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Student Loan Forgiveness Applicants Notified of Approval Despite Ongoing Court Battles – NBC Chicago

The Biden administration has started sending emails to student loan borrowers who have been approved for forgiveness despite lawsuits challenging the administration’s relief program.

While applications are no longer being accepted as a result of the lawsuits, more than 26 million borrowers did file applications in the approximately month-long window when submissions were being accepted. In the emails being distributed, borrowers are informed about their approval as well as lawsuits challenging the issuance of relief.

“Unfortunately, a number of lawsuits have been filed challenging the program, which have blocked our ability to discharge your debt at present,” stated the email from U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. “We believe strongly that the lawsuits are meritless, and the Department of Justice has appealed on our behalf.”

The debt, the letter stated, will be discharged “if and when we prevail in court.”

One day earlier, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to reverse one of the lower court decisions challenging the program, warning that many Americans will face financial hardship if the plan remains blocked.

In one of the challenges, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the plan overstepped the White House’s authority. Before that, a federal appeals court in St. Louis put the plan on temporary hold while it considers a challenge from six Republican-led states.

Still, advocates believe the administration will succeed in court.

“We’re really confident they’re going to find a way forward to cancel people’s debt,” said Katherine Welbeck at the Student Borrower Protection Center.

Biden’s plan promises $10,000 in federal student debt forgiveness to those with incomes of less than $125,000, or households earning less than $250,000. Pell Grant recipients, who typically demonstrate more financial need, are eligible for an additional $10,000 in relief.

Experts say student loan forgiveness has the potential to end up before the Supreme Court, meaning this could be a lengthy process.

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