Department of Education Notice of Debt Cancellation Legal Memorandum (Aug. 30, 2022)

Memorandum from the Department of Education General Counsel on the Secretary’s Legal Authority for Debt Cancellation.  The Department of Education published in the Federal Register a Memorandum from its General Counsel finding that the scope of the Secretary’s authority under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003 to provide targeted loan cancellation extends to providing categorical relief to address financial harms such as those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The memorandum also finds that a similar memorandum issued on January 12, 2021, which asserted that the Secretary’s authority is “narrowly cabined” under the Act, was substantially incorrect and should be rescinded.