DeVos Could Charged with Contempt for Violating Court Order

Betsy DeVos could be facing jail time if not sanctions for violating an order from a federal judge who prohibited any further collection of student loan debt from Corinthian College students.  U.S. Magistrate Sallie Kim ordered the Department of Education to cease collection from these student borrowers since they fell under the protection of the Borrower Defense to Repaying Rule. The rule was enacted during the Obama administration which forgave all federal student loan debt if their college was fraudulent or using illegal practices.  Corinthian College closed in 2015 after being found for defrauding students, leaving over 16,000 students stuck in a lawsuit to prove their loan debt should be removed.

Instead of forgiving this debt, Betsy DeVos as the Director of the Department of Education (DOE), ignored the court order and instead the DOE demanded payment from these students, in some cases taking the money forcefully by garnishing their wages or taking their federal refund.  Other students voluntarily made the payments even though they were not required to and the DOE was not allowed to accept it from them.

DeVos and the DOE were already facing lawsuits from attorney generals in 19 states for delaying the process of loan forgiveness in order to relieve these students of debt. Instead of cooperating, the DOE were in direct violation of this relief rule, not only delaying the process but completely ignoring it.  US Magistrate Sallie Kim warned that she had the power to send DeVos to jail, and although she would not do so yet, she does intend to investigate if DeVos was in contempt of court.