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Ombudsman Presentation Student Lending

VIEWS: 1 PAGES: 24

									Session #16
       Introducing the Student Loan
            Ombudsman Caucus:
     Facilitating Creative Solutions for
    Student Loan Problems and Issues

   Grace Bartini, American Student Assistance Corporation
Debra Wiley, Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education
          Background
Federal Student Aid Ombudsman

 – 1998 - Federal Student Aid Ombudsman
   established by HEA Amendments

 – 1999 – First case accepted (erroneous default)

 – 2007 – More than 17,000 cases




                                                    2
             1999 - 2006
Federal Student Aid Ombudsman and
 Agency Contacts
 – 1999 - Designated High Level Contacts at
   Guarantor and Lender Agencies Assist With
   Case Resolution
 – 2001 – First Annual Meeting of Ombudsman
   Contacts
 – 2006 –Student Loan Ombudsman Caucus
   Charter
 – 2007 –Caucus Operational



                                               3
A Student Loan Ombudsman
Caucus Emerges…

                  Agency
                  Contact
                            Agency
                            Contact




                              Agency
      Federal                 Contact
    Student Aid
    Ombudsman
                                  Agency
                                  Contact




                  1999-2006



                                            4
A Student Loan Ombudsman
Caucus In Action…
                                                    Agency
                                                    Contact

                                                              Agency
                                                              Contact
                                            Student Loan
                                          Ombudsman Caucus


                                                                  Agency
                    FSA Ombudsman                                 Contact
                                                    Agency
                                                    Contact




     Student Aid Industry: Trends, Issues, Training, Outreach, and Communication


               2007 Multi Directional Exchanges


                                                                                   5
Why a Caucus?
 • Enhanced Student Aid Problem Resolution
   Network

 • Promotes Consistent Use of Ombudsman
   “Best Practices”

 • Targeted Training and Mentoring

 • Improved Trends Identification, Analysis
   and Reporting


                                              6
How Does The Caucus Operate?
  • Conference Calls

  • Quarterly Meetings

  • Committee Structure

  • Members’ ListServe



                               7
…How Does the Caucus Operate?
  Caucus Members…
    – Use all available information to
      recommend and promote areas of
      research
    – Advise membership on areas of mutual
      interest
    – Utilize individual and collective reports to
      analyze potential for improvement



                                                 8
…How Does the Caucus Operate?

 Each agency ombudsman works to resolve
   problems identified through the Federal Student
   Aid Ombudsman or from within the agency

 As a Caucus member, the agency ombudsman
   participates in the discussion of student loan
   issues, feedback on student aid legislation, case
   trend analysis and recommendations for change




                                                       9
How Do Students Benefit?
  Caucus Members Commit To:
    – Serving as a voice for fair process
    – Coordinating with student loan
      stakeholders and the government to
      promote positive change in the student
      loan industry
    – Learning from complaints and problems
      that impact student loan borrowers,
      and prevent them when possible


                                               10
….How do Students Benefit?
• Caucus members provide an in-agency escalation
  process for problems

• If problems remain, students call Federal Student Aid
  Ombudsman at 1-(877) 557-2575

• Federal Student Aid Ombudsman will work with the
  student and the agency

• Federal Student Aid Ombudsman and Caucus
  member will use the situation to inform change

                                                          11
How do Schools Benefit?
  • Additional resources to assist borrowers
    during enrollment, or after they leave
    your campus

  • You, student, agency and Federal Student
    Aid Ombudsman work together to
    research and resolve an individual
    question

  • Outcome on the individual situation
    informs the whole. For example…



                                               12
Case Analysis and Reporting
 Trends Identification and Reporting = Collaborative
   Resolution = Change

   Federal Student Aid Ombudsman groups cases in 16 basic
     issue categories

   Cumulative and Individual Agency Reports Are Produced
     Annually

   Student Loan Ombudsman Caucus can concentrate on
     select issue categories, and compare agency
     experiences to Federal Student Aid Ombudsman data




