Do You Qualify for a Le Cordon Bleu Refund or Discharge?
If you’re a former student at Le Cordon Bleu, it’s highly possible that you qualify for student loan forgiveness, and perhaps even a refund for any amount of money that you’ve already paid toward the balance of your loans.
There are two specific avenues for achieving loan forgiveness for former Le Cordon Bleu students: first, the Borrower’s Defense To Repayment program and second, the Closed School Loan Discharge program.
If this sounds too good to be true, don’t worry, because these two loan forgiveness programs are complete real and totally accessible. They are NOT scams, despite what some people might say, and both of them are run entirely by the US government, making them 100% legitimate paths to wiping out your loans without having to pay them back.
In this article, I’m going to give you all the information you need to know about these two programs, including who qualifies for them, and how to apply to each of them. I’m also going to give you some very valuable tips on how to write your Borrower’s Defense application in a way that will increase your chances of getting it approved.
If you’re a former Le Cordon Bleu student seeking loan forgiveness then you’ve certainly come to the right place, because if you follow my advice, you’re almost guaranteed to get your loans discharged. Let’s get started.
The Le Cordon Bleu Class-Action Lawsuit
In February 2018, as the result of a class action lawsuit, Le Cordon Bleu-Portland agreed to refund 44% of the tuition paid by former students.
This is not student loan forgiveness. It’s the settlement of a class action lawsuit against the school.
However, the fact that school admitted its guilt and agreed to pay out that much money paves the way for former students to use the lawsuit as a reason that their student loans should be forgiven via the Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Program.
Two Ways to Discharge Le Cordon Bleu Loans
As I explained above, there are two great loan forgiveness programs available to former Le Cordon Bleu students.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can apply for both. You’ll need to choose one, and the program you choose should be the one that offers you the best chance of receiving debt forgiveness as quickly as possible.
To help you decide which program will work best, let’s take a look at these two programs in detail.
Discharging Le Cordon Bleu Loans via Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment
This is the student loan forgiveness program for students who attended schools that broke the law in some way, and who’s loans are then eligible for discharge since they shouldn’t exist in the first place.
Since Le Cordon Bleu broke the law, and admitted to it during the proceedings of their class action lawsuit, former students are entitled to apply for a Borrower’s Defense Discharge, which makes them eligible to have all their related student debt wiped out.
Other former students are already getting their loans Le Cordon Bleu discharged, which makes it very likely that you can get rid of yours too, as long as you follow the rules of the BDAR program.
The key here is linking your Borrower’s Defense claim to the Le Cordon Bleu class action lawsuit, and including details about the court case and the resulting settlement in your discharge application.
If you do this correctly, not only will your student loan be forgiven, but you may also be refunded for any payments you already made on the loan. This is why I’m going to show you how to correctly write your Borrower’s Defense claim.
How to Write Your Borrower’s Defense Claim
First and foremost, you need to point out that Le Cordon Bleu broke the law and that you would have never taken out a student loan to cover the cost of the tuition if the school hadn’t engaged in fraud.
What you’re trying to prove to the Government is that you only took out the student loan because the school lied to you, and that it was the content of their lies which convinced you that it’d be a good idea to borrow the money needed to attend their higher education program.. Remember, Le Cordon Bleu was found guilty of lying about job placement rates, salary data and other things during the course of the class action lawsuit, so it will be easy for you to prove that they misled you via false advertising.
Second, you’ll need to be very specific about what they did to you. It isn’t enough to simply point out that they got in trouble for breaking the law. You will need to show what they did to you, personally.
As you read about the types of fraudulent activity Le Cordon Bleu admitted to engaging in during their lawsuit, ask yourself if any of these things happened to you. If they did, you’ll need to present them in your Borrower’s Defense claim, and you’ll want to be as specific as possible within your application.
Think of it this way – if you can tell the Government exactly what Le Cordon Bleu did that was illegal, and which convinced you that taking out a student loan to attend the school was the right thing to do, then you’ll be able to get all your loans forgiven.
What Fraudulent Activity has Le Cordon Bleu Been Accused Of?
Le Cordon Bleu has been accused of falsifying job placement data, using high-pressure sales tactics, inflating graduation rates, and pretending that the school was highly selective.
But remember, it isn’t enough to simply point to the fact that Le Cordon Bleu was engaged in fraudulent activity.
When you apply for student loan forgiveness via the Borrower’s Defense program, you will need to point out that Le Cordon Bleu did these things to you personally.
Let’s take a closer look at what exactly Le Cordon Bleu did that got them into trouble.
Le Cordon Bleu’s Illegal Marketing Activities
During the class-action lawsuit against the school, Le Cordon Bleu was accused of:
- Falsifying job placement data and promising prospective students that they would find a good job at a high-paying salary after graduation
- Placing intense pressure on recruiters to meet difficult enrollment targets. Former recruiters have stated that if they didn’t meet their quotas they would be fired. This resulted in recruiters using high-pressure sales tactics on prospective students
- Inflating graduation rates. For example, recruiters were telling prospective students that a program had a 90% graduation rate when it was really more like 29%
- Pretending that the school is highly selective when it was actually enrolling students who were unqualified
Did any of these thing happen to you? If they did, it’s a reason your student loan should be discharged, and you should definitely consider using the Borrower’s Defense Program as your path to student loan forgiveness.
Where Can I File My Borrower’s Defense Claim?
The only place you should file your Borrower’s Defense claim is the official US government website devoted to the program.
Do not file the claim anywhere else! Don’t be surprised if you find other people claiming that they’ll take care of the process for you, for a fee, because there are tons of Student Loan Forgiveness Scammers floating around out there now.
