DeVos awards firm tied to her adviser
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.