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Massachusetts may sue federal student loan servicer, judge rules

Reuters

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By Nate Raymond

Massachusetts’ attorney general may move forward with a lawsuit claiming that one of the largest student loan servicers in the United States has engaged in practices that have undermined a federal debt forgiveness program, a state court judge has ruled.

Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Salinger in a decision made public on Thursday denied Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistant Agency’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

PHEAA had argued that as a quasi-governmental agency originally established by the state of Pennsylvania to provide student loans to its residents, it enjoyed sovereign immunity that protects it from being sued.

But Salinger noted that a federal appeals court in Virginia in 2015 had in a different case concluded that PHEAA did not enjoy the same immunity as Pennsylvania from being sued for damages.

“The doctrine of issue preclusion bars PHEAA from relitigating this issue yet again,” Salinger wrote.

The Boston judge also rejected PHEAA’s contention that the lawsuit could not proceed because Healey had not also sued the U.S. Department of Education, which retained the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based agency to service federal student loans.

PHEAA had noted the U.S. Justice Department, on the Education Department’s behalf, in January filed papers arguing that to the extent state law claims asserted by Healey, a Democrat, conflicted with federal law, they were preempted.

Salinger, though, said the Justice Department’s position “is much narrower than it may appear at first blush,” as it did not actually contend Healey’s claims were indeed preempted or that any of PHEAA’s alleged misconduct was allowed under federal law.

PHEAA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In August, Healey sued PHEAA, which does business as FedLoan Servicing and manages over a fourth of the nation’s $1.4 trillion student loan debt on behalf of various lenders.

The lawsuit accused PHEAA of deceptive practices that caused public servants to lose benefits and financial assistance under two federal programs, including one that forgives student loans after about 10 years of public-service work.

That program is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The other is the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant program, which provides grants to borrowers pursuing teaching careers in low-income schools for at least four years.

The lawsuit alleged that PHEAA prevented borrowers from making qualifying monthly payments that count towardloan forgiveness and also overcharged students.

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Omarosa Is Convinced She Knows Who Wrote that Anonymous New York Times Op-Ed

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The former White House aide said she dug through her emails and she got herself some clues.

The Late Show host Seth Meyers might have said it best: So after Trump’s public praise of Vladimir Putin, his attorney general’s meetings with Russians, his campaign chairman’s money laundering, his deputy campaign chairman’s tax fraud, his personal fixer’s secret shell company, his national security adviser’s lies to the FBI, his son’s attempt to get dirt from a foreign adversary and son-in-law’s secret back channels with that adversary, the person who could end up taking down the president of the United States is Omarosa.

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Omarosa is still making her press rounds to promote her book about her time in the White House. But aside from exclusive tapes questioning POTUS’s mental health, she’s now weighing in on that New York Times Op-Ed everyone’s talking about, where a senior official in the Trump administration anonymously claimed to be part of the resistance from within.

“I took some time and went back and looked through all of my emails, particularly emails out of the vice president’s office, because the first time I read the op-ed, it just seemed kind of familiar to me,” Manigault Newman told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. “After looking at memos and correspondence from the vice president’s office, I’m pretty convinced that it came from that way. Not just because of the term ‘lodestar,’ but because of the style and tone of it.”

The person she said she narrowed it down to as a likely suspect was Nick Ayers, a political strategist who has served as Pence’s chief of staff since July 2017, is one of the vice president’s most trusted aides.

Trump said last week that he wants Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the essay, declaring it a breach of “national security.” Shortly after the piece was published, the president also raged on Twitter, likening the story to treason.

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18-Year-Old Solves Six Rubik’s Cubes Underwater in Single Breath

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Here’s one dude who’s unlikely to find trouble updating his Instagram bio.

Vado Marchelashvili, from the country Georgia, went underwater for one minute and 44 seconds and did something few can do above water with triple the time span. He solved six Rubik’s Cubes in one breath in an attempt to break a world record.

Officials with the Georgian Records Federation observed the teen as he attempted to break the now previous record-holder Anthony Brooks, who in 2014 solved five Rubik’s Cubes in a single breath, setting the world record at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey.

To prepare for the event, the teen said he trained several hours a day for six months. “I trained a lot planning to break a record — and to ensure my safety, because even a small mistake could be dangerous and life-altering,” he said following the event, Reuters reports.

“I think my result will stay as a record for a long time,” he added. “I hope to break many other records.”

One thing’s for sure: I won’t be the guy attempting to break that record.

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Drunk Dude Accidentally Takes 300 Mile Uber Ride

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Suddenly, I’m not as upset about my last drunk text.

Kenneth Bachman made it home to Sewell, New Jersey safely after a night of drinking his face off at a party earlier this year, thanks to a sober Uber driver. Thank God for Uber, right? But, once Kenneth made it home, the price tag of the blurry trip became clear: $1,635.93. Now’s probably a good time to mention the party he left was in Morgantown, West Virginia.

He explained to a Philly TV station he had been out with buddies near the campus of West Virginia University when he said he wanted to call it a night, so he ordered an Uber ride, which he didn’t quite recall doing, and then fell asleep.

“We went to a frat party and then went to the bar. I was getting drinks all night; I probably spent like $200 at the bar after already drinking all day,” said Kenneth. “Basically, I kinda just blacked out. The last thing I remember was being at the bar and then I just woke up in the Uber next to an older dude telling me I was an hour out from Jersey.”

Moral of the story? People in West Virginia party like fucking rockstars.

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