34 CFR § 682.208 - Due diligence in servicing a loan.

§ 682.208 Due diligence in servicing a loan.

(a) The loan servicing process includes reporting to nationwide consumer reporting agencies, responding to borrower inquiries, establishing the terms of repayment, and reporting a borrower's enrollment and loan status information.

(b)

(1) An eligible lender of a FFEL loan shall report to each nationwide consumer reporting agency -

(i) The total amount of FFEL loans the lender has made to the borrower, within 90 days of each disbursement;

(ii) The outstanding balance of the loans;

(iii) Information concerning the repayment status of the loan, no less frequently than every 90 days or quarterly after a change in that status from current to delinquent;

(iv) The date the loan is fully repaid by, or on behalf of, the borrower, or discharged by reason of the borrower's death, bankruptcy, or total and permanent disability, within 90 days after that date;

(v) Other information required by law to be reported.

(2) An eligible lender that has acquired a FFEL loan shall report to each nationwide consumer reporting agency the information required by paragraph (b)(1)(ii)-(v) of this section within 90 days of its acquisition of the loan.

(3) Upon receipt of a valid identity theft report as defined in section 603(q)(4) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a) or notification from a consumer reporting agency that information furnished by the lender is a result of an alleged identity theft as defined in § 682.402(e)(14), an eligible lender shall suspend consumer reporting agency reporting for a period not to exceed 120 days while the lender determines the enforceability of a loan.

(i) If the lender determines that a loan does not qualify for a discharge under § 682.402(e)(1)(i)(C), but is nonetheless unenforceable, the lender must -

(A) Notify the consumer reporting agency of its determination; and

(B) Comply with §§ 682.300(b)(2)(ix) and 682.302(d)(1)(viii).

(ii) [Reserved]

(4) If, within 3 years of the lender's receipt of an identity theft report, the lender receives from the borrower evidence specified in § 682.402(e)(3)(v), the lender may submit a claim and receive interest subsidy and special allowance payments that would have accrued on the loan.

(c)

(1) A lender shall respond within 30 days after receipt to any inquiry from a borrower or any endorser on a loan.

(2) When a lender learns that a Stafford loan borrower or a student PLUS loan borrower is no longer enrolled at an institution of higher education on at least a half-time basis, the lender shall promptly contact the borrower in order to establish the terms of repayment.

(3)

(i) If the borrower disputes the terms of the loan in writing and the lender does not resolve the dispute, the lender's response must provide the borrower with an appropriate contact at the guaranty agency for the resolution of the dispute.

(ii) If the guaranty agency does not resolve the dispute, the agency's response must provide the borrower with information on the availability of the Student Loan Ombudsman's office.

(d) Subject to the rules regarding maximum duration of a repayment period and minimum annual payment described in § 682.209(a)(7), (c), and (h), nothing in this part is intended to limit a lender's discretion in establishing, or, with the borrower's consent, revising a borrower's repayment schedule -

(1) To provide for graduated or income-sensitive repayment terms. The Secretary strongly encourages lenders to provide a graduated or income-sensitive repayment schedule to a borrower providing for at least the payment of interest charges, unless the borrower requests otherwise, in order to make the borrower's repayment burden commensurate with his or her projected ability to pay; or

(2) To provide a single repayment schedule, as authorized and if practicable, for all FFEL program loans to the borrower held by the lender.

(e)

(1) If the assignment or transfer of ownership interest of a Stafford, PLUS, SLS, or Consolidation loan is to result in a change in the identity of the party to whom the borrower must send subsequent payments, the assignor and assignee of the loan shall, no later than 45 days from the date the assignee acquires a legally enforceable right to receive payment from the borrower on the assigned loan, provide, either jointly or separately, a notice to the borrower of -

(i) The assignment;

(ii) The identity of the assignee;

(iii) The name and address of the party to whom subsequent payments or communications must be sent;

(iv) The telephone numbers of both the assignor and the assignee;

(v) The effective date of the assignment or transfer of the loan;

(vi) The date, if applicable, on which the current loan servicer will stop accepting payments; and

(vii) The date on which the new loan servicer will begin accepting payments.

(2) If the assignor and assignee separately provide the notice required by paragraph (e)(1) of this section, each notice must indicate that a corresponding notice will be sent by the other party to the assignment.

(3) For purposes of this paragraph, the term “assigned” is defined in § 682.401(b)(8)(ii).

(4) The assignee, or the assignor on behalf of the assignee, shall notify the guaranty agency that guaranteed the loan within 45 days of the date the assignee acquires a legally enforceable right to receive payment from the borrower on the loan of -

(i) The assignment; and

(ii) The name and address of the assignee, and the telephone number of the assignee that can be used to obtain information about the repayment of the loan.

(5) The requirements of this paragraph (e), as to borrower notification, apply if the borrower is in a grace period or has entered the repayment period.

(f)

(1) Notwithstanding an error by the school or lender, a lender shall follow the procedures in § 682.412 whenever it receives information that can be substantiated that the borrower, or the student on whose behalf a parent has borrowed, has been convicted of, or has pled nolo contendere or guilty to, a crime involving fraud in obtaining title IV, HEA program assistance, provided false or erroneous information or took actions that caused the student or borrower -

(i) To be ineligible for all or a portion of a loan made under this part;

(ii) To receive a Stafford loan subject to payment of Federal interest benefits as provided under § 682.301, for which he or she was ineligible; or

(iii) To receive loan proceeds that were not paid to the school or repaid to the lender by or on behalf of a registered student who -

(A) The school notifies the lender under 34 CFR 668.21(a)(2)(ii) has withdrawn or been expelled prior to the first day of classes for the period of enrollment for which the loan was intended; or

(B) Failed to attend school during that period.

