An update on the class action lawsuit Sweet v. Cardona, filed in 2019 by Project on Predatory Student Lending on behalf of defrauded student borrowers. Read Judge Alsop’s order here.

From Courthouse News:

Rejecting arguments that making a cabinet official testify threatens the separation of powers, a federal judge this week ordered former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to answer questions about long delays and mass denials of student debt relief claims.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup found evidence of bad faith in the agency’s stated reasons for an 18-month halt in processing debt relief claims, among other factors, creates an extraordinary circumstance that warrants making DeVos sit down for a three-hour deposition.

“Even assuming Secretary DeVos retains some measure of executive prerogative, she must answer an appropriately issued subpoena,” Alsup wrote in an 11-page ruling Wednesday. “Judicial process runs even to unwilling executives.”

The testimony was sought in a class action brought by lead plaintiff Theresa Sweet in 2019. The lawsuit claims the Trump administration’s “pause” in processing borrower defense claims became a “policy of inaction and obfuscation” that prevented defrauded students from obtaining debt relief as required by law. The borrowers argued that long delays left more than 160,000 students “in limbo,” damaged their credit and permanently delayed their accumulation of wealth.

Read the full article on Courthouse News.

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