Sparks were flying at Navient’s annual meeting yesterday in Delaware.
Investors, upset at the company’s falling stock price, were pressuring the company for more details about how it services the students loans in its portfolio, accusing Navient of being too aggressive in is approach.
Navient should be doing more to put individuals into income-driven repayment plans, the upset shareholders allege. Those investors also want the company to cut back on how much it spends on lobbying, according to a published report.
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, while speaking as a proxy for a trust that owns 22,000 shares of Navient stock, wants the company to reveal its phone scripts when making collection calls to individuals with delinquent or defaulted student loan debts. It is those conversations — between Navient employees and borrowers — that “have caused the company’s reputation to plummet,” she said.
Navient is being sued by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection for allegedly cheating “borrowers out of repayment rights through shortcuts and deception,” according to the regulator’s press release announcing the suit. A similar suit brought by the attorney general of Pennsylvania led investors in Navient to file their own suit against the company, alleging the company “recklessly” failed to disclose the loan operations that were mentioned in the AGs suits.
Navient has “vigorously” denied the allegations made by the CFPB and called the Pennsylvania’s AGs allegations “unfounded.”
A number of shareholders had proposed the company be required to disclose how it manages its risk and detail how executive compensation was tied to that risk management process. Navient’s board opposed the measure, which was defeated at yesterday’s meeting.