(a) Eligibility. Except as provided in § 668.189(b), you may appeal, on the basis of improper loan servicing or collection, the calculation of—
(1) Your most recent cohort default rate; or
(2) Any cohort default rate upon which a loss of eligibility under § 668.187 is based.
(b) Improper loan servicing. For the purposes of this section, a default is considered to have been due to improper loan servicing or collection only if the borrower did not make a payment on the loan and you prove that the FFEL Program lender or the Direct Loan Servicer, as defined in 34 CFR 685.102, failed to perform one or more of the following activities, if that activity applies to the loan:
(1) Send at least one letter (other than the final demand letter) urging the borrower to make payments on the loan;
(2) Attempt at least one phone call to the borrower;
(3) Send a final demand letter to the borrower;
(4) For a Direct Loan Program loan only, document that skip tracing was performed if the Direct Loan Servicer determined that it did not have the borrower's current address; and
(5) For an FFELP loan only—
(i) Submit a request for preclaims or default aversion assistance to the guaranty agency; and
(ii) Submit a certification or other documentation that skip tracing was performed to the guaranty agency.
(c) Deadlines for submitting an appeal.(1) If the loan record detail report was not included with your official cohort default rate notice, you must request it within 15 days after you receive the notice of your official cohort default rate.
(2) You must send a request for loan servicing records to the relevant data manager, or data managers, and to us within 15 days after you receive your loan record detail report from us. If the data manager is a guaranty agency, your request must include a copy of the loan record detail report.
(3) Within 20 days after receiving your request for loan servicing records, the data manager must—
(i) Send you and us a list of the borrowers in your representative sample, as described in paragraph (d) of this section (the list must be in social security number order, and it must include the number of defaulted loans included in the cohort for each listed borrower);
(ii) Send you and us a description of how your representative sample was chosen; and
(iii) Either send you copies of the loan servicing records for the borrowers in your representative sample and send us a copy of its cover letter indicating that the records were sent, or send you and us a notice of the amount of its fee for providing copies of the loan servicing records.
(4) The data manager may charge you a reasonable fee for providing copies of loan servicing records, but it may not charge more than $10 per borrower file. If a data manager charges a fee, it is not required to send the documents to you until it receives your payment of the fee.
(5) If the data manager charges a fee for providing copies of loan servicing records, you must send payment in full to the data manager within 15 days after you receive the notice of the fee.
(6) If the data manager charges a fee for providing copies of loan servicing records, and—
(i) You pay the fee in full and on time, the data manager must send you, within 20 days after it receives your payment, a copy of all loan servicing records for each loan in your representative sample (the copies are provided to you in hard copy format unless the data manager and you agree that another format may be used), and it must send us a copy of its cover letter indicating that the records were sent; or
(ii) You do not pay the fee in full and on time, the data manager must notify you and us of your failure to pay the fee and that you have waived your right to challenge the calculation of your cohort default rate based on the data manager's records. We accept that determination unless you prove that it is incorrect.
(7) Within 15 days after receiving a guaranty agency's notice that we hold an FFELP loan about which you are inquiring, you must send us your request for the loan servicing records for that loan. We respond to your request under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.
(8) Within 15 days after receiving incomplete or illegible records, you must send a request for replacement records to the data manager and us.
(9) Within 20 days after receiving your request for replacement records, the data manager must either—
(i) Replace the missing or illegible records; or
(ii) Notify you and us that no additional or improved copies are available.
(10) You must send your appeal to us, including all supporting documentation—
(i) Within 30 days after you receive the final data manager's response to your request for loan servicing records; or
(ii) If you are also requesting a new data adjustment or filing an erroneous data appeal, by the latest of the filing dates required in paragraph (c)(10)(i) of this section or in § 668.191(b)(6)(i) or § 668.192(b)(6)(i).
(d) Representative sample of records.(1) To select a representative sample of records, the data manager first identifies all of the borrowers for whom it is responsible and who had loans that were considered to be in default in the calculation of the cohort default rate you are appealing.
(2) From the group of borrowers identified under paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the data manager identifies a sample that is large enough to derive an estimate, acceptable at a 95 percent confidence level with a plus or minus 5 percent confidence interval, for use in determining the number of borrowers who should be excluded from the calculation of the cohort default rate due to improper loan servicing or collection.
(e) Loan servicing records. Loan servicing records are the collection and payment history records—
(1) Provided to the guaranty agency by the lender and used by the guaranty agency in determining whether to pay a claim on a defaulted loan; or
(2) Maintained by our Direct Loan Servicer that are used in determining your cohort default rate.
(f) Determination.(1) We determine the number of loans, included in your representative sample of loan servicing records, that defaulted due to improper loan servicing or collection, as described in paragraph (b) of this section.
(2) Based on our determination, we use a statistically valid methodology to exclude the corresponding percentage of borrowers from both the numerator and denominator of the calculation of your cohort default rate, and electronically correct the rate that is publicly released.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1845-0022)