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To: Senator Richard Durbin
Over the past thirty years, Congress has been catering to the interests of large financial institutions - like Sallie Mae, the Consumer Banker's Association, and others – by removing standard consumer protections from student loans. Without these critical protections (bankruptcy protections in particular), students who default on their loans (often despite their best efforts to maintain their loans in good stead) have no recourse but to submit to a hugely expensive "loan rehabilitation" process whereby they are forced to make extended payments, and then sign for a much larger "rehabilitated" loan that defaults again 60% of the time. As a result, students across the country are facing devastating levels of debt - often double, triple, or even far more than the amount of the original loan.

Last year, graduating college seniors who took out loans to fund their college education owed well over $25,250. Crippling debts limit the professional potential of countless young Americans and hamper their opportunities to meaningfully contribute to society post-graduation. As an elected official who has supported bankruptcy protection in the past, we urge you now to take action on behalf of our nation’s students.

Please draft and submit a bill that would extend the return of bankruptcy protections to all student loans, both private and federal.

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