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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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:

 

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate