College Hosts “Student Debt Crisis: Issues and Solutions” Conference, Includes Debt Collection Panel with no Debt Collectors

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Last Friday Boston College held a one day conference entitled “Student Debt Crisis: Issues and Solutions.” A keynote address was delivered by Deputy Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin, U.S. Department of the Treasury. Also on the agenda were three panel discussions:

Did privatization of the Student Loan Marketing Corporation (Sallie Mae) Work?

The panel included:

  • Moderator: Rohit Chopra, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Education
  • Stephen Burd, Senior Policy Analyst, New America Foundation
  • Paul Combe, President and CEO, American Student Assistance
  • Jonathan Glater, Professor, University of California Law School, Irvine

Reforming Student Loan Servicing

The panel included:

  • Moderator: Kathleen Engel, Professor, Suffolk University Law School
  • Scott Giles, President and CEO, Vermont Student Assistance Corporation
  • Deanne Loonin, Pro Bono Attorney and former Director, Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project, National Consumer Law Center
  • Pauline Abernathy, VP, Institute of College Access and Success (TICAS)

Draconian Era of Student Debt Collection

The panel included:

  • Moderator: Patricia McCoy, Professor, Boston College Law School
  • Dalié Jiménez, Professor, University of Connecticut School of Law
  • Ben Miller, Senior Director, Postsecondary Education Policy, Center for American Progress
  • Persis Yu, Staff Attorney, National Consumer Law Center

According to an article in Boston College’s The Heights, approximately 50 business people, legal scholars, professors, and educators gathered for this event, hosted by the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy. Elisabeth J. Medvedow, the executive director of the Center was quoted as saying “With such a wide variety of experts from different areas, the discussion today provided a lot of innovative solutions to the burden of student debt that college graduates are facing.”

insideARM Perspective

It’s great to see this topic being discussed in serious venues. It would have been nice to see a serious debt collection firm included on the panel, as there was an important stakeholder position missing from the discussion. The Heights article did reference that there were some business people present, but it didn’t say whom. insideARM reached out to the Center for additional information but wasn’t able to speak with someone prior to publication.

On a related note, also out today is research from Junior Achievement and Voya which finds that two-thirds of teens see borrowers, not government, as responsible for paying off student loan debt.

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