May 21, 2015

Senators Question Dept. of Education About Long-Delayed Investigation into Navient's Violations of Servicemembers' Rights

Text of the letter here

WASHINGTON, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) today sent a letter to the Department of Education (ED) seeking information about its long-delayed investigation into charges of systematic violations of servicemembers' rights by federal student loan servicers, including Navient.

In the letter, the Senators note that one year after the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC) nearly $100 million settlement with Navient for conduct described as "intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of servicemembers," ED still has not completed its own investigation and Navient continues to make millions of dollars off of its federal contracts.

"We are deeply concerned that Navient could have cheated our military families and broken the law, and yet somehow continue to feast off our borrowers and our taxpayers," the Senators write. "The other federal watchdogs have done their jobs, and it is past time for you to do yours."

The Senators ask ED why it decided to conduct its own investigation, what additional evidence it is seeking, and whether the standard it is applying to identify violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is the same as the standard applied by DOJ. The letter also asks for information about the scope and nature of ED's investigation.

Read a PDF copy of the letter here.

Read the Department of Education's response here