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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


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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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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