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    Overview

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    With more than $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt in the United States and default rates increasing faster than all other consumer debt, the three branches of the U.S. federal government now are focused on regulating lending and collection practices of student loan lenders and servicers. The 2008 U.S. economic downturn has predictably led to an increase in litigation between borrowers who are unable to pay their debts and their student loan lenders and servicers. Lenders and servicers have become litigation targets as borrowers seek incentives to minimize their payment obligations. It has therefore become increasingly prudent that lenders and servicers are aware of the patchwork of legal requirements which define and confine their industry.

    Locke Lord’s Consumer Finance Practice Group has significant experience defending student loan servicers in complex as well as loan-level litigation matters involving the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and the dischargeability of student loans in bankruptcy proceedings. We also prosecute collection actions against borrowers throughout the United States and are familiar with the federal guidelines required for federally-backed loans.

    The Consumer Finance Practice Group also has a dedicated team of regulatory compliance and transactional lawyers who have significant experience handling the varied aspects of the student loan industry. From securitization and financing transactions involving student loans, to drafting servicing compliance policies and procedures, to handling all types of transactions, Locke Lord lawyers are well-positioned to provide experienced and practical counsel to their clients.

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