DeVos awards firm tied to her ad­viser

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY'S TOP NEWS -

Amer­i­cans who de­fault on some of their fed­eral stu­dent loans are likely to pay more af­ter Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Betsy DeVos re­versed an Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion di­rec­tive lim­it­ing some fees. But it turns out the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion de­ci­sion has some ben­e­fi­cia­ries — in­clud­ing the fa­ther of a key DeVos lieu­tenant who just quit. DeVos’ de­ci­sion, an­nounced Thurs­day in a mem­o­ran­dum to the stu­dent loan in­dus­try, al­lows com­pa­nies known as guar­anty agen­cies to charge distressed stu­dent debtors fees equiv­a­lent to 16 per­cent of their to­tal bal­ance, even when bor­row­ers agree within 60 days to make good on their bad debt. The re­ver­sal is al­most cer­tain to hand United Stu­dent Aid Funds Inc. a vic­tory in its two-year le­gal bat­tle against her depart­ment. The fees could trans­late into an ad­di­tional $15 mil­lion in an­nual rev­enue for the com­pany. Un­til Jan. 1, United Stu­dent Aid Funds was led by Bill Hansen. His son, Tay­lor Hansen, was un­til three days ago one of DeVos’ ad­vis­ers.

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