Student Loan Attorney D.J. Rausa Weighs In on Biden Student Loan Executive Order

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed student loan attorney D.J. Rausa of Marshall & Associates in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee to the newsmaker line to help understand Joe Biden’s executive order that forgave $10,000 in student debt for 30 million Americans.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line by D.J. Rausa, an attorney who specializes in student loan issues. He’s with Marshall & Associates Law firm out of Mount Juliet. Welcome, Mr. Rausa.

Rausa: Good morning, sir. How are you?

Leahy: Well, I am delighted to find out that there is a specialist in the legal field who specializes in student loan debt problems.

Obviously, we want to get your take on the executive order signed by President Biden yesterday in which he unilaterally, and some say, I would say, without legal authority, forgave $10,000 of student debt for about 30 million Americans. Your thoughts, Mr. Rausa.

Rausa: Yes, well, thank you very much. Number one, I think it’s a long time coming with respect to giving student loan borrowers some clarity. The administration has tried to extend this several times and then said, well, we’re going to come up with something in weeks to come.

And now we’re at the doorstep of the pause. And then finally, this pause has now been extended to the end of December, which is a good thing, because it’s left a lot of student loan borrowers in limbo.

I’m thankful that it’s not the $50,000 across the board that everybody wanted, but still, there are qualifiers and it is going to help some people. It’s not going to help as many people as one might think, but it’s going to help some people.

Leahy: Does the president have the legal authority to do this?

Rausa: Well, that’s a great question. It’s kind of interesting. I have not read the legal memo that just came out and whether one could argue whether it’s legal or not; more importantly is, who has the standing to challenge it?

And that’s kind of the question that’s been kicking around, and we’ll just have to see in weeks to come whether this actually gets kicked off with another issue.

Leahy: Who do you think has standing to challenge it?

Rausa: Well, that’s a great question. I haven’t really thought about that. I would say some sort of advocacy group that like a taxpayer group.

Leahy: Such as the Taxpayer Alliance, somebody like that?

Rausa: Yes, because obviously, it’s inherently unfair for the hardworking blue-collar workers who didn’t get a college degree, who are busting their butt to feed their families, only to subsidize the barista with the anthropology master’s degree, to subsidize their debt load.

But then again, it’s either 10 or 20 grand. And on the surface that doesn’t seem like a heck of a lot, but if the debt load is, and I see it every day, hundreds of thousands of dollars – and we’re not talking about professionals, either, carrying that debt load. We’re talking about people who work …

Leahy: We’re talking about baristas. And that sort isn’t the problem, though. And you represent, I assume, a lot of students who have student loan problems.

Isn’t the problem, though, that this whole thing is a scam in the sense that these loans pay exorbitant and increasing tuition fees to colleges that teach basket weaving and gender studies, that do nothing to help people get more money? Isn’t that the problem? Do you make that argument for your clients that come to you?

Rausa: I don’t ever go after schools, necessarily. I help people manage their debt, whatever brought them there. My observations in the past 11 years of doing student loan work is that there’s been no family discussion prior to entering college.

In other words, the cost of education is not even discussed initially. It’s just like it’s a knee-jerk reaction each semester, where if you take the higher education system itself and kind of reverse-engineer it and have that discussion with the child entering into college, some of this might be avoided. Additionally, yes, the cost of higher education has grown exponentially, like over 300 percent in the last 15 years or so.

Leahy: Just coincidentally, it seems to track the availability of student loans, it seems to me.

Rausa: Yes, absolutely. And I’ve had clients who are perpetual students. They get a bachelor’s degree and then get a master’s degree and turn around and get another bachelor’s degree in a different area, and then get another bachelor’s degree, and now, 30 years later, they’re still in school.

Leahy: How many clients do you have typically? And what would be an example of the kind of service you provide to them? And are you able to make any money doing that?

Rausa: Okay, number one is yes, about 30 percent of my practice is student loan work. I’m a consumer lawyer, so it’s not like I need to bill out at XYZ dollars per month. So it’s been a good source of revenue for me because it’s a niche practice, right? There’s nobody out there.

Leahy: There’s not a lot of folks doing it.

Rausa: Yes, so, I get paid. But the typical client that I represent is somebody who – and it doesn’t matter what profession they’re in. The student loan system itself has been fraught with all kinds of misinformation.

It’s very frustrating. It’s hard to understand. The Department of Education typically offers little guidance historically. And so my typical client is somebody who’s just totally frustrated and cannot figure it out.

Leahy: Sounds like basically everybody who’s been dealing with college in the past 20 years.

Listen to the interview:


– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.







Related posts

One Thought to “Student Loan Attorney D.J. Rausa Weighs In on Biden Student Loan Executive Order”

  1. Josehumberto

    If Biden extinguishes Ukrainian student loans, every Republican would support it in the US Senate and some, like Cotton and Scott, would demand more.