Press Call on Special Master's Report on Borrower Defense Process

Archived Information

Press Call on Special Master's Report on Borrower Defense Process

September 3, 2015

U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary Ted Mitchell and Special Master Joseph Smith will hold a press call today with reporters at 11 a.m. EDT on the Department's first progress report on the borrowers' defense process from Special Master Joe Smith.

In June, Mitchell appointed Smith to help advise the Department's efforts to develop a broader system to aid students at institutions who are seeking debt relief of their federal Direct Loans because they believe they were defrauded.

"At the time of my appointment, I promised I would regularly inform students, stakeholders, and the public about my work as Special Master," Smith said. "The report I delivered today is the first of a series of progress reports that will describe the progress the Department is making on this important issue. My message to students is that I hear you. I take this responsibility seriously and I am working hard to give you the relief that you deserve."

"Joe's first report tells us that we have made good progress in these efforts," Mitchell said. "As I said back in June, processing borrower defense claims is new territory for the Department. We have a lot of work in front of us but I am pleased that the Department has taken some of the necessary foundational steps to create a durable borrower defense process."

The report is online here.

The Department's Federal Student Aid office has been and will continue to contact potentially impacted student borrowers to provide clear information about their options, including loan discharge applications, in addition to providing enhanced information at Students with questions about borrower defense can also call the Department hotline: (855) 279-6207. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.