My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Virginia
In June of 2007, I attended summer school at a university in Virginia. Unhappy with the quality of education, I dropped out before the end of the summer session. Months went by and I had not paid my tuition bill. In December of 2007, I received a letter from a collection agency working for the school. The letter stated that if I paid a specific amount of my balance within 10 days, the remaining portion would be waived. I sent a check for this amount to my school (wrapped inside the letter from the collection agency) the following day. One week later, I called the university to check my status. The employee at the finance department said I had paid in full and that I no longer owed the school any money. Additionally, I called the collection agency that worked for the school. They said my account had been closed and I had paid in full.
14 months went by. I had heard nothing from the school. Then, one day I received a new bill. It was almost $3,000 and was the exact amount that had been waived by the collection agency over a year earlier. Over the next year, I spent vast amounts of time writing certified letters to the school, asking what had happened with my account. I reminded them that the check I mailed them in 2007 was wrapped inside the letter from the collection agency. I reminded them that this letter specifically said the remaining portion of my balance was to be waived. I called the school and asked them what happened to this letter and the woman on the other end of the line said the letter was not in their files. I asked her why I was told I had paid in full 14 months earlier. She couldn't come up with an answer. I then asked her why it took the department 14 months to send me this mysterious new bill. She couldn't come up with an answer.
On October 13th of 2009 (almost two years after I had paid my tuition bill "in full"), my university sent my new bill to their collection agency. I immediately called up the collection agency and asked them to reprint the letter that they sent me in December of 2007. The response was that they couldn't reprint my last letter (that discussed the reduced tuition) from them because they had previously closed my account and could no longer pull up the letter. This didn't really make sense to me...at all.
I have no idea what to do. Should I mail off a cease and desist letter? Neither the school, nor the collection agency will tell me why they said I was paid in full. The school won't tell me why I went 14 months without getting a single bill----or why they waited almost 2 years to send the mysterious new bill to their collection agency.
My main mistake is that I did not make a copy of the letter from the collection agency. If I had, I wouldn't be in this mess now. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am so frustrated.