Adam S. Minsky, Senior Contributor
May 24, 2021
The Biden administration this week announced that it will begin the process of reviewing and overhauling regulations governing major federal student loan relief programs, including student loan forgiveness programs and income based repayment plans.
The announcement pertains to a regulatory rewrite process, which involves the Department of Education reviewing and possibly dramatically changing complex federal regulations that govern key federal student loan programs. A wide array of programs will be subject to review, including the following:
Borrower Defense to Repayment, which allows student loan borrowers who were defrauded by their schools to get their federal student loan debt cancelled. Regulations governing the program were initially established under the Obama administration. The Trump administration, via former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, then significantly updated and amended the regulations to make it more difficult for borrowers to obtain relief. Those regulations still largely remain in effect.
Total and Permanent Disability Discharges, which allow borrowers who are unable to maintain substantial, gainful employment due to a medical condition to get their federal student loans cancelled. President Biden recently made changes to the program via executive order by temporarily exempting borrowers from administrative requirements during a three-year monitoring period following a discharge approval.