Announcements, information and updates from the AG Alliance Members and Associates
April 9, 2020
Editor's Note to Our Members:

This week's special edition news roundup is dedicated to providing a high level summary of COVID-19 AG actions with a particular focus on university housing and study abroad refunds, student loan borrowers and debt protection. Nationally, colleges and universities are seeing great financial losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic, raising concerns on how these losses will affect students.

On March 27th, Congress passed the CARES Act , providing massive relief for federal student loan borrowers. On April 2, the Education Department released more details on how this law will be executed. The Department plans to have everything implemented by April 10 — with all benefits being retroactively applied to start on March 13, the day the President declared a national emergency. The bill directs the U.S. Education Department to automatically suspend payments on most federal student loans from March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2020. No interest will accrue on loans during this time. After September 30, this payment suspension and interest waiver will end . ( The Institute for College Access & Success )

Some high-ranking colleges with equally high price tags, ( according to US News and World Report, ) announced almost immediately that students would receive prorated room and board refunds, while others have come up with partial refund plans of varying degrees, begging the questions:
  • Are these partial refund plans enough to cover payments, or do universities owe their students full refunds?
  • Is it fair for particular universities to keep a majority of down payments, especially related to study abroad programs, to stay afloat?
  • Is this cause for Attorney General intervention?

We hope you find the below information and re sources useful in guiding your AGOs on response plans and best practices for handling coronavirus impacts on student finances, loans and debts.
Updates: National Colleges Offer Varying Refund Plans

  • University of Minnesota originally decided not to compensate its students, but was met with a petition requesting the administration give students their rightful compensation of at least $2500. This plan was approved, but actual refund amounts will vary by student.

  • Colorado University-Boulder initially refused to offer any dorm refunds, claiming that students who moved out at the request of the university chancellor were in breach of contract.
  • They changed course, agreeing to pay back the $300 housing deposit to each student. Students will receive refunds for the days they did not live in the dorms and meals they did not eat on campus
  • Study abroad tuition refunds depend entirely on the program; if a student can complete their coursework online, no refunds are issued.

  • NC State University is not claiming responsibility for any study abroad student fees to third party vendors and is generally not offering refunds
  • no refunds for airfare or overseas housing.
  • Study abroad tuition refunds depend entirely on the program; if a student can complete their coursework online, no refunds are issued.

  • According to the Wall Street Journal, "some schools are sending information about refunds directly to parents, some to students only, and some are sending to both." Please visit their article for a sampling of more school approaches.
Tuesday, April 21
11:30am – 4pm (ET)

  • The AG Alliance Cannabis Project is hosting a Cannabis Law & Policy Virtual Summit to educate national Attorneys General on key issues within the cannabis, hemp, and CBD marketplace and to facilitate dialogue among diverse stakeholders.
  • Overview & Agenda
Austin Bernstein,
Cannabis Project Director
23 Attorneys General Work to Suspend Debt Collection Activities during COVID-19

  • California AG Xavier Becerra, joined by 22 AGs, submitted a letter urging the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to suspend benefits claims deadlines and debt collection activities during this time.
  • Attorney General Becerra was joined by the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
Group of 40 AGs File Amicus Brief Supporting Citizens' Rights to bring Cases Against Out-of-State Corporations for Harm Suffered Within State Borders

  • AGs across the country are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm that courts in the plaintiffs' home states have jurisdiction in certain cases:

  1. Ford v. Bandemer : Whether the “arise out of or relate to” requirement of the 14th Amendment's due process clause is met when none of the defendant’s forum contacts caused the plaintiff’s claims, such that the plaintiff’s claims would be the same even if the defendant had no forum contacts (SCOTUSblog).
  2. Ford v. Montana Eighth Judicial District: Whether the “arise out of or relate to” requirement for a state court to exercise specific personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant under Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz is met when none of the defendant’s forum contacts caused the plaintiff’s claims, such that the plaintiff’s claims would be the same even if the defendant had no forum contacts (SCOTUSblog).

  • This amicus brief was with support of attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Attorneys General Combat False Promotion of Cannabis as COVID-19 Treatment, Cure


Attorneys General Urge Citizens To Be Aware of Cybersecurity Threats While Working From Home, Using Virtual Communications
  • Arkansas AG Leslie Rutledge alerts consumers to lookout for 'bad actors' who exploit the virtual environment by stealing or extorting money from individuals and businesses. AG Rutledge's office issued tips for best practices on virtual platforms to ensure safety.


April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Attorneys General Promote the Importance of the Safety and Well-Being of Our Children During these Trying Times
  • Utah AG Sean Reyes prioritizes protecting children form all forms of abuse, collaborating with state programs to provide child-focused support and safe environments
  • Visit the Children's Bureau Website for more information on how COVID-19 is impacting child welfare

  • Navient is helping student borrowers impacted by the coronavirus, whose loans are not owned by the US Dept. of Education. Their resource page has more information on options to reduce or postpone payments.


  • Pfizer is working tirelessly to collaborate with the healthcare "innovation ecosystem" to find a vaccine for COVID-19. They recently announced a joint effort with BioNTech, to develop a vaccine that has the potential to supply millions of doses by the end of 2020.

  • Anthem announced a number of new resources and initiatives developed in partnership with leading community and health partners to provide support for the needs of individuals, families and communities. Efforts include launching a COVID-19 symptom online assessment tool and announcing it will expand coverage for members in its affiliated health plans undergoing treatment related to a COVID-19 diagnosis.  


  • Michigan AG Dana Nessel publicly recognized The Home Depot for excellence in complying with the state's 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' executive order.


  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a statement outlining the responsibility of credit reporting companies and furnishers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFPB also announced a settlement with a short-term lender for deceptive practices in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act.
CWAG Executive Committee
- Hector Balderas - Mark Brnovich -
- Wayne Stenehjem - Phil Weiser -

AG Alliance Co-Chairs
- Lawrence Wasden - Sean Reyes - Karl Racine -
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