Stopped clocks and student loans

United States v. Falcon, No. 13-16588 (9th Cir. Nov. 9, 2015).

A “kissing marathon” to protest student-loan debt in Chile (credit: flickr / Annais Ferreira)

A “kissing marathon” to protest student-loan debt in Chile (credit: flickr / Annais Ferreira)

The statute of limitations on a defaulted, federally guaranteed student loan used to be six years. The federal government had to file an action to collect the loan within six years of when the loan was assigned to the government. 

This changed in 1991, when Congress eliminated the statute of limitations altogether. Defendant Mark Falcon argues that this legislation violated due process. The Ninth Circuit, in a brief per curiam, rejects this argument. Plus, in a footnote, it observes that the government’s action against Falcon would have been timely even under the old statute of limitations—which may make you wonder whether this case was really an appropriate vehicle for resolving the due-process question.