October 17, 2018, Introduced by Rep. Yanez and referred to the Committee on Appropriations.


     A bill to provide for a student loan ombudsman and prescribe


his or her powers and duties; and to prescribe the powers and


duties of certain other public officers and agencies.




     Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the


"student loan ombudsman act".


     Sec. 3. As used in this act:


     (a) "Department" means the department of insurance and


financial services.


     (b) "Director" means the director of the department or his or


her designated representative.


     (c) "Servicing" means any of the following:


     (i) Receiving any scheduled periodic payments from a student


loan borrower under the terms of a student education loan.


     (ii) Applying the payments of principal and interest and any


other payments with respect to the amounts received from a student


loan borrower, as may be required under the terms of a student


education loan.


     (iii) Performing any other administrative services with


respect to a student education loan.


     (d) "Student education loan" means any loan that is primarily


for personal use to finance education or other school-related




     (e) "Student loan borrower" means either of the following:


     (i) A resident of this state who has received or agreed to pay


a student education loan.


     (ii) Any person that shares responsibility with an individual


described in subparagraph (i) for repaying his or her student


education loan.


     (f) "Student loan ombudsman" means the department employee


designated as the student loan ombudsman under section 5.


     (g) "Student loan servicer" means any person, wherever


located, that is responsible for the servicing of any student


education loan to any student loan borrower.


     Sec. 5. The director shall designate an employee of the


department as the student loan ombudsman to provide timely


assistance to student loan borrowers. In consultation with the


director, the ombudsman shall do all of the following:


     (a) Ensure that every student loan borrower in the state has


equal access to all of the following:


     (i) A quality, affordable education.

     (ii) The resources needed to pay for college.


     (iii) An affordable repayment plan for his or her student




     (iv) Quality customer service, reliable information, and fair


treatment, even if he or she struggles to repay his or her student




     (b) Receive, review, and attempt to resolve any complaints


from student loan borrowers, including, but not limited to,


attempting to resolve complaints in collaboration with institutions


of higher education, student loan servicers, the department, and


any other participants in student loan lending.


     (c) Compile and analyze data on student loan borrower


complaints as described in subdivision (b).


     (d) Assist student loan borrowers to understand their rights


and responsibilities under the terms of student education loans.


     (e) Provide information to the public, agencies, legislators,


and others regarding the problems and concerns of student loan


borrowers and make recommendations for resolving those problems and




     (f) Analyze and monitor the development and implementation of


federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies relating


to student loan borrowers and recommend any changes he or she


considers necessary.


     (g) Review the complete student education loan history for any


student loan borrower who has provided written consent for that




     (h) Disseminate information concerning the availability of the

ombudsman to assist student loan borrowers and potential student


loan borrowers and to assist any public institutions of higher


education, student loan servicers, or any other participants in


student education loan lending that have student loan servicing




     (i) Take any other actions necessary to fulfill the duties of


the student loan ombudsman under this section.


     Sec. 7. Within 180 days after the effective date of this act,


the student loan ombudsman, in consultation with the director,


shall establish and maintain a student loan borrower education


program that includes educational presentations and materials


regarding student education loans. The program shall include


presentations and materials on key loan terms, documentation


requirements, monthly payment obligations, income-based repayment


options, loan forgiveness, disclosure requirements, and any other


subject matter selected by the student loan ombudsman.


     Sec. 9. Within 1 year after the effective date of this act,


the student loan ombudsman, and a representative of the department


of treasury designated by the state treasurer, shall conduct a


study and submit a joint report to the senate and house standing


committees with oversight over matters relating to banking and


higher education that includes their recommendations regarding


whether this state should return to providing state student loans


and loan guarantees, and what authority the student loan ombudsman


should have to refinance or modify those loans.


     Enacting section 1. This act takes effect 90 days after the


date it is enacted into law.

     Enacting section 2. This act does not take effect unless


Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No. 6448 (request no. 06644'18) of


the 99th Legislature is enacted into law.