Fishman Haygood, Navient Reach Nationwide Settlement in Private Student Loan Borrower Class Action

Fishman Haygood, LLP has reached a nationwide settlement with Navient Solutions, LLC and Navient Credit Finance Corporation (“Navient”) that will result in approximately $54 million in debt relief for private student loan borrowers, as well as $28 million in cash compensation.

Fishman Haygood filed a Motion for Preliminary Approval today in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska seeking approval for a Settlement relating to claims by consumer education loan borrowers who continued to face collection efforts from Navient even though the borrowers’ private student loans had been discharged in bankruptcy proceedings. (Case 21-08023-TLS Woodard et al v. Navient Solutions, LLC et al) The Nebraska Bankruptcy Court had previously granted class certification for a class of borrowers encompassing the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, but Fishman Haygood and its co-counsel were ultimately able to broaden the Settlement and secure relief for over 11,000 borrowers across the entire United States. Click here to read that opinion.

As stated in the class action lawsuit, Navient and its agents refused to recognize the discharges of these private student loans to non-Title IV schools and programs and continued to collect on the loans even after borrowers obtained bankruptcy discharges. Navient allegedly called borrowers’ relatives and employers, sometimes multiple times a day. These non-Title IV accredited programs included career training, bar study, study abroad, flight school, medical residency, and K-12 education loans.

“Conduct like this hurts some of society’s most vulnerable people, not to mention that it subverts how the bankruptcy process is set up to work,” says Fishman Haygood Partner Jason Burge. “A bankruptcy discharge is supposed to give borrowers a ‘fresh start,’ and this Settlement ensures that Navient finally grants borrowers that relief.”

As part of the Settlement, Navient has agreed to forego collection of any outstanding balances on the loans at issue – including principal, interest and fees – and will never again attempt to collect these amounts from borrowers, resulting in approximately $54 million in debt relief.

In addition, class members who made payments to Navient after obtaining bankruptcy discharge will have an opportunity to make a claim to Navient for those payments in an amount equal to their pro rata share of a $28 million Settlement Fund.

The Settlement is the culmination of over seven years of hard work and dedication by Fishman Haygood as they have brought and litigated similar class action cases in various jurisdictions across the country, including Texas, Nebraska, Michigan and New York.

The Fishman Haygood team was led by Jason Burge, Kaja Elmer, and Lara Richards. Attorneys from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Jones Swanson Huddell LLC and Francis Mailman Soumilas P.C. serve as co-counsel to the plaintiffs.

Fishman Haygood represents both plaintiffs and defendants in class action and mass action litigation, both in Louisiana and across the nation. Click here for more information.