Hunton & Williams LLP has extensive experience in handling a wide variety of litigation involving the student loan industry. We have represented prominent players in the student loan industry for more than 25 years in cases across the country.
Our experience runs the gamut from borrower class actions brought against student lenders to disputes between competitors in the industry. Our attorneys are very familiar with the common law claims, state statutory claims, federal regulatory issues and federal preemption arguments that are prevalent in student loan litigation.
Beginning in the 1980s, we defended the national secondary market for student loans in a series of multi-defendant class actions brought by borrowers, including cases in state court in Manhattan, in federal court in Georgia (a case that went to the Eleventh Circuit twice) and in federal court in Laredo, Texas. Each of these cases concluded successfully on motion for our client. The cases involved trade schools and lender liability claims, including claims based on the FTC Holder Rule. Most recently, we successfully defended a major student loan company in a borrower class action in the Central District of California, winning on summary judgment. That case involved claims concerning the method of computing interest, the assessment of late fees and the term of the loan. We also handled a variety of individual plaintiff cases, ranging from a law student borrower who asserted RICO claims, to a non-borrower who alleged that he had been defamed and his credit harmed because the loan default of a borrower with the same name had been attributed to him and reported to credit agencies.
In addition, we have litigated disputes among competitors/participants in the industry. We handled an arbitration between two major student loan players over a myriad of contractual obligations between the two. We also represented a major student loan company in a massive case in the Eastern District of Virginia that concerned the "single holder rule" for consolidation loans. The case included tortious interference, breach of fiduciary duty and antitrust claims.
Our attorneys also have experience in False Claims Act litigation against entities in the student loan industry.
We have developed an experience in and understanding of the student loan industry and the federal regulatory scheme in which it operates through the cases we have litigated and client counseling projects. We have also been invited on several occasions to speak before the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council of Higher Education Loan Resources (NCHER), the association of student loan industry participants. Most recently, our lawyers have spoken on the topic of student loan litigation at the American Conference Institute National Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions and Litigation in New York in February, 2013. Further our attorneys authored a piece entitled Student Loan Litigation Update 2013, in the Review of Banking & Financial Services, Vol. 29, No. 3, at 31, March 2013.