HARRISBURG — State Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Thursday that his office won a court ruling in its lawsuit against Navient Corporation, the nation’s largest servicer of federal and private student loans, and its subsidiary Navient Solutions, LLC.
The legal victory will allow Shapiro’s legal team to review loan records that Navient had previously refused to provide, Shapiro said.
The court ruling is significant because the lawsuit could impact thousands of Pennsylvanians who received private student loans from Sallie Mae, one of Navient’s predecessors, and anyone who has had their federal or private lans serviced by Navient and experienced repayment issues, Shapiro said in the announcement.
Wednesday’s ruling in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ordered Navient to turn over loan records to Shapiro’s legal team. Navient had previously refused to produce records for direct loans, which is a key issue in Shapiro’s lawsuit, which alleges widespread abuses in Navient’s studen loan origination and servicing, Shapiro’s announcement said.
“Navient’s deceptive practices and predatory conduct harmed student borrowers and put their own profits ahead of the interests of millions of families across Pennsylvania and the country who are struggling to repay student loans,” Shapiro said. “We are working diligently to protect borrowers, and today’s court ruling will let us thoroughly review the Navient records at issue.”
As a result of the court order, discovery will continue to move forward in the case against Navient.
Navient maintains a student loan servicing center in Wilkes-Barre with approximately 1,000 employees. Student borrowers who believe they have been subject to these or other unfair or deceptive practices are encouraged to file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General at www.attorneygeneral.gov. They can also call 800-441-2555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pennsylvanians collectively owed $61.8 billion in private and federal student loans as of December 2016. The average student loan debt for Pennsylvania college graduates in 2016 was $35,759 – the second highest of any state in the nation.