Monday, January 18, 2016

Loan Watchdog and Ally to Student Debtors, Rohit Chopra, Joins Department of Education

Last week, news outlets and higher education policy circles were abuzz when it was learned that Rohit Chopra, 33, left his previous position as student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to join the Department of Education. Chopra's work as a watchdog against abuses committed by banks and student lenders is well-known. In addition, he has been critical of both the Obama administration and the Department of Education. The news that he has now joined the Department is cause for celebration. I predict that we might actually see tangible policy changes for those of us who carry student loan debt, and changes that are big and meaningful and not just for show. He's a proven ally of borrowers. As was noted in an email to the Washington Post, CFPB Director Richard Cordray had this to say about Chopra's work: "Rohit Chopra has shined a spotlight on the problems facing millions of student loan borrowers as well as the broader impact of their struggle on our economy . . .  His work is respected among policymakers, advocates, and industry. Rohit is setting the bar high as a strong advocate for student borrowers." Cordray made those comments in June of 2015 (see my links below for the full article and original source).

 I look forward to seeing what happens within the Department now that he has joined them. As one of my sources recently told me, "The news that Chopra has joined the Department is very good, perhaps we'll see things shaken up a bit."

AEM will certainly be keeping tabs on Chopra's work there.

Finally, if you're interested, here is a link to Chopra's author archive at the CFPB.


The Obama Administration Just Hired One of Its Biggest Critics," The Huffington Post, January 13, 2016

Consumer watchdog says goodbye to student loan pointman , The Washington Post, June 17, 2015

CFPB Official Speaks Loudly on Student Loans, WSJ, December 3, 2014

CFPB student-loan ombudsman Rohit Chopra at a hearing on student loans in June.
Source: Photographer Unknown

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