The fight for student debt cancellation started with a debt strike over two years ago and has continued on multiple fronts since. The fight has been quiet lately, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been moving forward. A Debt Collective member achieved a small victory last week. Her victory could help open the door to bigger victories for all for-profit student debtors moving forward.
Sarah Dieffenbacher, one of the Corinthian 200 debt strikers, submitted her defense to repayment application over two years ago and had it denied for no reason. Literally: no reason was given for the denial. Now her wages are being garnished.
Sarah's situation presented a unique opportunity to sue the Department of Education. Most of the time the Dept says they are "still working on" DTR applications while stopping collections, but this time they denied it and started garnishing wages. This was a chance to force the Dept to justify itself in court.
So, after the Debt Collective connected her with the attorneys at Harvard's Project on Predatory Student Lending, Sarah sued the Department of Education. The Dept realized that it couldn't defend itself, so it asked the court to give it a re-do. The bureaucrats over there don't want courts meddling in their business: that might force them to actually do justice.
Last week the court said HELL NO. It actually said that the Department's request was "frivolous and in bad faith". What's all the more delicious for those of us who have seen the Dept's incompetence firsthand is that the court ridiculed the Dept's lawyers for spelling their boss's name wrong. Betsy DeVos is the Secretary of Education, but the Dept's lawyers had written "Davos" and "Devoss" at different parts in their brief.
This is good news. We hope it's an indication of bigger victories to come. This is why we have to keep fighting everywhere we can.