Student Bill of Rights Pass Committee – Los Alamos Reporter


NEWS FROM HOME DEMOCRATS

A bill authorizing and protecting more than 200,000 New Mexican student loan borrowers was passed Wednesday by the House’s consumer and public affairs committee.

Sponsored by Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque) and Senator Katy Duhigg (D-Albuquerque), House Bill 218: The Student Loan Bill of Rights regulates student loan services so that they are responsible for educating borrowers and ensuring that any mistake in servicing loans does not lead to painful defaults.

House Bill 218 creates the same level of state regulation that already exists for other loan-based industries like cars, credit cards, and homes. It also brings transparency to the student loan industry to identify and prevent predatory loan management practices, and ensures borrowers get substantive responses and immediate corrective action from businesses when loan problems arise.

“University should lead to opportunity, not financial ruin. This bill aims to level the playing field with powerful out-of-state student loan services and ensure that New Mexicans have the same level of protection as mortgages or credit cards ” , said Representative Roybal Caballero. “We need transparency and clarity in student loans, especially for our historically marginalized communities of color who are disproportionately subject to the predatory practices that this industry uses to make huge profits at the expense of vulnerable students. This bill does that.

More than 200,000 New Mexicans currently hold student loans worth about $ 7 billion. Nationwide, 45 million Americans owe $ 1.7 trillion in student loan debt, just behind mortgage debt. Thirteen states currently have student loan protection laws, and two dozen more may soon adopt similar protections.

The Student Loan Bill of Rights was passed by the House Public Affairs and Consumer Affairs committee by 7-2 and then goes to the House Judiciary Committee.

Members of the public can follow legislation onNew Mexico Legislative Assembly website, access Committee meetings and House sittings via theWebcasts tab, or participate through Zoom to provide public comments on committee hearings. During the 2021 legislative session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical laws while protecting the health and safety of the public, staff and lawmakers.

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