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.
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.
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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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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