The Washington Post reported today that Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has ties to the debt collection industry through her investment management firm, RDV Corporation.
According to the report, RDV is affiliated with LMF WF Portfolio, a limited liability corporation listed in regulatory filings as one of several firms involved in a $147 million loan to Performant Financial Corp. Until recently, Performant had been one of the agencies on the Department of Education's unrestricted student loan debt collection contract.
insideARM has reported extensively about the winding road of that contract solicitation, which began in 2013. On December 10, 2016 we reported that the Department of Education (ED) had finally announced the companies selected to receive business in the “Unrestricted Category” under Solicitation No. ED-FSA-16-R-0009, Debt Collection Services for the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA). Performant was not one of the firms selected, and is now protesting.
The Washington Post article reported that a senior Democratic aide said Performant is one example of a company with possible connections to DeVos that could lead to conflicts of interest should she be confirmed.
As insideARM reported recently, the protests to the December ED contract award are mounting. At the time of our latest report, January 5, 2017, there were eleven protests filed. As of today, there are 26.