Le Cordon Bleu’s class-action lawsuit was one of the many incidents where the officials and students accused the university of inappropriate and fraudulent actions.
Student loans are one of the problematic issues that have been taken to the US courts in recent years. The universities, colleagues, and types of organizations used a variety of ways to cheat the students and force them to take loans to attend. These actions led students to borrow the money, and afterward, they could not handle the debt amount. This article will cover the issues regarding one of those fraudulent universities, Le Cordon Bleu, and analyze the class action lawsuit against this organization. Let’s start with the recent news regarding the matter.
There are various reasons why so many people are into student loans, such as unemployment. But most importantly, students take loans to build a better future to pay back the money they earn.
Those students get victimized by the fraudulent actions of the universities and try to find ways to cope with those issues. The programs like student loan forgiveness, student loan consolidation, and pay-as-you-earn are intended to help those students.
News on the Issue
On the 3rd of January 2019, the class-action lawsuit against the CEC was finally settled. It is better to remind you that this corporation is the parent company of Le Cordon Bleu. According to the class action lawsuit settlement, it was decided that the organization needed to pay $500 million in student loan forgiveness benefits.
Those benefits will be distributed to those students that faced unethical actions by various universities that used CEC as a lender for loans of the students. One of the major takeaways from this class action lawsuit settlement was about the classified students. It is stated that to get complete student loan forgiveness from those universities.
The students must have taken the loan from Career Education Corporation. If the students have federal or private student loans from lenders other than CEC, they would be unable to compensate themselves through this lawsuit settlement. What can those students who attended the universities mentioned above do in that case? There are two primary options that those left-off students can utilize.
In the following paragraphs, we will talk about those possibilities separately and give you instructions regarding the process.
Two Major Programs for Dealing with Le Cordon Bleu Student Loan Debt
In 2023, there is some good news for students who attended Le Cordon Bleu and have a loan debt amount that they want to eliminate. It is easy to do that by completing all the necessary steps. Even though you owe thousands of dollars to the school, that does not necessarily mean you should pay them.
As mentioned, the class-action lawsuit settlement for Le Cordon Bleu University concludes that only the students who lend money from CEC are eligible for complete loan forgiveness. For those of you who are not included in this category, there are two separate options: BDAR and CSLD.
If you are still suspicious about the case, keep hope because both programs can help you eliminate the debt. They are honest; indeed, it is not another student loan scam. In this post, we will deliver the correct information about the details of both programs.
Keep reading for more valuable tips for writing the applications for the loan forgiveness program and to learn who is eligible and, if so, how they can apply for it. If you are one of the former Le Cordon Students seeking help, you are in the right place. Before getting into the details, let’s briefly discuss the lawsuit and illegal actions Le Cordon Bleu took against their students.
Le Cordon Bleu Class Action Lawsuit Details
Le Cordon Bleu’s lawsuit resulted in February of 2018 when the university agreed on terms to repay 44 percent of the student’s tuition fees that were paid to them over time. Remember that this does not mean student loan forgiveness or discharge; it is only the result of the settlement. However, the context is related because, as the university admitted its fraudulent acts in the past, it paved the path for other former students who suffered the same type of things to use this as an argument and apply for loan forgiveness through BDAR.
As the parent organization, CEC approved all the claims and admitted their illegal actions; the student case became even more favourable. As we discussed in previous paragraphs, there are two available programs for former university students. However, you must be aware that students cannot attend both programs. So, that means you have to select one and apply only for that loan discharge or repayment program. You will see the differences and understand both programs fully; we will discuss them.
What did Le Cordon Bleu accuse of?
In a class-action lawsuit against the university, we see many aspects Le Cordon Bleu did wrong to the students. They were accused of:
- Using high-pressure sales tactics
- Falsifying job placement data
- Pretending that they have a high rate of graduation
- Inflating the graduation rates
The list goes on and on, and it is clear that Le Cordon Bleu is a fraudulent organization, yet is it enough for you to compensate yourself? When you apply for student loan forgiveness, the main criterion is that you should have faced those criminal actions. Otherwise, even if you attended the university at the time frame when they did those fraudulent things, you would not be classified as a victim. The actions must be against you to be eligible. Let’s go through the illegal activities of Le Cordon Bleu separately.
Falsifying Job Placement Data
In this act, the university misinformed the students and convinced them that after graduation, they would get their dream job and a high salary.
Placing Pressure on Recruiters
Former university workers stated that Le Cordon Bleu forced them to meet the high quotas regarding student recruitment. They also argued that the university would fire them unless they met the numbers. To keep their job, the recruiters used students. They employed high-pressure sales tactics, so the students signed up with the university.
Inflating Graduation Rates
Graduation rates are one of the significant aspects that students look up to while deciding which university to apply to. Le Cordon Bleu falsified this information and spread nonsense as 90 percent of their students graduate with a degree. The percentage was around 29 to 30 at a time. So, this was one of the main reasons many students apply to the university without knowing the actual statistics.
Presenting that university is very competitive.
