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AG Reyes Statement on Presidential Memorandum For Disabled Veteran Student Loan Forgiveness

August 22, 2019

Subsequent to President Donald J. Trump signing the presidential memorandum instituting student loan forgiveness for disabled veterans, Utah Attorney General Reyes released the following statement:

“I am thrilled by President Trump’s announcement instituting automatic student loan forgiveness for total and permanently disabled U.S. Veterans. I can’t think of a more deserving group than those who have served, risked their lives and sacrificed their health to protect our nation.

“In many cases, these veterans were injured so severely that it has  compromised their quality of life and ability to earn enough in order to pay off their debt quickly. Far too many of these wounded heroes were either unaware of the availability of loan forgiveness or didn’t know how to access it. President Trump has thankfully removed those hurdles.

“Earlier this year, I had the honor of co-authoring a letter in which I asked U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to take action toward automatic loan forgiveness. The letter was joined by a bipartisan coalition of 51 attorneys general (50 states and Guam).

“I thank Secretary DeVos for listening to us, for her leadership along with the work by the Department of Veterans Affairs on this issue. President Trump deserves great credit for decisively solving a problem he had inherited and that has only worsened over time.”

In Utah, veterans who have questions or need legal help may contact and may be covered by the Utah@EASE program, offering pro bono legal services under the Utah AG office.

Utah AG Reyes’ Call for Forgiveness of Disabled Veterans Student Loans is Granted

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 21, 2019

UTAH AG REYES’ CALL FOR AUTOMATIC DISCHARGE OF STUDENT LOANS FOR PERMANENTLY DISABLED VETERANS IS GRANTED
President Signs Executive Action at Kentucky AMVETS National Convention

SALT LAKE CITY—In direct response to Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes’ call to automatically forgive the student loans of veterans who became totally and permanently disabled because of their military service, President Donald J. Trump today signed an order to do so.  
 
AG Reyes led a bipartisan coalition of 51 Attorneys General (50 states and Guam) alongside New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and sent a letter to the Department of Education Secretary just prior to Memorial Day this year. 
 
Last year DOE identified more than 42,000 veterans nationwide as eligible for student loan relief due to a service-related total and permanent disability, the Attorneys General note in their letter to Secretary DeVos. Fewer than 9,000 of those veterans had applied to have their loans discharged by April 2018, however, and more than 25,000 had student loans in default.
 
The following is a statement from Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes:
 
“I am extremely pleased at today’s [executive] action to automatically forgive student loans for permanently disabled U.S. Veterans. I can’t think of a more deserving group of individuals than American heroes who have served, risked their lives and sacrificed their health to protect our nation.
 
“It is our obligation to do all we can to allow these veterans to have every opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families now that they are home and have completed their military service. In many cases, these veterans were injured so severely that they’ve greatly compromised their quality of life and ability to earn enough in order to pay off their debt quickly.
 
“I would like to thank New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the bipartisan coalition of 51 Attorneys General for their unanimous support as we presented this request to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
 
“It’s gratifying that the leaders of our nation agree with us that forgiving student loans for disabled veterans is the least we can do to honor their service and sacrifice.”
 

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NOTES:

  1. Read a copy of the attorneys general letter to Secretary DeVos here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/NAAG-Letter-to-Sec.-DeVos.pdf.
  2. Read a copy of the memorandum here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-memorandum-discharging-federal-student-loan-debt-totally-permanently-disabled-veterans/
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