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Session 9

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Session 9

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  1. Session 9 Lender and School Relationships Pamela Moran Office of Postsecondary Education

  2. Agenda • Legislative Action and More • Federal and State Enacted and Pending • Private Education Loans - Other Activities • 2006-2007 Negotiated Rulemaking • Developing Best Practices • Administrative - “Dear Colleague” Letters • Compliance Issues

  3. Legislation

  4. Legislative Action Federal Legislation • HEA Reauthorization (S.1642) Passed Senate 7/24/07 • Student Loan Sunshine Act (S. 486; H.R. 890*) • Student Loan Accountability and Disclosure Reform Act (S. 1262) * passed House; awaiting Senate action

  5. Legislative Action • Federal Legislation • Dodd/Shelby “Private Student Loan Transparency and Improvement Act” - Draft passed by Senate Banking Committee

  6. Legislative Action • Federal Legislation • “Student Financial Aid Data Privacy Protection Act” (S.1401) • Durbin Bill (S. 1561) permitting private education loan bankruptcy discharge after 5 years (S.1642)

  7. Student Loan Sunshine Act (HR 890) • HR 890 passed House 413-3 in June 2007, added in different form to Senate HEA bill, S. 1642 • No gifts from lenders to schools worth more than nominal amount • No payment of travel expenses for service on advisory committees

  8. Student Loan Sunshine Act (HR 890) • Lenders staffing during peak periods would be eliminated • Requires Secretary to develop format for reporting loan terms and conditions

  9. Student Loan Sunshine Act • FFELP Preferred lender lists must include minimum of 3 non-affiliated lenders • List must clearly and fully disclose basis for school selection of lender • Schools must advise students of right to choose any lender.

  10. Student Loan Sunshine Act • “Arrangements” between schools and lenders must be disclosed • Arrangements with school product branding prohibited

  11. Student Loan Sunshine Act • Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) private lenders must: - prominently disclose availability of lower cost federal student loans - disclose interest rate calculation on private loans - notify school of possible private loan

  12. S. 1642 Disclosures to Borrowers (Senate) By school: extensive loan information including information on interest rates, repayment plans, terms and conditions of loans, availability of borrower benefits and take-up rates, collection practices and fees, and other information.” Information based on report by lenders provided to Secretary.

  13. S.1642 Disclosures to Borrowers (Senate) Lenders: repayment benefit information on automatic deduction, on-line, and other repayment methods. Must include details on conditions of receipt and loss of benefits and examples of the impact of interest rate reductions on borrower’s repayment amount and time in repayment.

  14. S.1262 Student Loan Accountability and Disclosure Reform Act (Senate) School must ensure choice of lender - no assigning lender to first-time borrower - no unnecessary processing delays School may not designate preferred lenders but may provide guidance on specific lenders to assist in selection

  15. S.1262 - SLADRA (Senate) School must provide prominent disclosure on lender choice and criteria for providing lender-specific guidance Lenders for which school provides guidance must disclose loan sale agreements Ban on gifts to school except of nominal value

  16. S.1262 - SLADRA (Senate) Ban on lender providing consulting services to schools, or paying someone to provide services except for exit counseling Ban on lender payments – prizes, stock, travel and entertainment, IT equipment at below market value, service on advisory board or lender-sponsored groups School-as-FFEL Lender terminated June 30, 2008

  17. Private Student Loan Transparency and Improvement Act (Senate) • Dodd (D-CT)/Shelby (R-AL)Bill approved by Senate Banking Committee unanimously • Amends Truth-in-Lending Act • Amendment planned but was not offered to Senate HEA bill • House may include revised version in HEA bill

  18. Private Student Loan Transparency and Improvement Act (Senate) • Definition covers institutional loans and other private education loans • Anything that can be used for postsecondary educational costs

  19. Private Student Loan Transparency and Improvement Act (Senate) • Main Feature: Disclosures, Disclosures, Disclosures • Advice to borrowers to seek federal student aid first

  20. Private Student Loan Transparency and Improvement Act (Senate) • Prohibitions on inducements like S. 1642 for FFELP – nothing permitted in exchange for preferential treatment or gifts but expense reimbursement for advisory board service OK

  21. Private Student Loan Transparency and Improvement Act (Senate) • Civil liability for inadequate disclosures one year after repayment begins – could be years after disbursement

  22. Private Student Loan Transparency and Improvement Act (Senate) • 30-day interest rate lock with right to cancel • 3-day right to cancel after consummation but before disbursement • Prepayment fees prohibited

  23. Private Student Loan Transparency and Improvement Act (Senate) • 16 forms of disclosure on terms and conditions at application or solicitation, approval and consummation • Financial literacy programs encouraged • Study of underwriting practices by GAO authorized with focus on “non-individual information”

  24. State Legislation - New York’s SLATE Act Effective November 2007 - First and only state law passed to date Providing a gift or service to a school or school employee is prohibited if offered in exchange for some advantage. Print jobs for schools prohibited

  25. State Legislation - New York’s SLATE Act -Meals, other than refreshments at bona fide training sessions prohibited Staffing of school’s financial aid office prohibited

