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Do any rights exist to protect poor students? My university wants me to pay a very high collection fee.

Chicago, IL |

Aside from the legality of the collection fee, what are the students rights? I just cannot graduate because I don't have the money to pay a collection fee? That's it? That's how it works? They are not willing to remove it nor negotiate it.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

It is impossible to answer any of your questions without reviewing the documents you signed and the school policies. Go consult with a lawyer in person and bring your paperwork with you.

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Posted

A collection fee for "what" exactly?

We would like to be able to point you in the right direction, but I am having difficulty understanding what is going on. Are you talking about a student loan; you seem to imply that you are presently a student; so what is the issue? Did you attend school for a while, stop, and restarted? It just seems odd you would have a collection fee on a student loan while still attending school.

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3 comments

Asker

Posted

I was attending school and couldn't pay classes so I accumulated debt. I paid everything off but schools wants also the collection fee paid in full which I found greedy, especially knowing that I am struggling financially. Is there anything I can do to have the school waive the fee, lift the graduation hold and allow me to graduate so maybe I have better chance to land a job and start having income?

Matthew Scott Berkus

Matthew Scott Berkus

Posted

Probably not. You can always ask the school to waive the fee. However, odds are, the fee is authorized by contract , so the only option would be to figure out if IL has a specific law that regulates such fees and whether the fee is in compliance. It may be possible to file bankruptcy on the fee.

Asker

Posted

Thank You

Posted

What is the collection fee for? It sounds as if you're a current student and, perhaps, wrote a check to the school for a bill and that the check bounced? Or, is this collection fees related to some kind of unpaid debt?

Either way, the only relevant issue is whether or not the school can LEGALLY assess the fee. I'm betting they can - you are not the first student they've assessed fees to. And, no school is required to authorize graduation, provide transcripts, etc. to someone that owes them money. There is no protection for "poor students." So, I'd recommend you ascertain exactly what these fees are for and the exact amount. If it's legit, then you'll have to pay it.

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Asker

Posted

It's a collection fee for a debt that has been paid off with enormous sacrifices.

Michael J Corbin

Michael J Corbin

Posted

So, the fee was related to an overdue debt that they tried to collect upon? If that's the case, then you owe the bill - they are allowed to charge their collection costs.

Asker

Posted

Yes, the fee was added to a debt owed. Debt has been paid in full. But now the y want the collection fee.

Posted

The answer to your question is simple. Creditors (Schools) can charge fees if they are authorized by statute, or contract and are not expressly prohibited. I agree with my fellow attorneys - you will need to check the paperwork your signed to see what collection fee you contractually agreed to permit them to collect. If they are collecting more than what is allowed you have rights. Good Luck and Thanks for visiting www.avvo.com

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