20 U.S. Code § 1078–12 - Loan repayment for civil legal assistance attorneys
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The purpose of this section is to encourage qualified individuals to enter and continue employment as civil legal assistance attorneys.
In this section:
(1) Civil legal assistance attorney
The term “civil legal assistance attorney” means an attorney who—
(A) is a full-time employee of—
(i) a nonprofit organization that provides legal assistance with respect to civil matters to low-income individuals without a fee; or
(ii) a protection and advocacy system or client assistance program that provides legal assistance with respect to civil matters and receives funding under—
(I) subtitle C of title I of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15041 et seq.);
(III) part A of title I of the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (42 U.S.C. 10801 et seq.);
(B) as such employee, provides civil legal assistance as described in subparagraph (A) on a full-time basis; and
(2) Student loan
(A) In general
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term “student loan” means—
(i) subject to clause (ii), a loan made, insured, or guaranteed under this part, part C, or part D; and
(ii) a loan made under section 1078–3 or 1087e (g) of this title, to the extent that such loan was used to repay—
(I) a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, or a Federal Direct PLUS Loan;
(B) Exclusion of parent plus loans
The term “student loan” does not include any of the following loans:
(i) A loan made to the parents of a dependent student under section 1078–2 of this title.
(c) Program authorized
From amounts appropriated under subsection (i) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall carry out a program of assuming the obligation to repay a student loan, by direct payments on behalf of a borrower to the holder of such loan, in accordance with subsection (d), for any borrower who—
(d) Terms of agreement
(1) In general
To be eligible to receive repayment benefits under subsection (c), a borrower shall enter into a written agreement with the Secretary that specifies that—
(A) the borrower will remain employed as a civil legal assistance attorney for a required period of service of not less than three years, unless involuntarily separated from that employment;
(B) if the borrower is involuntarily separated from employment on account of misconduct, or voluntarily separates from employment, before the end of the period specified in the agreement, the borrower will repay the Secretary the amount of any benefits received by such employee under this agreement;
(C) if the borrower is required to repay an amount to the Secretary under subparagraph (B) and fails to repay such amount, a sum equal to that amount shall be recoverable by the Federal Government from the employee by such methods as are provided by law for the recovery of amounts owed to the Federal Government;
(D) the Secretary may waive, in whole or in part, a right of recovery under this subsection if it is shown that recovery would be contrary to the public interest; and
(A) In general
Any amount repaid by, or recovered from, an individual under this subsection shall be credited to the appropriation account from which the amount involved was originally paid.
(A) Student loan payment amount
Student loan repayments made by the Secretary under this section shall be made subject to such terms, limitations, or conditions as may be mutually agreed upon by the borrower and the Secretary in an agreement under paragraph (1), except that the amount paid by the Secretary under this section shall not exceed—
(e) Additional agreements
(1) In general
On completion of the required period of service under an agreement under subsection (d), the borrower and the Secretary may, subject to paragraph (2), enter into an additional agreement in accordance with subsection (d).
(f) Award basis; priority
(1) Award basis
Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary shall provide repayment benefits under this section on a first-come, first-served basis, and subject to the availability of appropriations.
The Secretary shall give priority in providing repayment benefits under this section in any fiscal year to a borrower who—
(A) has practiced law for five years or less and, for not less than 90 percent of the time in such practice, has served as a civil legal assistance attorney;
(g) Ineligibility for double benefits
The Secretary is authorized to issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this section.
Source(Pub. L. 89–329, title IV, § 428L, as added Pub. L. 110–315, title IV, § 431,Aug. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 3242.)
References in Text
The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, referred to in (b)(1)(A)(ii)(I), is Pub. L. 106–402, Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1677. Subtitle C of title I of the Act is classified generally to part C (§ 15041 et seq.) of subchapter I of chapter 144 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 15001 of Title 42 and Tables.
The Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(1)(A)(ii)(III), is Pub. L. 99–319, May 23, 1986, 100 Stat. 478. Part A of title I of the Act is classified generally to part A (§ 10801 et seq.) of subchapter I of chapter 114 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 10801 of Title 42 and Tables.