, they are firefighters, they are police. Director Cordray said about a half a million
people are able, qualified to participate with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program,
but for this program to work, the servicers have to play a critical role in helping the
people ensure that they get the benefits that they are entitled to under the law. We have heard from three people who are precisely
the type of people we want in our society, making our community fabric stronger. Amy Ryder-Berg is a community psychologist,
Sandra Mobley a paraprofessional, and Ellen Weber a clinical social worker. All three of these women have dedicated their
careers to helping children, particularly children with intense needs, special needs,
and we should all be grateful, and we are all grateful to you for the work that you
do on our behalf. But we also heard how their loan servicers
are making it harder for them to get what they are entitled to under the law. There is incorrect calculations, in Ellen’s
case, failure to inform, in Sandra’s case, failure to confirm accuracy, in Amy’s case. The CFPB is standing up for these borrowers
and I thank the organization for its efforts. I certainly thank the three women for sharing
their stories today, and I thank all of you for being here today and participating in
this effort. Thank you.

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