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  1. #1

    Default Former College and Debt Collector Holding My (Future) Education Hostage


    I live and went to school in NY...

    In 2002 or 2003 transferred and went to school at a college for just shy a semester. Before going, and during registration I asked and asked and asked if there would be a balance due, because if there was I would not be able to afford it and wouldn't be able to go, and wanted to know then rather then later so I wouldn't owe anybody anything and could chose a cheaper school.

    After working very hard all semester and getting great grades, I'd say about 3/4 into the semester things really hit the fan... I got a note in my mailbox to go see the financial office, I owed something like $4,500. "HUH?" ...and it needed to be paid immediately. My options were to pay it in full, or get a co-signer for a student loan. As I explained to them earlier I didn't have a co-signer... I asked to what about all the assurances that there would not be a balance due? I felt like I had been tricked when they really knew there would be a balance and they would get me to pay it somehow when I was in front of the 8 ball...

    I was told by the financial aid counselor that I spoke to that day there was a balance due because they either sent something out late or sent something incomplete and it was too late to do anything about it...

    They still wanted their money though and if uncle sam wasn't paying I was... lol SO I was given the option to pay them $1,000 a month for 4 months, and $500 on the 5th month. BUT, I didn't have it. So my options were to fiind a way to pay or pretty much not the door hit me on the way out. So I left. I asked and no at that point in the semester there was no way to "properly" withdraw, besides letting them know you were, not that it really mattered.

    The funny thing is I remember applying to another school (I didn't know if I was going to go or not, but applied anyway) had a transcript sent from the school I left to me and the school (with incompletes for all the classes)...

    Anyway, this past winter I was really excited to get back into things, stop putting things off and go back to and finish school. The only problem was, after hearing nothing about all these years, now I cannot even get into community college because this school will not release my transcript. Unable to get a transcript from them I am unable to enroll because I am "not in good standing with a former institution..."

    There has been nothing on my credit report regarding this, I thought it was over with... I mean they did get about $11k because of me going there and not even staying a whole semester. Oh no. I contact the original school and even all they made the mistake they feel they should be paid the balance, like I said if uncle sam will not give it to them they want it from me.

    All the school was able to tell me was I am in there system from back then and that I owe a balance. All they have is a copy of the original invoice, "they don't keep any other documents past then", they destroy them (I hinted lol). They cannot tell me anything else or even pay them, I must talk to a collection agency they sold this to.

    I contact the collection agency and they are not even interested in anything but collecting a check from in the amount of a little over $12,000, yes $12,000... They are not interested n a payment plan unless it is some ridiculous amount I cannot afford. They are not interested i suing me, they said so.

    I tried to reason with the lady so we can get this settled quickly before so I can go back to school in August, but there was no reasoning. She was ignorant and i think found humor in the fact that I wanted to go back to school but I couldn't afford to the large amount. I explained that I need financial aid to go to community college, so I asked how I would be able to pay $12,000 to a get a transcript so I could get into community college? With a sarcastic, laughing tone I was told that I'll find a way to "pay that money" if I want to go back to school. I explained to her that I felt the college was holding my education hostage until they get paid for an error they made. She told me that I had 30 to dispute the claim (and I just found out they held the account recently), I didn't dispute it so that meant I agreed that it was a valid debt, and that "I guess we are going to hold your education hostage until we get our money....(click)" as she hangs up on me...

    HELP! Is there anything I can do?

    Must they have the original paper work, like collectors must have for other debts?

    BTW, if it maters, I "pay as agreed" on my Direct Loans every month from the first school I went to as well as the money that went to this school that they pocketed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Former College and Debt Collector Holding My (Future) Education Hostage

    If the collection agency becomes willing to negotiate over your debt, you can negotiate with the collection agency. If the college is willing to negotiate over your debt, you can negotiate with the college. The debt sounds like it would be dischargeable in bankruptcy, if you are considering that approach.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Former College and Debt Collector Holding My (Future) Education Hostage

    It isn't really kosher, but since this debt situation isn't really your fault, one thing you could do is leave the school who is dunning you off your admission applications. Some schools only require you to get transcripts from schools you graduated from. It's unlikely a record from a school where you barely finished a semester is academically relevant. Maybe there is a statute of limitations for the debt?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Former College and Debt Collector Holding My (Future) Education Hostage

    The same thing kind of thing happened to me. I withdrew from a 22,000 a year college. The school had to pay back a prorated amount to my student loan, they then turned around and recharged me that same amount that they had to pay back to the federal loan department. It was over 4,000. I already had 40,000 in school loans for this college. But, I withdrew over professors that "didn't like some" liked others, gave subjective papers that they didn't like "F", made it clear to me that they didn't like me, held meetings with me on "who do I think I am?" It was crazy, they were crazy, by the way I am an older person going back to school. So I sued. Breach of Contract, discrimination, malice behavior etc.. I want my 40,000 in tuition and the 4,000 taken off my so called open loan that I did not accrue. I am also suing for all future earnings of millions that I am now losing by sitting here, lose of earning while in school. Also I am going to talk to the media about the double dipping they do at the school and how "mean" the professor's are. See what you can do, legal advice is what you need to find out who was at fault here. You'd be suprised to know that some school don't want the attention when you threaten with media. I am paying a legal counsel the 4,000, but this would of never happened if they had not "reversed title iv" my account. I was just denied a community college too. That made me even madder.

    "Jallali; a student in the Osteopathic Medical Program sued Nova Southeastern University for breach of an implied contract. Jallali sought reimbursement for $250,000 in tuition costs, lost earnings while in school of $836,869, and lost future earnings of $6,900,000. A jury returned a verdict for $819,000.

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