Lawsuits keeping over 300,000 Arizonans from getting student loan relief

Jan 27, 2023, 12:00 PM
Demonstrators stage a rally in front of the White House to celebrate President Joe Biden's plan to ...
Demonstrators stage a rally in front of the White House to celebrate President Joe Biden's plan to cancel student debt on August 25, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We the 45m)
(Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We the 45m)

PHOENIX — Lawsuits are preventing more than 300,000 Arizonans from having some or all of their student debt dismissed, the Biden administration said Friday.

Nearly half a million Arizonans applied or were deemed automatically eligible for one-time debt relief under President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, according to data released by the White House.

About 314,000 of the Arizona cases were approved by the Department of Education.

However, multiple lawsuits have prevented loan servicers from discharging any debt, according to the release.

One of the lawsuits was filed in September 2022 by former Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, but his successor, Democrat Kris Mayes, recently withdrew it.

“There were a number of lawsuits, including that one, that were filed by my predecessor that were highly political in nature,” Mayes told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday. “So, we’re not going to be engaging in political lawsuits at the Attorney General’s Office anymore.”

Biden’s plan, announced in August, would forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt for people earning less than $125,000 a year. The White House said 40 million borrowers would be eligible, with 90% of the benefits going toward people earning less than $75,000 annually.

Nationwide, 26 million people applied or were automatically eligible and 16 million of those cases were approved before court orders put the process on hold.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Martha Maurer contributed to this report.

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Lawsuits keeping over 300,000 Arizonans from getting student loan relief