Student Loans: 60-Second Market Review and Insights

Originations and Issuances, by the Numbers

Student loan debt rose to $1.34 trillion in Q2 2017, up from $1.31 trillion at the end of 2016, and now accounts for 10.4% of the $12.8 trillion in total household debt.

In Q2 2017, $3.3 billion in student loan asset-backed securities (SLABS) were issued, down 34% versus year ago. Of the total first half 2017 SLABS issuance of $7.9 billion, student loan refinance (refi) ABS issuances were $2.3 billion, a 30% increase versus year ago. Traditional private SLABS issuances accounted for $0.8 billion, a 54% decrease versus year ago….

Years ago, “show me the note” contagion took hold in the subprime mortgage market. Borrowers launched widespread attacks on foreclosure actions once tales of successful early challenges were reported in the media.  With the recent reports in The New York Times about National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts’ problems enforcing student loans due to incomplete documentation, the same contagion could again take hold in the nation’s courts.

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, courts were filled with cases in which borrowers made the technical argument that the securitization trustee trying to foreclose never actually received the relevant note and mortgage—and in some cases,…

Student loans carry a reputation for inevitability surpassed only by death and taxes. With good reason, too. In order to discharge a student loan in bankruptcy—the only way to shake it for good—a borrower in bankruptcy must show that being required to repay the loan would cause them “undue hardship.”

Making that showing has proven difficult indeed. In applying the “undue hardship” standard, most courts use the Brunner test, which requires petitioners to prove that they: (i) cannot maintain a minimum standard of living; (ii) won’t be able to do so for much of the repayment period;…

In a recent Asset Securitization Report article, Joseph Cioffi examines how the President’s campaign rhetoric and post-election plans may support a court ruling that a class action lawsuit is a more reliable and superior way to enforce borrower rights relative to a competing action by a weakened CFPB or an inherently weak successor agency. Joseph notes that the administration seems poised to follow through on campaign promises of less regulation and reducing the CFPB’s enforcement power, including actions affecting the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and for-profit schools’ federal aid eligibility. To read the full article,…

In a recent American Banker article, “Crisis in Student Loan Servicing is Building,” Joseph Cioffi discusses how actions against the largest student loan servicer, Navient, may expose improper practices in student loan servicing that are contributing to the student loan debt crisis. As Joseph notes, in a similar way, actions against subprime mortgage servicers exposed issues that contributed to the subprime mortgage fallout. Joseph notes the total impact of servicing issues is unknown, and it may in fact be too late for servicers to avoid litigation, but there is always room for improvements in servicing practices which,…

This Structured Credit Investor article highlights Joseph Cioffi’s impressions of the recent CFPB v. Navient case and how the spotlight on Navient may reveal systemic issues in student loan servicing, which could result in further litigation. As Joseph points out, “there is the issue down the line that we could see more lawsuits like the Navient one come to light and particularly servicers could see more lawsuits against them.” Click here to view the full article.