An Occupy Wall Street campaign — via StrikeDebt.org — has wiped out nearly $4 million in student loan debts, the group said in an announcement Tuesday.
The announcement came as Occupy marks its the third anniversary of protests and initiatives that target income inequality and the unchecked excesses of Wall Street.
The Rolling Jubilee Fund, an Occupy initiative, has been accepting donations and using that money to buy up student loan debt for pennies on the dollar from debt collectors.
After acquiring the debt, the fund has been forgiving the loans, freeing student loan borrowers of their burden. The group has spent about $107,000 to purchase $3.9 million in debt, organizers said.
The debts were held by students who attended Everest College, a for-profit institution that is part of the Corinthian Colleges network of campuses. The company operates schools under the names Everest, Heald, and WyoTech.
Yesterday, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it has filed a lawsuit alleging that Corinthian has engaged in an illegal predatory lending scheme. The agency is seeking relief for students who have collectively taken out $500 million in private student loans tied to Corinthian campus programs.
“In the short term, we intend to help Corinthian College students pursue a complete cancellation of all their debts,” writes the Rolling Jubilee Fund on its website. “But our long term goal is to end student debt, along with other forms of predatory lending.”
The Fund provides a sample letter received by debtors. Details about the purchase are available here.