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When I was 17 I agreed to pay a dorm cancellation fee online, can they force me to pay this?

Westland, MI |
Filed under: Credit Education law

I live in Michigan and when I was 17 years old I applied to a Michigan college and was accepted. I applied online to live in the dorms. In June, some 10 weeks before school started I changed my mind, wrote them to withdraw my application and enrolled in another college. The school refunded my application fee but now the first school is billing me for $300 for breaking my residential dorm agreement with them. They claim that I agreed to pay this cancellation fee and signed the contract online with an electronic signature. Can they hold me liable for this penalty?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

Probably, the rule in most places is that minors can't make contracts, unless the contract is over necessities such as food or shelter. $300 isn't much to worry about though, to prevent future problems I would probably just pay it and move on.

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Posted

Yes, this fee can be collected from you by regular collection processes, reported on your credit report, and can even cause you to be ineligible for future student financial aid. I know of cases where this kind of debt caused administrative embargo (freezing -- no report) of college transcripts and the consequences of that are vast. Not worth it. College debt is not the kind of debt to get stubborn and self-help about.

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