Two borrowers, Jennifer Joy and Misty Thomas, have filed a lawsuit against the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA), claiming the mismanagement of their entitled student loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). The lawsuit, filed on Monday, accuses MOHELA of breach of contract and violation of consumer protection statutes.
Joy and Thomas assert that they have fulfilled all PSLF requirements, including working in government or qualifying nonprofit roles and making 120 consecutive monthly loan payments. Despite submitting their applications multiple times since 2022, MOHELA allegedly insists on restarting their payments.
“Our clients, like the many other borrowers who contacted us, worked in public service jobs and relied on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The PSLF was designed to encourage careers in public service by providing for loan forgiveness after ten years,” said Joseph Kenney, a partner at Sauder Schelkopf LLC, who is suing on the borrowers’ behalf.
“Now that these individuals have fulfilled their obligations, they should receive the benefits promised by PSLF. Instead, due to no fault of their own, they are now being forced to make extra loan payments,” he added.
The PSLF program has faced criticism for delays in providing relief to borrowers who meet the requirements. MOHELA cited longer processing times last year, attributing the delay to White House changes allowing more borrowers to qualify for relief. The Hill has reached out to MOHELA and the Department of Education for comments.