In reality, Le Cordon Bleu was enrolling the students who were unqualified in the first place. Though, they spread the information that classified the university as one of the top selections in the country.
If any of these aspects are used against you, and you get enrolled due to these falsified marketing tactics, take your chance and apply for either BDAR’s closed school loan discharge program.
Discharging student loans Through BDAR
The Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment is a program that helps students who attended universities which broke the law in some manner, as in the Le Cordon Bleu case. Therefore, students of this university had the chance to apply for this program. Thousands of students get rid of their loan debt after the university discharges them. So, you also have a great chance of getting a discharge through BDAR. There are several factors that you need to be mindful of.
The significant factor here is to connect your case to the student lawsuit action of Le Cordon Bleu and apply to the program by providing all the necessary details of the issue. If done correctly, the BDAR applications are great solutions for these issues. Besides the complete loan forgiveness, students can get a refund in specific cases. So, how can you write your BDAR application?
What do you need to include in your BDAR Application?
The most important thing that the Department of Education looks at while analyzing the applications is the student’s decision-making process. You, as a student, should display the reasons, such as
- Why you attended Le Cordon Bleu?
- How their fraudulent marketing tactics affected you in making the enrollment decision?
Suppose you cannot prove that you only took the loan to attend the university and come to that conclusion because of the fraudulent actions of Le Cordon Bleu. Unfortunately, you will not get approval from DOE regarding the BDAR in that case.
You need to expressly point out how their lies convinced you and show proof for your arguments. The evidence can include a screenshot of chats, emails between you and the university recruiter, phone calls, bills, etc. Remember that this university was found guilty on many aspects during the lawsuit settlement. Therefore, it is another plus for those students who aim to cover their debt by applying for BDAR. The university admitted most of the illegal actions; it is now your turn to prove that you directly get affected by those actions.
As we already mentioned, the results of the BDAR application are personal. That means two students who attended simultaneously may not necessarily be eligible for the program. Suppose you have specific details about your case and documents you can use as evidence against Le Cordon Bleu. In that case, you need to choose BDAR as your primary option for acquiring loan forgiveness.
Where can you file a BDAR application?
The US federal government’s official website is the only legitimate place for the student to file their BDAR application. Rather than that, you should only file your documents here. You will see organizations and lawyers claiming they are working with the government to solve the issues like this. Though, never believe those people. Remember that thousands of student loan scammers are around the US, and be careful about them.
How to check whether or not your application is approved?
Just like the class-action lawsuit, the application result may take longer than you expected. For some lucky students, the process takes several weeks. On the other hand, thousands of students desperately await approval for 6 to 12 months. There are many applications regarding the matter. That is why DOE can only solve some of them in several months.
It would help if you waited for your turn and hoped the results would be positive. The time when you apply for the program is crucial. You must write your BDAR application as soon as possible because Betsy DeVos does not think positively about the program. Another possibility is that the program may stop sooner or later. To be on the safe side, try to apply as soon as you can.
If you are not on the side of students defrauded by the Le Cordon Bleu, do not worry because you have other options for compensating yourself. That option is the Closed School Loan Discharge. This program has specific requirements, and to be eligible, you need to
- Attend the school while it was closed
- Graduate from school 120 days before the closing
If one of these two conditions is met, you will be eligible to apply to this program.
Who cannot be eligible?
The students who transferred their credits to another university while Le Cordon Bleu is getting closed cannot be eligible for the advantages of the CSLD program. The class action lawsuit showed us some glimpses regarding the fraudulent actions that the university took. However, not only those students are the victims of Le Cordon Bleu. Those students who left the university because of its closing can be a great example of the second segment. Both groups of students need to seek their rights and try to eliminate federal student loan debt. We explained the BDAR application Process, but what about the closed school discharge?
How to apply for CSLD?
Suppose you are not classified for BDAR using the reasons mentioned in the class-action lawsuit. In that case, you can utilize the closed school discharge program. The official site of student aid has the application form for this program. You can easily download and fill out the document. The guidelines will be sent after you submit the documents. You need to follow the instructions of the loan servicer so that officials can approve your application.
Class Action Lawsuit Timeline and How University Decided to Close its Branches
The class-action lawsuit was one of the many incidents where officials and students accused the university of fraudulent actions. The students who participated in the university from 2006 to March 2010 are the main segment of people to whom this lawsuit can be applied to. Although things went differently on this one, it was not the first time Le Cordon Bleu faced a lawsuit. In 2011, a similar class-action suit was held against Le Cordon Bleu and its parent organization – CEC.
As a result of that class-action lawsuit, the company agreed to pay 40 million dollars for the illegitimate advertising methods they used to attract the students to California Culinary Academy. (Another Branch of this University). In 2015, the case worsened as LCB decided to shut down all the culinary schools in the US. In 2016, all the schools got closed, and the students were left off with thousands of loan debt,
Overall, this is an excellent opportunity for students who cannot deal with their student loan debts to help them wipe out the amount. That is why, if you were a former student of Le Cordon Bleu with a student loan debt, keep an eye on the recent news and follow the updates on this class action lawsuit.