ITT Collective Won't Let ITT Use Bankruptcy to Avoid Responsibility
For months now, ITT debt resisters in the Debt Collective have been working together for debt cancellation. Over 900 resisters have joined the debt strike. Over 2,000 resisters have submitted Defense to Repayment applications to the Department of Education. Now they have enlisted lawyers from Harvard Law School to help them with their next step: representing students in ITT's bankruptcy proceedings.
Directly representing former students' interests as class representatives will be Jorge Villalba, Josh Cahill, Eric Brewer, Cheryl House, and Juan Hincapie. They will be advised by ITT resisters who have been leading the struggle for a long time: Alyse Zachary, Niki Howland, Tom Schwarze, Chad Howard, Joseph White, Christina Hammond, Ronnie Godwin, and Andie Watson. They will be updating the Wiki page on the bankruptcy here.
This Advisory Committee will consult with the class representatives and their lawyers to try to accomplish two main things: to get the bankruptcy judge to declare many of ITT's activities illegal and to get students as much of the money in ITT's estate as possible. Getting a favorable ruling from the bankruptcy judge would make it harder for the Department of Education to keep dragging its feet on cancelling ITT students' debts and it could also be the first step to stopping collections on private student loans. Even if the judge doesn't rule favorably, the legal action could develop evidence in the proceedings and get the ITT estate to admit some wrongdoing, which could also help with debt cancellation.
The first step happened on January 3: the complaint was filed. It is 108 pages describing ITT's coordinated fraud and is supplemented by over 1,000 pages of student testimony taken from the DTR applications submitted by Debt Collective members. Additionally, it includes affidavits from multiple whistleblowers and evidence from law enforcement investigations into ITT.
You can see more details on the lawsuit here. There has already been some press coverage here and here.