Lesser Leading National Fight In Crackdown Of Companies Collecting Student Loans

March 2, 2018

By Jillian Berman

MarketWatch.com

A few years ago, Connecticut state representative Matt Lesser helped kick off a movement among state lawmakers across the country to regulate student loan firms. Now Lesser, a Democrat, and many of those officials are defending their efforts amid reported threats from the federal government.

In 2015, thanks to legislation shepherded by Lesser, Connecticut became the first state to require student loan servicers — the companies that manage payments for borrowers — to have licenses and abide by certain consumer protections in order to operate in the state. Soon after, several states began working to create similar laws.

Now, with regulations on the books in three states and Washington, D.C. and efforts underway in several others, the Betsy DeVos-led Department of Education may issue guidance claiming states don’t have the authority to oversee companies that collect federal student loans, according to multiple reports. A Department of Education spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment on the reports.

But Lesser and his colleagues across the country don’t appear to be standing down. “If the Trump administration decides against better counsel to go ahead with this idea, I think you’ll see some strong action out of Connecticut,” he said. “We’re going to be making sure that we continue to protect the law and we stand up for our rights as a state.”

For more, read this MarketWatch.com news story.