AN ACT TO ENACT A STUDENT BORROWERS' BILL OF RIGHTS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE COMMISSIONER OF BANKS SHALL LICENSE AND REGULATE STUDENT LOAN SERVICERS, AND TO ESTABLISH THE POSITION OF THE STUDENT LOAN OMBUDSMAN.
House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.
Revises new Article 26 of GS Chapter 53, Student Borrowers' Bill of Rights, as follows. In addition to the exclusion of open-ended credit or any loan secured by real property, excludes from the defined term student loan: (1) loans originated by entities exempted from the Article by new GS 53-443, except during periods in which the loans are services by an entity not exempted under the statute; and (2) loans serviced by entities exempted under new GS 53-443. No longer specifies that the term student loan servicer is applicable regardless of whether licensed under the Article. Adds that written inquiry does not include a communication made by a consumer reporting agency involving a dispute under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Now more specifically prohibits student loan servicers (was, persons) from serving a student loan without a license issued pursuant to the Article. Regarding the exemptions to the Article's provisions, no longer excludes the provisions of GS 53-450 (Duties of student loan service to borrowers) and GS 53-451 (Prohibited conduct) from the exemption. Adds to the four previously stated exemptions: institutions of higher education; eligible private postsecondary institutions; and organizations that support the work of institutions of higher education and eligible private postsecondary institutions exempted.
Modifies the duties set forth of licensees to borrowers. Regarding the prohibition against furnishing to a consumer reporting agency information regarding a payment that is the subject of a written inquiry related to a dispute on a borrower's payment on a student loan during the 60 days following receipt of the written inquiry, now explicitly allows furnishing such information as required under specified federal law to communicate that a debt is disputed.
Specifies that the Article does not limit any claims otherwise arising under GS 75-1.1 with regard to unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.
Changes the effective date of new Article 26 to January 1, 2022 (was, July 1, 2021).
Eliminates proposed Article 9 of GS Chapter 75, Protections for Student Consumers, which deemed certain actions relating to financing education unfair and deceptive trade practice. Eliminates proposed Article 38 of GS Chapter 116, Fairness to Tuition payers, which established requirements for postsecondary schools regarding refunding tuition and closure.
Adds to new Article 27 to GS Chapter 53, which directs the Commissioner of Banks to designate a Student Loan Ombudsman, to define student loan as defined in new Article 26, as enacted and amended.
Makes conforming changes to the act's long title.