A federal judge on Monday slammed the Education Department for violating her order to stop collecting loan payments from ex-students of Corinthian Colleges, a now-shuttered for-profit education company. According to Politico, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim said she was “extremely disturbed” and “really astounded” that the department would continue to demand payments from 16,000 individuals in violation of her May 2018 order to cease the practice. At least 3,200 people ended up voluntarily making payments they didn’t need to, or having their tax returns or wages unnecessarily seized. “At best, it is gross negligence... At worst, it’s intentional flouting of my order,” Kim said, adding that she would be considering punishments for the department. “I’m not sending anyone to jail yet, but it’s good to know I have that ability,” she said.
Kim also said the class-action lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ partial loan forgiveness policy would proceed despite opposition from the department. The department reportedly said it took “responsibility” for the matter and confirmed it was processing refunds for the thousands affected by the erroneous collections.