ED Collection Contractors May Have Finally Hit a Brick Wall

The plaintiffs trying to get the Department of Education (ED) to reconsider its cancellation of the solicitation for unrestricted private collection agencies were dealt another blow today. As we reported on Monday, ED notified the Court of Federal Claims that it would commence the recall of accounts from five collection agencies that have been operating under 2015 award term extensions (ATEs). This recall had been announced previously, then put on hold without explanation -- although the hold closely followed a letter from a Senate committee directing ED not to go through with the recall. 

Buoyed in part by the Senators’ statement, the five companies filed a Motion for an emergency temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent the recall. Briefings were filed. A hearing took place today. The upshot? Judge Wheeler, ever efficient in moving this matter along, denied the Motion.

Why? Well, here’s the gist of the court’s argument: Unfortunately, you guys have a difficult client. They shouldn’t have put you through this. But that’s part of the business, and I’m not going to micromanage ED’s procurement process. Sorry.

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