An updated email on the status of their debt relief will shortly be sent to millions of borrowers of student loans.
The Education Department of President Joe Biden sent out an email to nearly 9 million borrowers on November 22 and 23, with the subject line “Your Student Loan Debt Relief Application Has Been Approved.” Insider has learnt that the inaccurate subject line was intended to simply alert applicants that their applications had been received with the subject line: “Update on Student Loan Debt Relief.”
Accenture Federal Services, a subcontractor of the department that sent the email notifications, made this error. Although the email’s information about how debt relief is currently being delayed in court and how loans cannot currently be discharged was accurate, Accenture will be sending new emails to those impacted borrowers in the coming days with a corrected subject line. Accenture is acting on behalf of the department.
Accenture, in a statement to Insider, said that it “regrets the human error that resulted in an email being sent to a handful of student loan debt relief applicants with an erroneous subject line.” Stacey Jones is Accenture’s senior managing director and head of corporate communications.
On November 22 and 23, the Department of Education sent the email, she continued. Accenture Federal Services will examine quality control procedures “in close collaboration with the Department to enable accurate and timely communications to applicants in the Student Loan Debt Relief programme.”
A spokesman for the Education Department also stated in a statement to Insider that “communicating openly and properly with borrowers is a primary focus of the Department.”
Accenture Federal Services is taking corrective action to ensure that all debtors and those impacted have appropriate information on debt relief, and we are in close contact with them as they do so “added the representative.
The department has previously stated that 26 million borrowers of college loans have already applied for debt relief. However, since October, there has been no longer been a chance to submit an application due to two prior legal rulings that have prevented the relief’s execution. A Texas court issued the first verdict last month, declaring that Biden’s plan to wipe student debt is unlawful. A few days later, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals opted to uphold the interim halt it had imposed on the relief in October.
Since then, the Supreme Court has been requested to get involved in both instances by Biden’s Justice Department. The Texas judge’s case is still pending, and the Texas Supreme Court has not yet decided how it will handle it. On Thursday, the Court agreed to hear arguments for the lawsuit that was submitted to the 8th Circuit in February. The Supreme Court may decide to combine the two issues and hear oral arguments for them early in the upcoming year.
Biden recently extended the suspension of student loan payments because of the litigation through June 30, or whenever the disputes are settled, whichever comes first. The government also maintains its confidence in its ability to win in court and stands by the HEROES Act of 2003 power it utilised to establish a one-time debt relief programme for millions of borrowers.
Miguel Cardona, the secretary of education, stated on Twitter on Thursday that “our student debt relief programme is important to help 40M qualified Americans labouring under the burden of student loan debt recover from the pandemic.” “That amounts to 40 million students who borrowed money to pursue their higher education goals. I am eager for the Supreme Court to hear our case.”