Collector - September 2020 - 39

GOVERNMENTAFFAIRS

this part of the economy, particularly
for those who have not been impacted
by COVID-19, does not make sense
and harms many other consumers and
businesses throughout the country.
Additionally, impeding the ability to
communicate with consumers means cutting
off their ability to learn about ways to protect
their financial health. For example, PCAs
can help student loan borrowers consolidate
their loans to receive additional benefits, such
as income-based repayment, 0% interest or
information about halting payments entirely.
The Perkins Loan Program does not provide
income-based repayment unless a consumer
consolidates loans. That's why speaking with a
professional debt collector and understanding
options is in a consumer's best interest and
empowers them to manage their finances.

COLLECTOR 09.20

In addition to provisions in the CARES
Act and HEROES Act, ACA is engaging
with Congress about other stand-alone bills
that would place additional restrictions on
student loan collections.
There are some more drastic policy
proposals, including $10,000 of student
loan forgiveness, total loan forgiveness and
allowing customers to discharge student loan
debt in bankruptcy.
These efforts have been supported by
2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, who
introduced a plan that would: "Forgive
all undergraduate tuition-related federal
student debt from two- and four-year public
colleges and universities for borrowers who
earn less than $125,000 per year."
Biden's plan also includes a proposal for
the federal government to pay borrowers'

monthly federal student loan payments until
the balance is paid off.
With student loans high on the agenda in
terms of the 2020 election and responding
to COVID-19, it's likely that we will
continue to see more policy debate on the
subject over the next few months.
ACA will continue to advocate for a
balanced approach that addresses challenges
related to COVID-19, while considering how
consumers, creditors, institutions of higher
education as well as the collection agencies
serving them-which also employ thousands
of Americans across the country-will be
impacted by overly broad efforts.
Leah Dempsey is ACA International's vice
president and senior counsel of federal
advocacy.

39


https://acainternational.org/education/designations

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