Senator Lesser Joins Advisory Board of New National Org. Fighting to End the Student Debt Crisis

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“We need to take a stand here in Massachusetts and across the country to protect student borrowers,” said Sen. Lesser

SPRINGFIELD — Today, a new organization launched a nationwide effort to end the student debt crisis and announced its advisory board of leaders across the country working to protect student borrowers, including Senator Eric P. Lesser.

The Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC), founded by Seth Frotman, the former top student loan official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is a national nonprofit organization focused solely on alleviating the burden of student debt across America. Its unpaid advisory board is made up of volunteer policy leaders across the country who are dedicated to solving the student debt crisis.

“Students are doing everything they’ve been told to do, which is to invest in their education and get a college degree. But they are taking on enormous amounts of debt, and they are being taken advantage of by loan servicers who use deceptive practices and wrongly steer them into costly repayment plans. Over the past two years, the Trump Administration — led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — has stripped away federal protections for student loan borrowers, putting their financial futures at risk. We need to take a stand here in Massachusetts and across the country to protect student borrowers,” said Sen. Eric P. Lesser.

“Tens of millions of American families are trapped in a broken student loan system, squeezed by rising debt and widespread abuses by a predatory industry,” said Seth Frotman, Executive Director of the Student Borrower Protection Center. “The federal government hasn’t just walked away from the fight on behalf of borrowers, it is actually arming the other side. The Student Borrower Protection Center is here to fight back — in state capitals, in Congress, in court, and in communities across the country.”

Last year, Sen. Lesser introduced S.2380, An Act establishing a student loan bill of rights, which requires student loan servicers to be licensed with the state and empowers state officials to investigate them and take action against those that violate the state’s banking and consumer protection laws.

The bill passed the Senate but failed to make it to the Governor’s desk. Sen. Lesser plans to reintroduce it in the new legislative session beginning in January.

This legislation is the Massachusetts version of a bill the SBPC is encouraging advocates in every state to pass to protect student borrowers and hold student loan servicers accountable.

Other national leaders on the SBPC’s advisory board include Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, and John Podesta, former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton and founder of the Center for American Progress, a leading research and advocacy organization on student debt and other issues.

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News, Press ReleaseRyan Migeed