Project Attorney Urges Department of Education to Prohibit For-Profit Colleges from Using Forced Arbitration to Hide Fraud and Deception of Students

Project on Predatory Student Lending Attorney Eileen Connor asked the Department of Education to use its current rulemaking process to prohibit colleges participating in the Federal Student Aid program from forcing students to settle disputes against the school through arbitration. Ms. Connor, along with Noah Zinner of Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, is representing the Legal Aid Community and the interests of their clients in the ongoing Negotiated Rulemaking.

Student borrowers who have been harmed by predatory institutions face significant barriers to raising claims and winning relief in arbitration, particularly because most predatory schools’ arbitration clauses prohibit class action suits and group claims, forcing borrowers to go it alone.  The proposal argues that predatory institutions use arbitration—a confidential, non-public dispute resolution process that favors corporations over individuals—as a means to cover up fraud and misconduct, as in the case of Corinthian Colleges. Yesterday, nine Senators made a similar request.

More information about the Negotiated Rulemaking can be found on the Department’s website here.

Eileen Connor Joins the Project on Predatory Student Lending

3c97af0The Legal Services Center welcomes Eileen Connor as Director of Litigation for the Project on Predatory Student Lending. Ms. Connor joins the Project with extensive litigation experience in the field of predatory student lending and in the public interest more generally. Most recently, she was a Senior Staff Attorney in the Special Litigation Unit of the New York Legal Assistance Group, where she was counsel on multiple consumer class-action lawsuits concerning student loan debt, and a founder of NYLAG’s For-Profit School Project.

The Project on Predatory Student Lending represents low-income student loan borrowers who have experienced predatory lending in connection with for-profit schools. As part of our focus on for-profit colleges, the practice frequently assists with issues related to servicemembers’ and  veterans’ education benefits, federal student aid, private student loans, and student loan collections.

Connor joins Toby Merrill, Director of the Project on Predatory Student Lending. Both the Project and LSC as a whole are excited to have Ms. Connor on board, and look forward to the talent and skill she will bring to the work we do.