August 24, 2019

Senator Warren Questions Appointment of Student Loan Industry Executive as Nation's Top Student Loan Watchdog

Sends Letters to CFPB Director, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Requesting They Rescind Decision to Put Industry Insider in Charge of Protecting Student Loan Borrowers

Also Sends a Third Letter to Robert Cameron, Urging Him to Reconsider His Role or Recuse Himself from Matters Involving Former Employer

Text of Letter to CFPB (PDF) | Text of Letter to Treasury Dept. (PDF) | Text of Letter to Cameron (PDF)

Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today sent letters to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman Appointee Robert Cameron regarding her concerns that Cameron, a former student loan servicing executive, has been selected as the nation's top student loan watchdog responsible for protecting student loan borrowers.

The Student Loan Ombudsman at the CFPB is responsible for protecting student loan borrowers from mistreatment from student loan servicers, lenders, and other participants in the student loan industry. But until his appointment, and for several years prior, Mr. Cameron oversaw "compliance activities" at Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), a massive student loan servicer with an atrocious compliance record. This presents an irresolvable conflict of interest that disqualifies him from a role in which his primary job would be advocating for borrowers.

To Kraninger and Mnuchin, Senator Warren wrote, "The appointment of Mr. Cameron, a former executive responsible for compliance at a student loan servicer that has been accused of cheating thousands of students and taxpayers, is an outrageous slap in the face to student loan borrowers across the country."

She continued, "Given Mr. Cameron's record overseeing compliance for an industry player frequently cited for failure to the comply with federal rules and state consumer protection laws, he is not qualified to serve as the Student Loan Ombudsman, and I urge you to use your authority to reject Mr. Cameron's appointment."

Senator Warren urged Kraninger and Mnuchin to reconsider and reject Mr. Cameron's appointment.

Senator Warren also wrote to Mr. Cameron, urging him to reconsider his decision to accept the position as Student Loan Ombudsman, and if he does not do so, to recuse himself from all matters that affect PHEAA, his former employer.

Senator Warren has introduced legislation to provide student debt relief to 95% of student borrowers, and bipartisan legislation to make bankruptcy relief available for student loan borrowers. 

Senator Warren has also introduced the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act, the most ambitious anti-corruption legislation since Watergate. This bill would slam shut the revolving door, ban corporate executives whose companies were caught breaking federal law from working in the federal government, and require most federal officials to recuse from any decisions that affect their former employer for at least four years.