Top Student Loan Official Resigns in Protest of “Misguided” Trump Administration

Seth Frotman said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has “abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting.”

Tom Williams/ZUMA

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Seth Frotman, who has been the student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since 2016, announced his resignation Monday, accusing the bureau under its current leadership of having “abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting” in order to advance the “misguided” policies of the Trump administration. 

Frotman’s resignation comes as the total amount of outstanding student loan debt reached a staggering $1.5 trillion this year. (For more on how the nation’s flagship loan forgiveness program has failed student borrowers under Trump, read our in-depth investigation.)

Frotman outlined his reasons for stepping down in a sharply critical letter addressed to CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. While charging Mulvaney with turning his back on students in favor of serving the “wishes of the most powerful financial companies in America,” he said recent changes overseen by the acting director have undercut both the enforcement of law and the bureau’s independence from President Donald Trump.

“American families need an independent Consumer Bureau to look out for them when lenders push products they know cannot be repaid, when banks and debt collectors conspire to abuse the courts and force families out of their homes, and when student loan companies are allowed to drive millions of Americans to financial ruin with impunity,” he said.

Read Frotman’s resignation letter here:

 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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