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Regulators, Consumers Target Student Debt Servicer Navient

The bill Rauner vetoed had the support of Attorney General Lisa Madigan, whose office filed its own lawsuit against Navient earlier this year.

Navient has denied the state and federal allegations against it and is fighting them in court, arguing that the company follows the law and goes above and beyond disclosure requirements.

Consumer complaints about student debt servicers, whose responsibilities include processing payments, explaining repayment options to borrowers, and collecting on delinquent and defaulted loans, aren’t limited to Navient.

A recent report from the CFPB found that borrowers say their servicers often provide them with information on hardship forbearance or deferment, which pause payments but not interest on outstanding debt, instead of “potentially more beneficial” options like income-driven repayment plans.

Borrowers also complained about lost documents and inaccurate accounting that muddied their good names. Some reported being contacted by collection companies for accounts that had been paid in full.

The CFPB echoes other consumer advocates, who say the U.S. Department of Education is stalling on critical protections for borrowers.

“For too many years, the Department of Education and private lenders have failed to conduct active oversight of the loan servicers they use to collect payments, leaving borrowers to fend for themselves,” said Suzanne Martindale, a Consumers Union lawyer whose areas of focus include student loans.

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