Schaer & Quijano Bill to Establish Office of Student Loan Ombudsman Advanced by an Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer and Annette Quijano to create an office of student loan ombudsman was released Monday by the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
The legislation is among the measures put forth by the Assembly Democratic caucus in an effort to stem poverty in New Jersey.
“New Jersey residents are facing a cumulative student loan debt of $30 billion,” said Schaer (D-Passaic/Bergen). “It is imperative that those burdened by student loans as well as prospective student borrowers have a state representative in their corner who will protect their rights and monitor an issue that impacts so many New Jersey families.”
“Many students leave college with more debt than they can ever afford to pay back in a reasonable amount of time,” said Quijano (D-Union). “It’s time the state takes an extra step to help New Jersey’s college students to plan and manage student loan debt and, hopefully, alleviate some of the burden upon graduation.”
Under the bill (A-1670), creates within the Department of Banking and Insurance the Office of the Student Loans Ombudsman.
The bill provides that the ombudsman will:
(1) Receive, review, and attempt to resolve any complaints from student loan borrowers;
(2) Compile and analyze data on student loan borrower complaints;
(3) Assist student loan borrowers to understand their rights and responsibilities;
(4) Provide information and make recommendations to the public agencies, legislators, and others regarding the problems and concerns of student loan borrowers;
(5) Analyze and monitor the development and implementation of federal, state and local laws regulations, and policies relating to student loan borrowers;
(6) Review the complete student education loan history for any student loan borrower who has provided written consent for review;
(7) Disseminate information concerning the availability of the Student Loan Ombudsman to assist student loan borrowers; and
(8) Take any other actions necessary to fulfill the duties of the Student Loan Ombudsman.
The bill provides that the Student Loan Ombudsman, in consultation with the commissioner, would establish and maintain a student loan borrower education course that would include educational presentations and materials regarding student education loans.