August 29, 2018 • Utica Observer-Dispatch

Brindisi calls on New York AG to help student loan borrowers

By Samantha Madison

A few days after student loan industry watchdog Seth Frotman left the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, D-Utica, is calling on New York state to provide more protections for those in school or who already have graduated.

“If there is one position at the federal level that should be nonpartisan, it is the person who protects people paying and applying for student loans because this industry is pervasively polluted with shake-down artists,” said Brindisi about the issue in a news release. “To know that there is no longer a cop on the beat could send loan companies into a feeding frenzy and borrowers into a tailspin, and that is why I am urging immediate action by the New York State Attorney General.”

Brindisi, who is running for Congress against Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford, sent a letter to the New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood explaining his concerns, especially with no apparent plans to replace Frotman.

He asked Underwood to pay close attention and pick up the slack left by Frotman’s resignation.

“With Americans owing about $1.5 trillion in student loans, losing this oversight function by the federal government could have grave consequences not only for many borrowers, but for the American economy for many years to come,” Brindisi said in the letter. “In light of these developments, I am respectfully asking you to deploy the resources you have available within the Bureau of Consumer Fraud and Protection to pick up the reduction in enforcement of regulations for student loan providers we are seeing at the federal level.”

Frotman resigned earlier this week in a letter to Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, citing inadequate enforcement of regulations to protect student loan borrowers from predatory lenders.

Brindisi says all student loan holders and applicants should call his office with complaints against loan companies that may be using the absence of a federal watchdog to take advantage of loan holders and applicants.

“Parents and students have enough to worry about when it comes to student loans — like paying the actual bill,” said Brindisi. “They shouldn’t have to be on the receiving end of a political mess at the federal level but now they are. And to know that a shakedown era on student loans could be afoot demands immediate action, federal attention and New York State oversight.”

 

Read the full article here

Post Type: 
News Story