Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Betsy DeVos Fined $100,000 For Refusing To Stop Collecting On Canceled Student Loans

Betsy DeVos, the current Secretary of Education who has been repeatedly criticized for pushing policies to take rights and money away from students, has been fined $100,000 for violating a court order to stop collecting student loans from people who had attended colleges that were shut down for fraud.

After a lawsuit found that the Department of Education was still collecting on the loans, which were supposed to be canceled, Northern District of California Judge Sallie Kim was so appalled that she threatened to throw DeVos in jail.

“At best it is gross negligence, at worst it’s an intentional flouting of my order,” Kim said earlier this month. “I’m not sure if this is contempt or sanctions. I’m not sending anyone to jail yet, but it’s good to know I have that ability.”

Kim also held DeVos in civil contempt of court, though it does not seem like the Education Secretary has been thrown into a jail cell. It’s also disappointing to learn that the fine will be applied to the Department of Education, not DeVos herself, though such a fine wouldn’t put a dent into the billionaire’s fortune.

Judge Kim found that DeVos’s department violated the court order to stop collecting on the loans taken to pay for tuition to the defunct Corinthian Colleges about 16,000 times by ignoring loan forgiveness applications and sending collection notices to former students of the scam colleges.

“There have to be consequences for violation of my order sixteen thousand times,” Kim said, though the consequences seem like they’ll weigh heavier on the U.S. public than the person responsible for the problem.

It’s also unclear whether the people who paid on those loans that were supposed to be forgiven will be compensated.

Can we please make her spend just one night in jail? Or is it impossible to jail billionaires?