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Lawsuit Against MOHELA Over Student Loan Forgiveness

The Lawsuit

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Initiating a legal challenge, two borrowers have filed a lawsuit against the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA), bringing to light allegations of mismanagement in the administration of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).

Plaintiffs’ Background and Allegations

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Jennifer Joy and Misty Thomas, the plaintiffs in this pivotal case, assert that they have diligently met the qualifying conditions of the PSLF. These conditions include sustained employment in government or specific nonprofit roles and completing 120 consecutive monthly loan payments.


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The Core of the Dispute with MOHELA

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Despite their adherence to these stringent requirements and repeated submission of applications since 2022, Joy and Thomas contend that MOHELA has consistently failed them, compelling them to restart their loan payments unjustly.

Legal Accusations Against MOHELA

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The lawsuit levels severe accusations against MOHELA, including breach of contract and violation of specific consumer protection statutes, spotlighting the loan servicer’s practices.

The Purpose and Promise of the PSLF

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The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, designed as an incentive for careers in public service, promised loan forgiveness after ten years of committed service in qualifying roles.


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Attorney Joseph Kenney’s Advocacy for Borrowers

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Representing the aggrieved borrowers, Attorney Joseph Kenney from Sauder Schelkopf LLC articulates the deep reliance his clients placed on the assurances of the PSLF.

Highlighting the Broken Promises of PSLF

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Kenney underscores the stark reality his clients face. Despite fulfilling their part of the agreement, they are now confronted with the burden of additional loan payments, a situation they never anticipated.

Persistent Challenges and Criticism of the PSLF

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Over the years, the PSLF program has attracted criticism and frustration from borrowers and advocates alike, primarily due to the obstacles encountered in securing the promised relief after meeting the set criteria.


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MOHELA’s Acknowledgement of Processing Delays

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MOHELA had previously issued warnings that the processing of forgiveness applications would be delayed. This delay was attributed to policy changes by the White House, intended to expand eligibility and bring relief to a larger pool of borrowers.

Implications of Expanded Eligibility

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While these policy changes were meant to be inclusive, they inadvertently resulted in processing backlogs, leaving many eligible borrowers needing clarification about their loan forgiveness status.

Media Inquiries for Clarity

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In the wake of these allegations, The Hill has reached out to both MOHELA and the Department of Education, seeking their comments and perspectives on the lawsuit and its issues.


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Anticipation of Official Responses

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The response from MOHELA and the Department of Education is keenly awaited, as it is expected to shed light on their stance regarding the lawsuit and the broader implications for the administration of the PSLF.

The Broader Impact and Significance

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The resolution of this lawsuit holds significant implications not only for the plaintiffs but also for the future administration of the PSLF and the countless borrowers who depend on it for relief from student loan burdens.