Biden administration plans to waive student debt with federal help

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Biden administration plans to waive student debt with federal help

President Joe Biden's Education Department has just taken another step on its second attempt to get broad student-debt relief to millions of borrowers.

On Friday, the Education Department released a paper outlining what it's considering as it develops its new plan for broad student-loan forgiveness. In the end of June, the Supreme Court struck down Biden's first plan to cancel student debt by using the HEROES Act of 2003, which allows the education secretary to waive or modify student-loan balances in connection with a national emergency.

The Supreme Court ruled that the HEROES Act was the wrong law to pursue relief as a result of the pandemic, so the Department of Education said it would seek to remedy the situation by implementing the Higher Education Act of 1965, which does not require the existence of a national emergency.

The administration must follow the negotiated rulemaking process, which involves a series of negotiation sessions and public comments. The department's Friday statement released the names of the negotiators, along with topics the negotiations will focus on in the upcoming sessions.

Here is what you need to know about the process and what the negotiations will look like.

The Education Department released a list of selected negotiators to participate in the upcoming sessions, the first of which will be held on October 10 and 11.

In July, the department began the process of seeking nominations for people to serve on the negotiating committee. They were nominated by the public and selected by the department. The nominees include civil rights organizations, legal assistance organizations, state attorneys-general, representatives of federal servicers, and student-loan borrowers.

The department said it is still searching for nominations for two constituency groups: state officials, Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions.

What are the things to be discussed during a negotiation?

The Education Department released a paper negotiators to begin discussing in October. The Higher Education Act allows the education secretary to enforce, pay, compromise, waive, or release any right, title, claim, lien, or demand related to student debt, and the negotiators will discuss the scope of that authority.

The paper further said that the department is considering adding regulations on the circumstances under which the Department may waive all or part of federal student loan debts, indicating that it is looking at expanding the scope of the education secretary's authority.

The Department of Justice highlighted five key groups of borrowers it wants negotiators to discuss when discussing the new plan for broad debt relief.

borrowers who entered repayment before certain benefits became available were not able to participate in the repayment process.

Negotiations will be livestreamed and the department will publish a link to view the sessions closer to the date. Members of the public will have the opportunity to submit comments at the end of each day, and when a draft of the rule is published next year, there will be another period for public comment at that time.