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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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