On October 13, a group of Selendy & Gay litigators representing the American Federation of Teachers, President Randi Weingarten and eight individual plaintiffs obtained a landmark settlement with the U.S. Department of Education following the prior administration’s failure to properly implement the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF). News of the settlement received national media attention, including in The Washington Post, Forbes and other outlets.
The road to the settlement involved more than two years of intense litigation led by Selendy & Gay, including overcoming the Department’s attempts to dismiss the suit in its entirety. The agreement promises significant overhauls of the Department’s administration of the PSLF program under Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and discharges the full remaining loan balances of the eight plaintiffs, eliminating close to $400,000 of debt and securing the forgiveness towards which they have worked diligently for over a decade.
Recognizing the team in its “Litigator of the Week” column, AmLaw wrote, “Shout out to a Selendy & Gay team led by Faith Gay and Lena Konanova, who represented the American Federation of Teachers, its president and eight of its members in reaching a settlement clearing the way for reconsideration for public servants who were inappropriately denied loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.”
Congress enacted PSLF in 2007 to guarantee forgiveness to public servants who have consistently paid their monthly student loan bills for ten years. But relief was denied for 98 percent of all borrowers who applied. Instead, borrowers faced widespread servicer misconduct, were issued confusing and sometimes contradictory guidance about the status of their applications, and had no clear recourse for contesting erroneous decisions.
Read more about the settlement here.
The Selendy & Gay Team
Along with Gay and Konanova, plaintiffs in this case were represented by Selendy & Gay lawyers Caitlin Halligan, Amy Nemetz, Ron Krock, and Katya Stynes, as well as co-counsel from Student Defense for AFT.