Vitelli’s Student Loan Bill of Rights receives unanimous committee approval

Posted: April 09, 2019 | Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services, Senator Vitelli

AUGUSTA — A bill from Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, to protect Maine student loan borrowers from predatory lending practices received unanimous, bipartisan approval from the Legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, April 2. LD 995, “An Act To Establish a Student Loan Bill of Rights To License and Regulate Student Loan Servicers,” now heads to the Maine Senate and House for votes.

“Mainers of all ages have come to me to share their stories about problems with student loan companies changing the terms of their loans without notice,” said Sen. Vitelli. “I’m delighted that this Student Loan Bill of Rights has received unanimous approval and is that much closer to becoming law. We need to make sure Maine is protecting student loan borrowers and is holding these companies accountable.”

Sen. Vitelli’s Student Loan Bill of Rights would establish a system for the state to oversee student loan servicers who do business in Maine. The bill creates a registration procedure for lenders, requires lenders to comply with federal law and identifies prohibited acts for lenders — including misleading student loan borrowers and fraud. It also allows state officials to investigate student loan servicers.

Maine already oversees other loan servicers, including mortgage lenders and payday lenders.

“This bill is about fairness when it comes to student debt lending,” said Senate President Troy Jackson. “It’s about making sure that Mainers who regularly pay their loans on time aren’t trapped in debt by unethical business practices and making sure Mainers can get out of debt and stay out of debt once they pay off their student loans.”