                                                            13
For Example…..The Basic Categories
Help Define Where Difficulties Arise
Account Balance         FSA Assistance
Bankruptcy              Loan Cancellation
Closed School           NSLDS
Collection Practices    Repayment Plans/Amounts
Consolidation           Service Quality
Credit Reporting        Student Eligibility
Default                 Tax Refund/Offset
Deferment/Forbearance   Wage Garnishment




                                                  14
    Top 5 Research Issues
• Initially, the top 5 issues accounted for
  about 60% of the Federal Student
  Ombudsman research cases.
• Now, the top 5 issues account for about
  70% of research cases.
              Consolidation
       Loan Cancellation/Discharge
             Account Balance
        Repayment Plans/Amounts
                 Default

                                              15
                              Growth of Top 5 Ombudsman Research Issues -
                                       Consolidation, Account Balance, Loan Cancellation/Discharge,
                                                    Repayment Plans/Amounts, Default



                      3,500
                                                                             3,184
                      3,000
                                                                        2,826
# of Research Cases




                                                          2,360
                      2,500                   2,324                                          Top 5 Research
                                                                                             Issues
                      2,000    1,785         1,915                                           Other Research Issues
                                                                            1,479
                      1,500       1,544
                                             1,390             1337      1439                Consolidation
                      1,000                          1297
                                                                              1,018
                                                                        606
                       500
                                                      372      357
                                  144        224
                         0
                               FY       FY       FY       FY       FY        FY
                               2001     2002     2003     2004     2005      2006
                                                 Fiscal Year




                                                                                                                     16
The Caucus Can Concentrate An Issue
Review………….For Example
 • Consolidation Is The Number One Issue for
   Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Cases in 2007

 • Caucus Members Assist in Resolving Questions
   About Consolidation at Their Agency

 • Collective Information Promotes Compliance and
   Corrective Action

 • Caucus Members and Federal Student Aid
   Ombudsman Use Case Questions To Inform
   Student Consumer Information:
       http://www.ombudsman.ed.gov/consolidation.html



                                                        17
The Caucus Can Commit to
Effective Problem Resolution
Caucus commitment promotes….
  –accurate, and consistent customer
   service
  –common-sense approaches
  –creative solutions
  –collective review of outcomes


                                       18
For Example…….Reminders From a
Caucus Member
 • Let the customer tell the full story
 • Try to understand the customer’s point
 • Give the customer your undivided
   attention
 • Explain circumstances in context of the
   customer’s specific needs
 • Give realistic time frames for action
 • Use the information to check internal
   systems and escalation processes


                                             19
Shall We Try It?

Group Resolution of case
samples




                           20
What’s Next…..




                 21
A Student Loan Ombudsman
Caucus In Action…
                                                    Agency
                                                    Contact

                                                              Agency
                                                              Contact
                                            Student Loan
                                          Ombudsman Caucus


                                                                  Agency
                    FSA Ombudsman                                 Contact
                                                    Agency
                                                    Contact




     Student Aid Industry: Trends, Issues, Training, Outreach, and Communication


               2007 Multi Directional Exchanges


                                                                                   22
Benefits Predicted from Caucus
Activities…..
Multi-prong problem identification,
resolution, and change recommendation

Will help encourage and promote:
•Resolution versus reaction
•Prevention instead of correction
•Systemic change

                                        23
Contact Information
We appreciate your feedback and comments.
Contact us:
              Grace Bartini, Ombudsman
        American Student Assistance Corporation
          Telephone: (800) 999-9080 , ext 4512
                E-mail: bartini@amsa.com

   Debra Wiley, Ombudsman, Federal Student Aid, U.S.
                Department of Education
               Telephone: (202) 377-3800
               Facsimile: (202) 275-0549
          Website: www.ombudsman.ed.gov
              E-mail: debra.wiley@ed.gov


                                                       24

								
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