The U.S. Department of Education has not properly overseen the collection agencies it hired to pursue delinquent federal student loans, according to an audit released by the department's inspector general.

The report found that the Education Department did not make sure the 22 companies under contract were collecting debt in line with federal law and contract terms. The department also had not effectively monitored borrowersÂ’ complaints or ensured that corrective actions were taken and failed to penalize companies for ongoing bad behavior.

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