Senator Lanza Announces Landmark Legislation

Andrew J Lanza

April 18, 2007

Senator Lanza joined with legislative leaders to announce the introduction of landmark legislation to protect students and their families from exploitation by conflicts of interest in the student-loan industry. The bill makes New York the first state to offer a solution to the student-loan scandal that has affected millions.

The Student Lending Accountability, Transparency and Enforcement (SLATE) Act of 2007, will address problems exposed as a result of the Attorney General’s ongoing investigation into the widespread conflicts of interest throughout the $85 billion-per-year student loan industry. The measure codifies Cuomo’s College Loan Code of Conduct, which is the basis for case settlements with the lenders and schools across the country.

The Student Lending, Accountability, Transparency and Enforcement Act:

Prohibits lenders from making gifts – including the practice of revenue sharing – to colleges and universities or their employees in exchange for any advantage in loan activities

Bans colleges and universities from soliciting, accepting or receiving any gifts whatsoever – including those construed as part of a revenue sharing practice – from lenders in exchange for advantageous loan consideration

Bars college and university employees from receiving any advantage, reimbursement or benefit from serving as a member of a lender’s advisory board

Prohibits lender employees and agents from posing as college or university employees, including staffing the school’s financial aid offices with lender employees

Bans lenders and schools from agreeing to certain quid-pro-quo high-risk loans that prejudice other borrowers or potential borrowers

Prohibits schools from linking or directing potential borrowers to any electronic master promissory notes or other loan agreements that do not allow students to enter a lender code or name for any lender offering the relevant loan at that guarantee agency

Furthermore, the law dictates strict criteria that schools continuing to use "preferred lender" practices must abide by.