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Not-for-Profit Lender and Servicer Caucus
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Purpose

The purpose of NCHER’s Not-for-Profit (NFP) Lender and Servicer Caucus is to provide a forum for the exchange and solicitation of ideas and the promotion of legislative and regulatory initiatives important to state-designated lenders, loan holders, servicers, and third-party service providers focused on providing and improving access to and successful repayment of federal and private student loan programs. The Caucus’ mission is aligned with NCHER’s mission to enhance member organizations’ abilities to help families and students develop, pay for, and attain their educational goals so they can pursue meaningful and rewarding work and become contributing members of society.

Membership

The Caucus’ membership includes those NCHER members who are in good standing; who are nonprofit entities under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; and who are state-designated lenders, loan holders, servicers, and/or third-party service providers interested in promoting federal and private student loans.

Leadership

The Caucus is led by a chair who should, when present, preside at all meetings of the membership. The chair is elected by the Caucus’ members for a two-year term. The Caucus may designate a co-chair to assist in carrying out the duties specified in this document.

Meetings and Communications

The Caucus holds monthly meetings via conference calls and has an active email list-serve for the exchange of information among its membership. The Caucus may hold other meetings at a time and place to be designated by the chair.

Committees/Working Groups


The Caucus may, with the concurrence of the membership, create committees or working groups: (1) to assist it in carrying out the duties specified in this document or (2) that are deemed to be in the best interest of the membership.

Charge


The Caucus:

  • Assists NCHER, including its advocacy staff, in identifying items of interest to its membership at the federal level and building consensus on policy positions that can be promoted with Members of Congress and the Administration. Such efforts include, but are not limited to, assisting the NCHER Government Relations Committee in the development of proactive legislative priorities of importance to the Caucus membership and advocating for NCHER’s priorities before the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, White House, and federal agencies.

  • Assists NCHER, including the NCHER Government Relations Committee, in monitoring and responding, in support or opposition, to provisions included in House and Senate legislation that impacts the membership.

  • Assists NCHER, including its communications staff, in the development of “one-pagers” highlighting the important work that the nation’s lenders, loan holders, and servicers provide to students, borrowers, families, and communities, and proactively highlighting positive stories and quickly responding to complaints raised by student and consumer advocates on the treatment of borrowers and how the membership services student loans.

  • Assists NCHER in educating members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, including new and returning members, and Administration officials on the important role that lenders, loan holders, servicers, and other sectors of the NCHER membership play in helping families and students develop, pay for, and attain their educational goals so they can pursue meaningful and rewarding work and become contributing members of society.

  • Serves as a resource to assist members in financing their loan portfolios, either on a tax-exempt or taxable basis.

  • Helps support members’ efforts to provide personalized financial education, debt management, and default prevention services to students and families, and assists institutions in default management, aversion, and prevention.

  • Works with NCHER’s College Access and Success Committee, Debt Management and Borrower Support Committee, Private Loan and Consumer Finance Committee, Program Regulations and Policy Committee, and Borrower Parity Servicer Workgroup to advocate for priorities that are in the best interests of the respective caucus, committee, and working group memberships.

Advocacy Priorities

The Caucus’ current priorities include, but are not limited to:

  • Preserving tax-exempt financing of education loans in any tax reform package; supporting H.R. 480, the Student Loan Opportunity Act, which allows 150(d) organizations to access tax-exempt financing for private education loans; repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) or excluding tax-exempt student loan-based securities from the AMT; and clarifying tax-exempt bonds used to make private loans that refinance existing tax-exempt private loans are not advance refunding bonds, particularly where the issuer is utilizing new volume cap to issue the bonds.

  • Improving the servicing and collection of federal student loans, including loans made under the Federal Direct Loan Program and the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Such efforts include, but are not limited to, reviewing the current procurement to identify necessary changes to the policies and approaches that will result in meaningful and sustainable improvements to federal student loan servicing, promoting the use of state and nonprofit organizations with expertise in helping student and parent borrowers, ensuring there are equal performance metrics across all servicers, and ensuring federal law and contractual requirements preempt state and local rules that impact federal student loan servicing.

  • Pushing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to carry out the provisions included in the Bipartisan Budget Act amending the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to allow for the use of new technologies when contacting delinquent and defaulted borrowers.

  • Influencing the Department of Education’s regulation of third-party service providers.

  • Monitoring and responding to the regulatory efforts of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), including anticipated action regarding federal servicing standards for federal and private student loans and anticipated proposed rules governing debt collection practices for federal and private student loans.

  • Promoting the availability of lower-cost private education loans to students and parents, including the ability to refinance Direct Loans. Such efforts include, but are not limited to:

    o Repealing preferred lending list requirements or exempting state-based or nonprofit entities from the law’s preferred lending list requirements.

    o Supporting H.R. 1283/S. 749, the Transparency in Student Lending Act, which mandates that Direct Loan borrowers receive accurate disclosure of the cost of their loans.

    o Supporting S. 1066, the Federal Adjustment in Reporting (FAIR) Student Credit Act, which permits private lenders to remove the default record upon the rehabilitation of a private education loan to help struggling borrowers avoid the ongoing stigma of default.

    o Consider capping the amount parents can borrow under the PLUS program.

  • Securing funding to provide personalized financial education, debt management, and default prevention services to students and families, assisting institutions in default management, aversion, and prevention, strengthening existing entrance and exit counseling requirements, and promoting the use of 529 plans.

  • Simplifying and streamlining the myriad of repayment plans available to student and parent borrowers, improving and automating the annual recertification process for borrowers participating in income-driven repayment plans, dramatically reducing the number of questions on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and providing authority to financial aid administrators to lower annual and aggregate student loan limits.

  • Requiring federal agencies to use Fair-Value Accounting when measuring the true costs of federal credit programs, and enhancing the role of private capital and local expertise in financing the cost of college and administering education loans.

  • Ensuring that FFELP and Federal Direct Loan borrowers are treated equally in all program- or servicing-related aspects, including recent administrative changes to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
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