Elizabeth Warren's bill is now out, and I urge you all to have a long look at it, and if you have any comments about it, leave them here...My initial comments:
While we support refinancing rights for student loans generally, the "sticker price" of college is far more concerning to the public than the interest rates on the loans. This plan will have no impact the price of college, or the amount of debt the students are having to assume.
Of equal importance: this bill won't do anything to fix the structurally predatory nature of both federal and private loans that has resulted from the removal of bankruptcy protections, statutes of limitations, and other standard consumer protections.
It is not clear how much the government will pay private lenders for refinanced private loans based on the text of the bill. This leaves the possibility open that this program will be used by private lenders to dump loans that will never be repaid onto the federal government for full book value, or even more. So the possibility of this legislation becoming another bailout for the banks is pretty obvious.
There are some other parts of the bill that modify the Income Based Repayment, and public service loan forgiveness programs, and also impact the tax implications of forgiven debt. These sections require further analysis, but could be important.
We have been waiting for Senator Warren to throw down the gauntlet, and introduce legislation such as what is contained in HR 3892 (a bill that returns much needed consumer protections such as bankruptcy, statutes of limitations, and others. This is not that.
I do hope that Sen. Warren introduces legislation that repeals 523(a)(8) soon. The citizens have demonstrated remarkable tolerance and patience with Congress to this point, but that patience has its limits.