Publication Date: March 2003
DCL ID: GEN-03-04
Approval of Revised Unemployment Deferment and Economic Hardship Deferment Forms for the Federal Family Education Loan Program
Posted on 03-14-2003
Subject: Approval of Revised Unemployment Deferment and Economic Hardship Deferment Forms for the Federal Family Education Loan Program
Dear Guaranty Agency Director:
On November 1, 2002, final regulations governing the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program were published in the Federal Register. These regulations made several changes to the existing FFEL economic hardship deferment and unemployment deferment regulations. These regulatory changes become effective July 1, 2003. However, the Department of Education (the Department) authorized FFEL program participants to implement, at their discretion, these regulations prior to that date.
Because these changes were limited in volume and scope, and resulted from regulations developed under the negotiated rulemaking process, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the revised forms under an administrative process outside of the normal paperwork clearance process. The FFEL community, however, was provided with an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to the forms as they were developed.
In addition to revising the forms based on the new regulations, we have also updated the Poverty Line Amounts on the Economic Hardship Deferment Request.
Please note that OMB's approval of the revised forms under this administrative process does not advance the expiration date on the forms. This letter serves as approval of the attached versions of the Unemployment Deferment Request and the Economic Hardship Deferment Request.
Implementation and Transition to New Forms
Since the Department has authorized early implementation of the regulations published on November 1, 2002, program participants may begin using these revised forms immediately, but must begin using them no later than July 1, 2003. These revised forms must be distributed and used in response to borrower requests received on or after July 1, 2003. However, if a loan holder receives a previously approved form after that date, the loan holder should process the form. The loan holder is responsible for ensuring that the previously approved form is processed using the applicable regulatory provisions.
Program participants are reminded that no changes to, deletions from, or additions to the prescribed language in these materials will be permitted. Printing instructions remain the same as when the forms were originally distributed to the community.
Obtaining Copies for Reproduction
The forms are available in PDF format as attachments to this letter. In addition, the forms are available on the National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs (NCHELP) web site at www.nchelp.org
Guaranty agencies are responsible for ensuring that the forms they use are identical to the forms approved by the Secretary. No changes may be made to the forms except those expressly authorized by the Department.
Jeff Baker, Director
Unemployment Deferment Request
Economic Hardship Deferment Request