Ryan Torrens, Democratic candidate for Florida Attorney General, pledged that he will draft a Student Loan Bill of Rights to finally protect Florida borrowers from being victimized by predatory student loan servicers and collectors.
“Far too many Florida borrowers are buried in student loan debt and are unaware of their rights to obtain affordable repayment options,” said Torrens, a consumer protection attorney who has represented victims of predatory student loan companies. “I have seen cases in which Florida’s citizens urgently needed guidelines of accessible protections and procedures to save themselves from becoming victims of unfair practices by loan servicers. Unfortunately, many student borrowers were steered into the most expensive payment options by predatory student loan servicers. And shamefully, our state’s uncaring top officials failed to help our students and permitted predatory lenders to take advantage of them.”
Torrens said that upon assuming office as Florida’s next attorney general, he will draft a Student Loan Bill of Rights. He said the Bill of Rights he will draft will be modeled upon a widely praised student loan bill of rights that Illinois enacted into law late last year that requires student loan servicers to notify borrowers of all of their repayment options. It also requires loan servicers to notify borrowers when their loans are eligible for forgiveness due to a borrower’s disability or problems involving the school the borrower attended.
Torrens called protecting the rights of Florida students a classic opportunity to unite legislators of all political persuasions. “Protecting our students from being ripped off is not a partisan issue,” Torrens said. “Predatory loan servicers do not care if the borrowers they prey upon are Republican, Independent, or Democrat. They care only about maximizing their profits at the expense of our students as soon as they have graduated from high school. I will work day and night to make sure our Student Loan Bill of Rights is enacted. Our students deserve to know they are being protected and their legal rights are being safeguarded.”
Torrens added: “Too many of Florida’s students have found themselves plunging from the joy of graduation to the gloom and even panic of dealing with student loan predators. No wonder students feel they have no options for protection. But our students will finally know they have an advocate in the attorney general’s office once I’m elected.”
“It’s way past time for Florida’s leaders to protect our most deserving next generation and make sure that those who prey upon them will pay tough and proper consequences for their predatory actions,” Torrens said. “Predatory student loan servicers who have been ripping off our students will finally be held accountable when I’m the attorney general.”