Don’t be fooled by these tricksters! Make sure that you file your claim at the official website the US government has set up explicitly for this purpose.
Checking The Status of My Application
While it’s terrific that this program is available, the unfortunate part is that your application may take some time to process.
In fact, I know people who waited over a year before they received a response. So, be aware that after submitting your claim, you may be sitting on things for some extended period of time. Don’t despair. The Department of Education is understaffed and underfunded, but they’re working through the applications, and it may simply take a while until yours gets processed.
Whatever you do, don’t let the wait discourage your from applying for this program, because Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos doesn’t seem to like the Borrower’s Defense program and she’s actively trying to get rid of it.
If she’s successful, but you manage to get your application submitted before she kills off the program, then you’ll stand a good chance of being grandfathered into the benefits, so it’s important that you get your submission in as soon as possible.
Receiving Forgiveness via the Closed School Loan Discharge Program
If you don’t feel that Le Cordon Bleu defrauded you, then don’t give up quite yet, because you’re got another option for pursuing loan forgiveness: The Closed School Loan Discharge program.
This program is for people who were either studying at Le Cordon Bleu when it closed or who left no more than 120 days prior to its closing.
Eligibility Requirements for Closed School Discharges
Here, I’ll give you the important information you need to figure out whether or not the Closed School Loan Discharge Program applies to you, but if you want to read through all the details about the program, then take a few minutes to read through the page I created about it here.
As I mentioned, the Closed School program is for people who were studying at the school when it closed or who left the school no more than 120 days before it closed, without having earned a degree..
There are a couple of other conditions as well though. If you’re currently attending another school after having transferred your credits from Le Cordon Bleu you won’t qualify for the program.
You also won’t qualify if you completed all the credits necessary for graduation from Le Cordon Bleu but had not received your diploma at the time the school shut its doors.
If you can satisfy these requirements then there’s a very strong possibility that your student loan will be forgiven via a Closed School Discharge.
How Do I Apply for a Closed School Discharge?
Applying for the Closed School Loan Discharge program is easy!
Just download the application, fill it out, and submit it to your loan servicer: the company who you send your monthly student loan payment to.
Every student loan servicer has a slightly different way of handling Closed School Loan Discharge applications, so you’ll have to see what they ask for after you’ve submitted your application, and you’ll need to comply with whatever guidelines they provide.
Just make sure to follow their instructions on what to do after you submit the application and you should be all good for getting your debt discharged.
Which Program is Better? Borrower’s Defense or Closed School Discharges?
That’s a hard question to answer because each program is excellent, but they work better for different sorts of situations.
Both programs provide complete student loan forgiveness for former students of Le Cordon Bleu and both programs can reimburse you for student loan payments that you have already made.
However, if you qualify for both programs I would suggest using the Closed School program because of how long it’s taking the Department of Education to process Borrower’s Defense applications.
Waiting over a year just to hear back from the DOE doesn’t sound like my idea of fun, and I believe that Closed School Loan Discharges are being approved far faster than BDAR applications, so I’d go with the Closed School program if given the choice.
Ultimately though, it’s really up to you! My advice is that you take a careful look at the qualifications for each program and decide which one will work best for your specific needs.
Will I Owe Taxes on Forgiven Debt?
Yes. Unfortunately, the IRS will consider the amount of forgiven student loan debt as taxable income.
Here’s how that works:
Let’s assume that you have $75,000 forgiven. If you’re taxable income is 30%, then the IRS is going to say that you owe them $22,500 (30% of the $75,000 forgiven), but even worse, it’ll all be due in a single lump-sum payments.
In otherwords, the IRS will want their money right away, even though your student loan servicer has been allowing you to make smaller, monthly payments toward the outstanding balance of what you owed.
For many people, this is going to create a massive problem, because if you’re already struggling with a small monthly payment to your loan servicer, then I think it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to easily come up with the cash for a lump-sum payment to the IRS.
Because I’m well aware of the problems the Student Loan Forgiveness and Taxable Income laws are going to create for people, I’ve created an entirely new sit ecalled Forget Tax Debt which helps people eliminate their tax-related problems and debt.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with tax debt, then be sure to visit Forget Tax Debt, where you’ll find articles and advice on topics like Filing & Paying IRS Back Taxes, negotiating IRS Tax Debt Settlements, enrolling in the The IRS Fresh Start Program, and applying for IRS Tax Debt Forgiveness.
Where Else Can I Ask Questions?
For help with questions about general student loan issues, check out some of the other pages of my site, where I cover details about both Federal and Private loans in detail.
If you want to get help with Federal Student Loan Relief, look at my pages on Federal Loan Forgiveness, Federal Student Loan Bankruptcy Discharges, Federal Loan Consolidation Programs and Federal Student Loan Repayment Plans.
And if you need help with Private Student Loan Relief, visit my pages on Private Loan Forgiveness, Private Student Loan Consolidation, Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Discharges and Private Student Loan Default Help.
The best place to find information on either the Borrower’s Defense Program or the Closed School Loan Discharge program is the US Department of Education website for Federal Student Aid.
Be careful about taking advice from anywhere other than the US government. While some of it might be good (after all, I’m not associated with the US government), there are also a lot of scammers out there.
Even though I don’t work for the US government I would still be happy to answer any questions you might have about either of these programs, or about student loans and student loan forgiveness in general. Just leave a comment below and I’ll respond to you as quickly as possible.
Disclaimer:Information obtained from Forget Student Loan Debt is for educational purposes only. You should consult a licensed financial professional before making any financial decisions. This site receives some compensation through affiliate relationships. This site is not endorsed or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education.