FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Attorney General Andy Beshear Thursday announced that approximately 2,000 Kentuckians are eligible for federal debt relief after being victimized by predatory practices by Corinthian Colleges Inc.
The Attorney General says Corinthian Colleges targeted Kentuckians under the name Everest College and Everest University, offering online classes. Corinthian also marketed its WyoTech program in Kentucky attempting to recruit Kentuckians to its WyoTech campuses in Pennsylvania and Florida, according to the Attorney General.
Beshear’s office is notifying eligible students by letter of the cancellation of their federal student loans used to attend Corinthian schools. Students whose federal loans are canceled will not have to make further payments on the loan and any payments made by the student will be refunded, according to Beshear.
“As attorney general, my mission is to protect Kentucky’s families from consumer fraud, especially the ongoing deception by for-profit colleges like Corinthian,” Beshear said. “We must do everything in our power to ensure eligible Kentucky students get all the debt relief from fraudulent Corinthian loans.”
Beshear says the overwhelming need to protect Kentucky students began after the federal government and state attorneys general found that Corinthian Colleges engaged in widespread consumer fraud by falsifying its job placement rate between 2010 and 2014. The federal government’s directive dictates that Corinthian is not allowed to enroll students and is only remaining open to “teach out” current students.
Beshear’s letter is to Kentucky students who fall within the U.S. Department of Education’s findings of fraud concerning Corinthian, and who are eligible for a special “streamlined” process to discharge their federal student loans.
Any student, however, who attended Corinthian Colleges or any other school and believes that the school lied about job prospects, the transferability of credits or other issues may apply to have his or her federal student loans discharged using the Department of Education’s universal discharge application at https://borrowerdischarge.ed.gov. More information is available at https://studentaid.ed.gov/borrower-defense.
Beshear said Kentucky and states across the country are keeping the pressure the federal government to honor their commitment to help students of for-profit colleges.
On April 24, 2017, Beshear joined with other state attorneys general to send a letter to federal officials expressing concern over the withdrawal of critical student loan servicing reforms.
In December 2016, Beshear announced nearly 3,500 former students of Daymar College’s Kentucky campuses and online programs will receive restitution checks totaling $1.2 million. The payments are pursuant to a settlement agreement the Office of the Attorney General entered into with Daymar in 2015 resolving a consumer protection lawsuit.
In August 2016, Beshear announced that the Kentucky Court of Appeals had affirmed a previous order by Franklin Circuit Court requiring National College of Kentucky Inc. and its attorneys to pay the state a combined $157,000 in civil monetary sanctions. The Kentucky Supreme Court declined to take up National College’s request to overturn the appeals’ court decision.
In March 2016, Beshear joined seven other state attorneys general in asking the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to restore educational and vocational benefits to thousands of veterans victimized by Corinthian Colleges Inc. for predatory practices. Kentucky veterans are among the 2,000 students receiving letters from Beshear regarding their federal loans.
Additionally, Beshear warns Kentucky college students to not fall for companies promising loan debt relief services for a large fee and student’s personal information.
Students should avoid these companies and contact their current student loan company that can offer changes to a repayment plan at any time for free, Beshear said. Students are assigned a loan servicer/company by the U.S. Department of Education when their loan amount is first paid out.
Beshear said his office of Consumer Protection is currently investigating several of these companies, and is asking students who have been a victim to contact his office by phone, 502-696-5300, or by completing a complaint form.