  26. State Legislation - New York’s SLATE Act Something of value in exchange for an advantage can be an explicit written or oral agreement or take the form of a "wink and a nod.“ Intent to gain advantage is not necessary for a violation to occur

  27. Other Activities • NY Attorney General reviews schools and lenders leading to: - signed code of conduct agreements with some schools and several top FFEL lenders - payment into an education fund to support borrower education

  28. Other Activities • Scrutiny expanding outside of financial aid office • State AG examination of school athletic department sponsorship arrangements with lenders • Credit card marketing to students through schools or school-affiliated organizations (e.g., alumni association)

  29. 2006-07 NegotiatedRulemaking

  30. 2006-2007Negotiated Rulemaking • Four negotiating committees were established: • Accreditation • General Provisions • Academic Competitiveness & National SMART Grants • Loans

  31. Preferred Lender Lists FFEL Loan Certification Lender and GA Prohibited Inducements Use of Eligible Lender Trustees by FFEL Schools 1st Meeting December 2006 2nd Meeting February 5-7, 2007 3rd Meeting March 12-14, 2007 4th Meeting April 18-20, 2007 2006-2007 Negotiated RulemakingLoans Committee Major Issues

  32. Loans RegulationCalendar • NPRM: June 12, 2007 • Comment Period Ended: August 13, 2007 • 241 Comments Received • Final rules: November 1, 2007 • Effective date: July 1, 2008 with selected items for voluntary early implementation

  33. LOANS NPRM • “No Consensus” on NPRM • NPRM reflected what ED heard and deliberations of Secretary’s Loan Task Force

  34. Use of Eligible Lender Trustees (ELTs) by FFEL Schools • Lender definition in §682.200 amended to prohibit new ELT relationships with schools on/after September 30, 2006 • §682.602:HERA FFEL school lender limits applied to school ELT arrangements 1/1/2007

  35. School FFEL Loan Certification • §682.603 (f) reorganized and amended • FFEL schools May Not: - Refuse/Delay certification based on choice of lender or GA - Assign lender to first-time borrower in award packaging or through other methods

  36. School FFEL Loan Certification • Engage in a pattern or practice of discrimination to deny FFEL access • Refuse to certify or certify a reduced amount except on a case-by-case, documented basis with reason provided to borrower in writing

  37. School Preferred Lender List in FFELP Background: • School’s Option • Allowed But Never Regulated • Evolution: • Default prevention • Simplification E-transmission • Competition • Proliferation of borrower benefits

  38. School Preferred Lender List in FFELP Regulations require: • List must contain at least 3 unaffiliated lenders • “Unaffiliated” means: • No common control or ownership • No common directors, trustees, or general partners

  39. School Preferred Lender List in FFELP §682.212 requires a school to: • Disclose method/criteria for lender inclusion on the list • Provide comparative information on borrower benefits offered by listed lenders • Department to provide model format for school use

  40. School Preferred Lender List in FFELP • Include prominent statement advising borrowers that use of the school’s preferred lender not required • Update at least annually

  41. School Preferred Lender List in FFELP Under §682.212, a school MUST NOT: • Include lenders that were solicited and provided school or school- employee benefits, but may include lenders solicited for best borrower benefits

  42. School Preferred Lender List in FFELP Under §682.212, a school MUST NOT: • Assign lender to first-time borrower • Cause any unnecessary delays in certification for borrowers not using one of the school’s preferred lenders

  43. Publications, scripts and staff training should comply Violations could bring sanctions Does not apply to FFEL/Direct Loan choice Preferred Lenders

  44. Schools Not Using Preferred Lender Lists • All FFEL loan certification rules apply • School may identify lenders that have made loans to school’s students and parents in the past • No statement endorsing or recommending a lender

  45. Schools Not Using Preferred Lender Lists • Provide “neutral” presentation of factors to consider when selecting a lender - good borrower benefits - good customer service - limits on sale of loans, if important to customer

  46. Schools Not Using Preferred Lender Lists - prior business dealings of family or friends on other consumer loans - consumer complaints to State AG or BBB - lender’s default rate as reflection of servicing

  47. Schools Not Using Preferred Lender Lists • Encourage web-based searches • Use the simple statement - “You must select your lender. The aid office cannot do so for you.”

  48. FFEL Program Lender and GA Prohibited Inducements Background: • Enacted as part of 1986 Amendments to HEA • 1998 Amendments to HEA allowed lenders and GAs to provide assistance to schools comparable to what Secretary provides to Direct Loan schools

  49. FFEL Program Lender and GA Prohibited Inducements • Affects lender eligibility and participation and GA participation • Current regulations primarily reflect statutory provisions

  50. Offer, directly or indirectly, points, premiums, payments or other inducements to any school to secure FFEL applications, loan volume or placement on a preferred lender list Pay referral or processing fees to another lender or other party Pay conference or training registration, transportation and lodging costs for school or school-affiliated organization employees Pay entertainment expenses related to lender-sponsored activities for employees of school or school-affiliated organization Undertake philanthropic activities in exchange for FFEL applications, volume or placement on lender list Provide staffing services to a school except on a short-term, emergency basis Loans Regulations FFEL Issues Prohibited Inducements -- Eligible Lenders CANNOT: