On Thursday California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that his office is leading a coalition of attorneys general from eight states in filing an amicus brief in support of students with fraud claims against Corinthian Colleges. The so-called friend of the court brief was filed Wednesday in the Calvillo Manriquez v. DeVos case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. That case challenges the decision by the U.S. Department of Education regardingl relief of student debt in the original lawsuit filed against Corinthian. According to the California Department of Justice, the D.O.E. has been authorizing amounts as low as 10 percent loan relief to students who attended schools under the umbrella of the now-defunct Corinthian. The Department has appealed the court’s decision. Attorney General Becerra has a pending, related action against the U.S. Department of Education and Secretary of Education Besty DeVos.
"Students defrauded by the predatory Corinthian Colleges deserve full and total relief from the Department of Education," said Becerra. "These students were already cheated out of their education by Corinthian, and now the Department of Education is cheating them again. Betsy DeVos should be fighting for our students, not doing the bidding of for-profit colleges."
It was in early 2016 that the California Attorney General's Office obtained a $1.1 billion judgement against Corinthian. Becerra's department had also worked with the Obama administration to provide relief for defrauded students. He said that those efforts later led to the development of the Obama administration's Borrower Defense Rule.
Becerra was joined at the Thursday news conference by former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Student Loan Ombudman Seth Frotman and U.C. Irvine Professor of Law Dalie Jimenez. Both echoed Becerra's claim that recent actions by the D.O.E. have made it much more difficult for students to seek relief. They insisted that under current Secretary Betsy DeVos the D.O.E. in 2017 halted approval of all borrower defense claims. That led to a lawsuit filed by Becerra against the D.O.E. to force full relief to student borrowers with pending claims of fraud against Corinthian.