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Can sue my University for negligence?

Dayton, OH |

I applied for financial aid for the 2011-2012 year when i got admission. The financial aid department contacted me and stated that i have a loan in default and need to take care of it. I contacted Direct Loan services at the US department of education and they took the loan out of default and sent me a letter. I forwarded the letter to the financial aid office and the lady there said the matter was resolved and made me eligible. Unknown to me and her, there was another loan in default but she missed it and approved me anyway. A year later i get denied financial aid again and then she says that i have a loan in default and that i am not eligible for financial aid this year. This is fine but she now wants me to pay back all the loans from the previous year --$21000 even though she missed it.

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Attorney answers 3


You may not sue your university for negligence. It is not their job to keep track of your loans. It is yours. You may wish to speak to a debtor's rights lawyer to explore your options.

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This is pretty simple. Do you owe it? If so, then you owe it. The fact that someone may have overlooked it on their end has nothing to do with the existence or validity of the debt itself. As for being able to sue someone for negligence, that requires damages to exist. You have to be able to show that you were injured by their negligent act. The fact that you owed it before and you owe it now is not "legal" damages. Put another way, negligence is the failure to use reasonable care which is basically the doing of something which a reasonably prudent person would not do, or the failure to do something which a reasonably prudent person would do under the circumstances. But merely the act is not enough for "legal negligence" that would entitle you to sue anyone or recover anything. You also have to show that the negligent act was the direct and proximate cause of you being damaged somehow. You don't have any damages that I see. The mere fact that you still owe something that you already owed, that does not qualify as a legal injury or damage. Besides, filing a lawsuit against a university is like filing a lawsuit against the government - it will take so long and they will fight so hard that you would have a tough time finding a lawyer who would take your case even if you did have damages, unless you pay them by the hour for the fight and it doesn't sound like that is feasible. Sorry about that. I recommend you sit down with them and try to work out something you can live with and handle. Thanks for asking and good luck.

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My colleagues are correct. It was your loan, it was your default. The fact that someone else missed it has nothing to do with the fact that the loan was in default. Did the financial aid office owe you a duty to be knowledgable regarding your other debts (outstanding or otherwise), I doubt it. You should likely contact a debt settlement attorney for assistance.

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