Friday, May 01, 2020

May 1 coronavirus response -- student loan help, extended deadline to appeal your property tax assessment, and Brookland's Finest is back

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From: Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie <kmcduffie@dccouncil.us>
Sent: Friday, May 1, 2020 6:28 PM
Subject: May 1 Coronavirus Response - Student loan help, extended deadlines to appeal your property tax assessment, and Brookland's Finest is BACK!

Below are today's updates on the District's response to the coronavirus pandemic. For the latest and most comprehensive information always visit http://coronavirus.dc.gov.




Relief for Residents Struggling with Student Loan Payments Due to COVID-19 Pandemic


Mayor Bowser announced expanded financial relief options for District residents who are struggling to pay private education loans due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. The initiative, launched by the District and several states, will provide qualifying District residents with loan forbearance and other financial protections.

Residents with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans or privately-held student loans who are struggling to make their payments will be eligible for expanded relief. Twelve private education loan servicers have backed the initiative.

Relief options under the initiative include:
  • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance
  • Waiving late payment fees
  • Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting
  • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days
  • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment
 If regulated student loan servicers are limited in their ability to take these actions due to investor restrictions or contractual obligations, they should proactively work with loan holders to relax those restrictions or obligations.

The new initiative will help fill a gap by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. That law provides relief for borrowers with federal loans, including the suspension of monthly payments, interest, and involuntary collection activity through September 30, 2020. However, the CARES Act left out millions of student loan borrowers with federal loans that are not owned by the federal government, as well as loans made by private lenders.

Borrowers in need of assistance must immediately contact their student loan servicer to identify their best options. To get details on their federal loans and servicers, they may visit the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) National Student Loan Data System at nslds.ed.gov, or call DOE’s Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 or 1-800-730-8913 (TDD). Borrowers with private student loans may check the contact information on their monthly billing statements.

States joining the District in this effort include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

The 12 private student loan servicers providing relief are:
  • Aspire Resources, Inc.
  • College Ave Student Loan Servicing, LLC
  • Earnest Operations
  • Edfinancial
  • Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation
  • MOHELA
  • Navient
  • Nelnet
  • Rhode Island Student Loan Authority
  • SoFi Lending Corp.
  • Tuition Options
  • Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority
  • Vermont Student Assistance Corporation
For additional resources regarding student loans, borrowers can contact:


Property Tax Appeals and Other Deadlines Extended



In order to assist those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) is further extending three important deadlines for property owners in the District of Columbia. Please see above for the new deadlines for property owners who wish to appeal their TY 2021 real property tax assessment, file an Exempt Property Annual Use report, as well as file an Income & Expense (I&E) report.


Mayor Announces Deal to Build a New East End Hospital and Expand Howard University Hospital


Yesterday, Mayor Bowser announced two agreements which include the construction of two new, state-of-the-art hospitals in DC:
  • a 136-bed hospital at St. Elizabeths East in Ward 8, operated by Universal Health Services in conjunction with George Washington University and George Washington Medical Faculty Associates (GWMFA); and
  • a 225-bed Howard University Hospital on Georgia Avenue NW in Ward 1.


Comcast Offering Two Months of Free Internet Service




Small Business Spotlight: Brookland's Finest is Back!



12th Street staple Brookland's Finest has been closed since March but has just announced a re-opening with a 'Greatest Hits' menu for online ordering and delivery through Uber Eats on Thursday and Friday from 4 pm - 9 pm, Saturday from noon - 9 pm, and Sunday from noon - 7 pm.
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