Current, Former Corinthian College Students On “Debt Strike” Plan To Meet With Gov’t Officials

A group of 15 Corinthian College students are refusing to repay their federal student loans.

A group of 15 Corinthian College students are refusing to repay their federal student loans.

Last month, we told you about the Corinthian 15, a group of current and former students at crumbling Corinthian College Inc.’s WyoTech, Heald College, and Everest University campuses who were refusing to pay their federal student loans in protest of the government’s support of the for-profit college company. Now that group has grown to what could be called the Corinthian 100+, and it’s made plans to take its case to several government agencies this week.

MarketWatch reports that the group – which is an off-shoot of the Occupy-backed movement called the Debt Collective – ballooned to over 100 members just a month after sending a letter to the Department of Education notifying them of their protest.

The letter notified the Dept. that students of CCI schools “paid dearly for degrees that have led to unemployment or to jobs that don’t pay a living wage. We can’t and won’t pay any longer.”

Ann Larson, director for the Debt Collective, tells MarketWatch that hundreds of students have reached out to the group seeking information on the Corinthian campaign.

Each of the interested parties were vetted and told the consequences of not paying their student loans, which include garnishments and dings to their credit reports. Larson says after that some student dropped out, but others joined the movement.

In addition to increasing its size, the group of protesters will meet with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a representative from the Dept. of Education this week, MarketWatch reports.

The group made plans to submit Defense of Repayment claims – which asks the government to discharge the student loans on the basis that the school engaged in wrongdoing – to the Dept. of Education, as well.

The Dept. of Education and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau previously announced a deal in which some of the debt issued to students directly by CCI would be forgiven.

That deal was a result of the sale of 56 CCI campuses to Education Credit Management Corporation. As a condition, the Department and CFPB announced it had secured $480 million in debt relief for students who took out CCI-brokered private Genesis Loans.

As for Corinthian protesters and other students carrying a combined $1 billion in student loan debt, the future is a bit more murky.

An operating agreement hashed out between the college chain and the Dept. of Education over the summer described a few potential options for students with federal loans.

If a student attends a school slated for closure, or if that student withdrew within 120 days of the school closing, they may be entitled to a closed school discharge. This means that the student would have no further obligation to repay their Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans (which include Stafford and PLUS loans), or Perkins Loans.

In some cases, students could be eligible for a “teach-out” program in which they are able to complete their degrees at their current school or at a comparable institution. Under this option, students would still be responsible for repaying their loans.

Over 100 people refusing to pay off loans for defunct Corinthian Colleges [MarketWatch]

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