Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is continuing to garnish the wages of federal student loan borrowers who fall behind on payments even though Congress suspended the practice in the economic rescue package, according to a new lawsuit.
An upstate New York woman who works as a home health aide for less than $13 an hour claimed in the lawsuit, filed late Thursday, that the federal government seized more than $70 from her paycheck as recently as last week — nearly a full month after President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act into law. She is suing on behalf of about 285,000 borrowers whose wages are being garnished, according to the lawsuit.
DeVos first announced in March that she would take administrative action to automatically stop the Education Department from seizing the wages —and tax refunds — of defaulted student loan borrowers for at least two months. Congress then included that policy in the CARES Act and extended it, prohibiting the Education Department from garnishing wages or tax refunds through Sept. 30.
But the proposed class action lawsuit claims that the Education Department hasn’t actually halted the practice and is continuing to garnish wages in violation of the CARES Act. It cites a Washington Post story that said the department had not sent formal letters to tell employers to stop withholding money from borrowers’ paychecks on behalf of the government.
She is in the running for being the most contemptible member of the Trump administration, and this is against remarkably stiff competition.