On December 11, 2023, Sauder Schelkopf filed a class action lawsuit related to allegations that MOHELA has failed to properly comply with the terms of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. PSLF is a federal program that encourages students to enter public sector careers by forgiving their remaining student loan debt after 10 years of payments made while working in public service. As of July 1, 2022, MOHELA became the sole loan servicer for the PSLF program. It has been alleged that MOHELA has failed to: provide credits to borrowers for qualifying payments, register public sector employers as eligible for PSLF, timely process payments, accurately categorize borrowers as PSLF eligible and reduce their monthly payments accordingly, maintain borrower enrollment in PSLF, and provide the required loan forgiveness after 10 years of payments have been made.
On January 26, 2023, Sauder Schelkopf filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Education and MOHELA related to allegations of their failure to properly comply with the terms of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
As a result of MOHELA’s delays, those enrolled in PSLF are now forced to make payments on loans that should have already been forgiven. In addition, for those looking to exit public sector work, MOHELA’s delays have forced them to remain in the public sector in the event there is an issue with their forgiveness application. When borrowers call for information on their pending applications, MOHELA’s customer service representatives typically tell them more information will be available in 60 to 90 days, but no new information becomes available and their applications remain unprocessed.
“Our clients, like the hundreds of other borrowers who contacted us, worked in public service jobs and relied on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The PSLF was designed to encourage careers in public service by providing loan forgiveness after ten years. Now that these individuals have fulfilled their obligations, they should receive the benefits promised by PSLF. Instead, due to no fault of their own, they are now being forced to make extra loan payments. After reviewing recent reports from those complaining about MOHELA’s delays, the firm learned that MOHELA’s customer service representatives are pointing the finger partially at the Department of Education by stating that, in some instances, MOHELA cannot process some applications until they receive more information about the borrower from the Department of Education. As a result, we have named the Department of Education and Secretary Cardona, who heads the Department of Education, as defendants in addition to MOHELA.” Joseph Kenney, a partner at Sauder Schelkopf LLC.
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Joy et. al. v. Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri dba MOHELA (E.D. Missouri 4:23-cv-01590)
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Sauder Schelkopf has a nationally recognized litigation practice. The firm currently serves as court-appointed lead counsel in courts across the country. The attorneys at Sauder Schelkopf have recovered over $500 million on behalf of their clients and class members. Our firm was recognized by the Legal Intelligencer’s 2022 Professional Excellence Awards. The Legal Intelligencer’s Professional Excellence Awards honor Pennsylvania law firms and attorneys who have significantly impacted the legal profession. Our firm was named in the Litigation Departments of the Year (Specialty Area category; runner-up), an award that honors the best litigation practice in a small or mid-sized firm in Pennsylvania. This recognition was based on the firm’s 2021 litigation work and its important ongoing cases. LawDragon has recognized our attorneys in its list of the “500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers” for 2022. This list notes: “From the opioid epidemic to toxic substances and defective products, truck accidents to wildfires and sexual abuse, these are the lawyers who stand on the front line in individual lawsuits and class actions seeking justice.” Mr. Schelkopf was named to Pennsylvania’s Best Lawyers® 2022 for Class Actions/Mass Tort Litigation. The American Lawyer named Mr. Sauder to its 2021 Northeast Trailblazers. The honor recognizes 60 lawyers who are “truly agents of change.” It “recognizes professionals in the Northeast who have moved the needle in the legal industry.” The Legal Intelligencer named Mr. Sauder and Mr. Schelkopf in its 2020 Pennsylvania Trailblazers list recognizing 31 lawyers who “have taken extra measures to contribute to positive outcomes . . . and who are truly agents of change.” The Legal highlighted the firm’s innovative work on advocacy as class counsel in large institutional sex abuse cover-ups, women’s, and children’s rights. Our attorneys have also consistently been recognized by their peers being named to Pennsylvania SuperLawyer, a distinction held by the top 5% of attorneys in Pennsylvania. The National Trial Lawyers Association has also selected our attorneys as the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Pennsylvania.
We Want to Hear from You
If you are enrolled in PSLF and MOHELA is your student loan servicer, please contact the attorneys at Sauder Schelkopf by filling out the form on this page.