Three borrowers filed a nation-wide class action lawsuit against the Department of Education for illegally and unfairly denying relief to tens of thousands of former Corinthian students who the Department of Education determined are entitled to have their loans discharged and their loan payments refunded. These borrowers are represented by the Project on Predatory Student lending and the Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA).
All three borrowers, and all class members, are entitled to relief pursuant to the Department’s Corinthian Job Placement Rate Rule, which it has established through countless public statements, previous discharges, and direct notice to tens of thousands of covered individuals. It is unlawful for the Department to change this rule or apply changes retroactively.
This case against the Department of Education was brought by three named plaintiffs:
- Martin Calvillo Manriquez was talked into WyoTech’s automotive technology program over community college. He did not have an opportunity to work with cars or car parts while he was enrolled. The school didn’t have tools or certified instructors. While he was in school, he worked at an oil change shop earning $8 an hour. His classmates who graduated from the same program were applying for the same low-paying, non-technical job he already had. Most of them didn’t even get jobs changing oil. Martin has never had a job related to auto repair. Even though the Department determined that Martin was misled and cheated, and even though he applied to have his loans discharged, the Department has taken two years of tax refunds and garnished his wages to pay back his loans.
- Rthwan Dobashi owes more than $20,000 for the same automotive technology program at WyoTech. He has also never worked in the field. In early 2016, he found out from the attorney general that he was eligible to have his debts from WyoTech cancelled, and he applied. He also told one of his friends from school, and his friend applied, too. His friend’s loans were discharged almost a year ago, while Rthwan still hasn’t heard anything from the Department.
- Jamal Cornelius’s attended the Information Technology-Emphasis in Network Security program at Corinthian owned Heald College and borrowed more than $25,000 for the program. His debt from Corinthian is the only line on his credit report. He has been waiting more than fourteen months for any response to his application for relief.