(2) For purposes of this section, the term “guaranty agency” in § 682.412(e) refers to the Secretary in the case of a Federal GSL loan.

(g) If, during a period when the borrower is not delinquent, a lender receives information indicating it does not know the borrower's address, it may commence the skip-tracing activities specified in § 682.411(h).

(h) Notifying the borrower about a servicing change. If an FFEL Program loan has not been assigned, but there is a change in the identity of the party to whom the borrower must send subsequent payments or direct any communications concerning the loan, the holder of the loan shall, no later than 45 days after the date of the change, provide notice to the borrower of the name, telephone number, and address of the party to whom subsequent payments or communications must be sent. The requirements of this paragraph apply if the borrower is in a grace period or has entered the repayment period.

(i) A lender shall report enrollment and loan status information, or any Title IV loan-related data required by the Secretary, to the guaranty agency or to the Secretary, as applicable, by the deadline date established by the Secretary.

(j)

(1) Effective July 1, 2016, a loan holder is required to use the official electronic database maintained by the Department of Defense, to -

(i) Identify all borrowers who are military servicemembers and who are eligible under § 682.202(a)(8); and

(ii) Confirm the dates of the borrower's military service status and begin, extend, or end, as applicable, the use of the SCRA interest rate limit of six percent.

(2) The loan holder must compare its list of borrowers against the database maintained by the Department of Defense at least monthly to identify servicemembers who are in military service status for the purpose of determining eligibility under § 682.202(a)(8).

(3) A borrower may provide the loan holder with alternative evidence of military service status to demonstrate eligibility if the borrower believes that the information contained in the Department of Defense database is inaccurate or incomplete. Acceptable alternative evidence includes -

(i) A copy of the borrower's military orders; or

(ii) The certification of the borrower's military service from an authorized official using a form approved by the Secretary.

(4)

(i) When the loan holder determines that the borrower is eligible under § 682.202(a)(8), the loan holder must ensure the interest rate on the borrower's loan does not exceed the SCRA interest rate limit of six percent.

(ii) The loan holder must apply the SCRA interest rate limit of six percent for the longest eligible period verified with the official electronic database, or alternative evidence of military service status received under paragraph (j)(3) of this section, using the combination of evidence that provides the borrower with the earliest military service start date and the latest military service end date.

(iii) In the case of a reservist, the loan holder must use the reservist's notification date as the start date of the military service period.

(5) When the loan holder applies the SCRA interest rate limit of six percent to a borrower's loan, it must notify the borrower in writing within 30 days that the interest rate on the loan has been reduced to six percent during the borrower's period of military service.

(6)

(i) For PLUS loans with an endorser, the loan holder must use the official electronic database to begin, extend, or end, as applicable, the SCRA interest rate limit of six percent on the loan based on the borrower's or endorser's military service status, regardless of whether the loan holder is currently pursuing the endorser for repayment of the loan.

(ii) If both the borrower and the endorser are eligible for the SCRA interest rate limit of six percent on a loan, the loan holder must use the earliest military service start date of either party and the latest military service end date of either party to begin, extend, or end, as applicable, the SCRA interest rate limit.

(7)

(i) For joint consolidation loans, the loan holder must use the official electronic database to begin, extend, or end, as applicable, the SCRA interest rate limit of six percent on the loan if either of the borrowers is eligible for the SCRA interest rate limit under § 682.202(a)(8).

(ii) If both borrowers on a joint consolidation loan are eligible for the SCRA interest rate limit of six percent on a loan, the loan holder must use the earliest military service start date of either party and the latest military service end date of either party to begin, extend, or end, as applicable, the SCRA interest rate limit.

(8) If the application of the SCRA interest rate limit of six percent results in an overpayment on a loan that is subsequently paid in full through consolidation, the underlying loan holder must return the overpayment to the holder of the consolidation loan.

(9) For any other circumstances where application of the SCRA interest rate limit of six percent results in an overpayment of the remaining balance on the loan, the loan holder must refund the amount of that overpayment to the borrower.

(10) For purposes of this section, the term “military service” means -

(i) In the case of a servicemember who is a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard -

(A) Active duty, meaning full-time duty in the active military service of the United States. Such term includes full-time training duty, annual training duty, and attendance, while in the active military service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary of the military department concerned. Such term does not include full-time National Guard duty.

(B) In the case of a member of the National Guard, including service under a call to active service, which means service on active duty or full-time National Guard duty, authorized by the President or the Secretary of Defense for a period of more than 30 consecutive days for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds;

(ii) In the case of a servicemember who is a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, active service; and

(iii) Any period during which a servicemember is absent from duty on account of sickness, wounds, leave, or other lawful cause.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1845-0020)
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1077, 1078, 1078-1, 1078-2, 1078-3, 1079, 1080, 1082, 1085)
[57 FR 60323, Dec. 18, 1992, as amended at 58 FR 9119, Feb. 19, 1993; 59 FR 22476, Apr. 29, 1994; 64 FR 18976, Apr. 16, 1999; 64 FR 58626, Oct. 29, 1999; 64 FR 58965, Nov. 1, 1999; 71 FR 45701, Aug. 9, 2006; 72 FR 62000, 62031, Nov. 1, 2007; 74 FR 55993, Oct. 29, 2009; 78 FR 65811, Nov. 1, 2013; 80 FR 67237, Oct. 30, 2015]