34 CFR 685.214 - Closed school discharge.
(1) The Secretary discharges the borrower's (and any endorser's) obligation to repay a Direct Loan in accordance with the provisions of this section if the borrower (or the student on whose behalf a parent borrowed) did not complete the program of study for which the loan was made because the school at which the borrower (or student) was enrolled closed, as described in paragraph (c) of this section.
(2) For purposes of this section -
(i) A school's closure date is the date that the school ceases to provide educational instruction in all programs, as determined by the Secretary; and
(ii) “School” means a school's main campus or any location or branch of the main campus, regardless of whether the school or its location or branch is considered eligible.
(b)Relief pursuant to discharge.
(1) Discharge under this section relieves the borrower of any past or present obligation to repay the loan and any accrued charges or collection costs with respect to the loan.
(2) The discharge of a loan under this section qualifies the borrower for reimbursement of amounts paid voluntarily or through enforced collection on the loan.
(3) The Secretary does not regard a borrower who has defaulted on a loan discharged under this section as in default on the loan after discharge, and such a borrower is eligible to receive assistance under programs authorized by title IV of the Act.
(4) The Secretary reports the discharge of a loan under this section to all consumer reporting agencies to which the Secretary previously reported the status of the loan, so as to delete all adverse credit history assigned to the loan.
(c)Borrower qualification for discharge.
(1) In order to qualify for discharge of a loan under this section, a borrower must submit to the Secretary a written request and sworn statement, and the factual assertions in the statement must be true. The statement need not be notarized but must be made by the borrower under penalty of perjury. In the statement, the borrower must -
(i) State that the borrower (or the student on whose behalf a parent borrowed) -
(A) Received the proceeds of a loan, in whole or in part, on or after January 1, 1986 to attend a school;
(B) Did not complete the program of study at that school because the school closed while the student was enrolled, or the student withdrew from the school not more than 120 days before the school closed. The Secretary may extend the 120-day period if the Secretary determines that exceptional circumstances related to a school's closing justify an extension. Exceptional circumstances for this purpose may include, but are not limited to: the school's loss of accreditation; the school's discontinuation of the majority of its academic programs; action by the State to revoke the school's license to operate or award academic credentials in the State; or a finding by a State or Federal government agency that the school violated State or Federal law; and
(C) Did not complete the program of study through a teach-out at another school or by transferring academic credits or hours earned at the closed school to another school;
(ii) State whether the borrower (or student) has made a claim with respect to the school's closing with any third party, such as the holder of a performance bond or a tuition recovery program, and, if so, the amount of any payment received by the borrower (or student) or credited to the borrower's loan obligation; and
(iii) State that the borrower (or student) -
(A) Agrees to provide to the Secretary upon request other documentation reasonably available to the borrower that demonstrates that the borrower meets the qualifications for discharge under this section; and
(B) Agrees to cooperate with the Secretary in enforcement actions in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section and to transfer any right to recovery against a third party to the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section.
(2) The Secretary may discharge a loan under this section without an application from the borrower if the Secretary determines, based on information in the Secretary's possession, that the borrower qualifies for the discharge.
(d)Cooperation by borrower in enforcement actions.
(1) In order to obtain a discharge under this section, a borrower must cooperate with the Secretary in any judicial or administrative proceeding brought by the Secretary to recover amounts discharged or to take other enforcement action with respect to the conduct on which the discharge was based. At the request of the Secretary and upon the Secretary's tendering to the borrower the fees and costs that are customarily provided in litigation to reimburse witnesses, the borrower must -
(i) Provide testimony regarding any representation made by the borrower to support a request for discharge;
(ii) Produce any documents reasonably available to the borrower with respect to those representations; and
(iii) If required by the Secretary, provide a sworn statement regarding those documents and representations.
(2) The Secretary denies the request for a discharge or revokes the discharge of a borrower who -
(i) Fails to provide the testimony, documents, or a sworn statement required under paragraph (d)(1) of this section; or
(ii) Provides testimony, documents, or a sworn statement that does not support the material representations made by the borrower to obtain the discharge.
(e)Transfer to the Secretary of borrower's right of recovery against third parties.
(1) Upon discharge under this section, the borrower is deemed to have assigned to and relinquished in favor of the Secretary any right to a loan refund (up to the amount discharged) that the borrower (or student) may have by contract or applicable law with respect to the loan or the enrollment agreement for the program for which the loan was received, against the school, its principals, its affiliates and their successors, its sureties, and any private fund, including the portion of a public fund that represents funds received from a private party.
(2) The provisions of this section apply notwithstanding any provision of State law that would otherwise restrict transfer of those rights by the borrower (or student), limit or prevent a transferee from exercising those rights, or establish procedures or a scheme of distribution that would prejudice the Secretary's ability to recover on those rights.
(3) Nothing in this section limits or forecloses the borrower's (or student's) right to pursue legal and equitable relief regarding disputes arising from matters unrelated to the discharged Direct Loan.
(1) After confirming the date of a school's closure, the Secretary identifies any Direct Loan borrower (or student on whose behalf a parent borrowed) who appears to have been enrolled at the school on the school closure date or to have withdrawn not more than 120 days prior to the closure date.
(2) If the borrower's current address is known, the Secretary mails the borrower a discharge application and an explanation of the qualifications and procedures for obtaining a discharge. The Secretary also promptly suspends any efforts to collect from the borrower on any affected loan. The Secretary may continue to receive borrower payments.
(3) If the borrower's current address is unknown, the Secretary attempts to locate the borrower and determines the borrower's potential eligibility for a discharge under this section by consulting with representatives of the closed school, the school's licensing agency, the school's accrediting agency, and other appropriate parties. If the Secretary learns the new address of a borrower, the Secretary mails to the borrower a discharge application and explanation and suspends collection, as described in paragraph (f)(2) of this section.
(4) If a borrower fails to submit the written request and sworn statement described in paragraph (c) of this section within 60 days of the Secretary's mailing the discharge application, the Secretary resumes collection and grants forbearance of principal and interest for the period in which collection activity was suspended. The Secretary may capitalize any interest accrued and not paid during that period.
(5) If the Secretary determines that a borrower who requests a discharge meets the qualifications for a discharge, the Secretary notifies the borrower in writing of that determination.
(6) If the Secretary determines that a borrower who requests a discharge does not meet the qualifications for a discharge, the Secretary notifies that borrower in writing of that determination and the reasons for the determination.