Author: Perez Clark
Student loan borrowers are forced to wait indefinitely for student debt relief as a Texas Federal judge suspended the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program.
This article will look at the halt placed on Biden’s student loan relief program, its reasons, and what’s next for eligible borrowers ready to receive their forgiveness.
Let’s get started!
Student Loan Relief: What’s Next As Fed Court Suspends Biden’s Program?
The Biden administration has indefinitely halted student loan forgiveness applications as a Texas federal court nullified the program on Thursday.
“Courts have struck down the ongoing student debt forgiveness program,” read a note on the relief application page at Studentaid.gov. “Going forth, we will no longer receive applications: However, we aim to reverse those orders by pursuing all necessary legal actions.”
Biden’s administration says it has already appealed to the Department of Justice.
But that case must conclude before the administration can disburse debt relief to borrowers under the program.
Earlier in August, a Texas court placed Biden’s program on hold; nonetheless, the court permitted the administration to continue receiving over 26 million applications since August.
While the program has been subject to continuous challenges since its announcement, Thursday’s development is the worst. The legal road ahead of this case will undoubtedly be troublesome, and it may take several months for the courts to conclude.
Arguments Against Biden’s Program
On the one hand, The Job Creators Network Foundation, a Texas conservative group, filed the lawsuit representing two borrowers who failed to qualify for the debt relief program.
One plaintiff couldn’t qualify because her loans are privately held, while the other only allows for $10,000 in relief as he didn’t receive a Pell Grant.
The two disagree with the program’s regulations, stating that Biden’s administration failed to initiate the formal notice-and-comment process stipulated by the Administrative Procedure Act.
On the other hand, the Texas federal judge argues that Biden’s administration and the executive branch as a whole lack the authorization to create student loan forgiveness.
Biden’s administration has challenged that decision, saying Congress vests the secretary of education congressional authorization to broadly clear education debt in a law called the HEROES Act, which was signed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The administration’s lawyers further argue that specific laws permit the executive branch to disburse debt relief in the event of a nationwide emergency, just like what happened in the pandemic’s wake.
“In America, we aren’t controlled by an almighty officeholder with a pen and a phone,” expressed Mark Pittman, district judge of the U.S District Court for the Texas Northern District, in his 26-page ruling.
“The student debt relief program is an illegal execution of the executive branch’s constitutional power; therefore, we must vacate it,” Mark Pitman wrote.
What’s Next For Student Loan Borrowers?
Borrowers must wait out the administration’s appeal to the 5th Circuit Court. Although borrowers may find it challenging to keep up with the continuous legal battles, they can visit studentaid.gov to subscribe for official updates on the program’s situation.
“To the 16 Million and 10 Million applicants who have received and are yet to receive approval for debt relief, respectively, the Department of Education will remain in possession of all necessary documentation and information so we can immediately process your forgiveness once our case prevails in court,” wrote an official White House secretary on Thursday.
Borrowers should acknowledge that we may need to wait months to hear the courts’ final ruling. If it goes well, we’ll see the Texas court’s decision overruling, and the Biden administration will resume the student debt forgiveness program.
Until then, you can keep up with new developments on the case here.