Student loan debt has been in the news a lot for the past few years, as the cost of getting a higher education has skyrocketed well beyond the rate of salary inflation. Unfortunately, for quite a while a number of states—including Texas—have had laws on the books that permit licensing agencies to strip professionals of their licenses if they fall behind on payments of their student loans.
Our state’s Sunset Advisory Commission back in 1988 recommended via a report that agencies should be able to use the threat of license revocation to induce professionals to not default on their loans. The legislature listened, and the following year enacted a statute that enabled agencies to do just that. It was part of a larger national wave of just such provisions—undergirded by support from the US Department of Education.
But this measure did not prove popular, particularly as the economy changed, salaries stagnated, and debt ballooned. There has been widespread public pressure over the decades since to undo these sorts of policies—since, after all, if someone loses their license to practice their profession, how are they then supposed to pay back the loans that caused them to lose their license? It was a stick rather than a carrot—and this was the sort of stick that was used to beat professionals once they were down.
In 2017, reports indicated that more than 4,000 professionals had their licenses threatened by this provision—including hairstylists, dentists, and hundreds of both nurses and teachers.
Luckily, in June of 2019, Texas lawmakers changed course. The House and Senate joined together to repeal this provision, and Governor Abbot signed the repeal into law via SB 37.
So no longer is your license to practice your profession threatened simply because you default on your student loans. We won that battle. But many threats to professional licenses remain.
Should you find your license to practice under attack for any reason, a skilled professional license defense attorney, like BERTOLINO LLP, should be brought in as soon as possible, so that a strategic defense can be built immediately. Many professionals feel better knowing another consummate professional is on the case on their behalf.
Professional License Defense
BERTOLINO LLP provides aggressive advocacy for professionals who are facing disciplinary action in front of a licensing board, agency, or commission in Texas. We have consistently won significant cases for podiatrists, other doctors, nurses, lawyers, architects, pharmacists and other professionals dealing with issues that could jeopardize their ability to work. We know how to build a strong case to protect your license—and your livelihood.