On June 18, the Louisiana governor signed HB 610, which defines terms and outlines provisions related to student loan servicers. Among other things, the act prohibits servicers from misleading student loan borrowers or engaging in any unfair, abusive, or deceptive trade practice. Servicers are also prohibited from making misrepresentations or omitting information related to fees, payments, repayment options, loan terms and conditions, or borrower obligations. Moreover, servicers may not “[a]llocate a nonconforming payment in a manner other than as directed by the student loan borrower” under certain circumstances. The act also outlines duties related the furnishing of information to consumer reporting agencies, providing that a servicer may not (i) submit inaccurate information to a consumer reporting agency; (ii) refuse to correct inaccurately furnished information; (iii) fail to report a borrower’s favorable payment history at least once a year; (iv) refuse to communicate with a borrower’s authorized representative; and (v) make false statements or omit material facts connected to a state or local agency investigation. Additionally, the act specifies responsibilities related to responding to written inquires and complaints from consumers.
The same day, the governor also signed HB 789, which establishes a private student loan registry and outlines provisions related to private education lenders. The act stipulates that all private education lenders operating in the state must register with the commissioner, which may include the payment of fees and registration through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry. However, the act allows the commissioner to prescribe an alternative registration process and fee structure for postsecondary education providers. These registration requirements are not applicable to banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, or credit unions operating pursuant to authority granted by the commissioner. Private education lenders will also be required to comply with certain reporting requirements, including providing information related to the schools where the lender has made loans to students residing in the state, the total number and dollar amount of loans made annually, interest rate ranges, borrower default rates, copies of promissory notes and contracts, and cosigner loan statistics, among others.
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