The Huffington Post reported on August 24 that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering suit against Navient, a company that services student loans for the U.S. Department of Education. This action comes after nearly two years of investigation into its practices, and is based on evidence allegedly found that shows Navient violating consumer protection laws.
The allegations against the company involve practices such as
- Its charging of late fees
- How its debt collection unit treats borrowers
- How its loan servicing division interacts with borrowers
As for the late fees, in May of last year Navient and Sallie Mae agreed to pay $36.6 million in fines and restitution following an allegation by the FDIC that their system processed loan payments in such a way as to maximize late fees, while simultaneously misleading borrowers about ways to avoid said fees. At about the same time, Navient also agreed to pay back another $42 million in connection with these late fee practices.
What May Have Lead to the Scrutiny
What is interesting about this move by the CFPB is its connection to the overall student loan crisis and an acknowledgement of its potential impact on the economy. The Huffington Post states that,
"Concerns are mounting among policymakers that the nation's growing $1.3 trillion student loan tab risks slowing economic growth, as millions of households either struggle to make payments or cut back in other ways."
Too many people in this country are severely weighed down by student loan debt. As long as they remain so, it will be difficult for them to participate in the economy by buying more goods and services, thus allowing it to grow so that jobs will be created.
Is Navient Causing Problems for You?
If you are struggling with student loans serviced by Navient, then you need to track carefully any late charges on your account or any balance that might look too high.
If you live in the Gloucester County, New Jersey area, are struggling with federal student loan payments, and think that Navient is not giving you the help that you need, then feel free to call my office at 856-432-4113 to schedule a consultation in my Woodbury office to see what can be done. Because Navient might not be telling you!