U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is backing U.S. Sen. Mark Warner’s, D-Va., effort to reform student loans so that survivors of domestic violence are not left responsible for their abuser’s debts.
“While Congress eliminated the joint consolidation program in 2006, it did not provide a way for borrowers to sever existing loans, even in the event of domestic violence, economic abuse, or unresponsiveness from a former partner. The Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act would fix this oversight, which has unfortunately left too many borrowers liable for their former spouse’s student loan debt,” Rubio’s office noted.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is also backing the bill. Over in the U.S. House, U.S. Rep. David Price, D-NC, has brought out the companion bill.
“Survivors of domestic violence should never have to pay the debts of their abuser,” Rubio said on Tuesday. “This legislation would provide financial independence to those survivors who previously consolidated their student loan debt with their partner. I am proud to join Senators Warner and Cornyn in reintroducing this legislation, and I urge my Senate colleagues to support this bill to deliver relief to these individuals.”
“Victims of domestic violence who flee their dangerous living situations shouldn’t find themselves burdened with their partner’s debt when trying to move forward with their lives,” Warner said. “Unfortunately, that’s the reality for some Americans who are stuck with joint consolidation loans. This commonsense bill would help a vulnerable population who’s been unfairly held responsible for their former partner’s debt, by giving them the ability to regain their financial independence.”
“Victims of domestic abuse should never, ever be on the hook for an abusive partner’s debt,” Cornyn said. “I am proud to join this commonsense, bipartisan effort that will be key in helping vulnerable Texans, and others across the nation, regain their financial autonomy.”
The National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Consumer Law Center, North Carolina Coalition against Domestic Violence and the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance are all behind the proposal.
Warner’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Tuesday.
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