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Help me settle university debt

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In 1991, my university informed me I owed non-specified debt and they would not send me my diploma until it was paid . I contacted them and was told it was for not paying rent. I wrote them a letter stating my rent was paid by welfare and they sent me my diploma. In 1999, I bought 10 grade transcripts, but when I returned to buy more, I was told I owed the university money. I spent a considerable amount of time trying to talk to someone to settle this matter, but the university refused to talk about this. I am now being dunned by a collection agency, but now they say I owe tuition money. I have the receipts proving I paid, but they are threatening to take me to court. It's only a $700 bill, but it's a bill I don't owe. Can anyone please tell me how to proceed? :confused:

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Hopefully, you don't have to go through what I did just to get some incorrect info updated on the CRA's. Just to let you know, it took me working with 2 Attorneys General, and the Department of Education threatening to revoke their financial aid program. Enough of that though, I don't want to scare you, but it's a good heads up.

First, write a letter to the University President stating you have attempted numerous times to obtain validation of a debt owed to their university without success. You would like to settle this matter, and would appreciate their cooperation in presenting to you their supporting documentation pertaining to this debt as required by the FDCPA. State in the letter that you are confident they will assist you in this matter, and that you don't feel there would be a need to have to take this issue up with the U.S. Department of Education. State you've received no cooperation, and the monetary penalties for violation of the FDCPA, far outweigh the amount of the collection in question.

This way, you're not agitating them into litigation, but you're making it clear you know what you're talking about. The administration may not be aware of what's going on in that department, and may be more than willing to help you.

Second, write a letter directly to the CA stating you dispute the information presented to you and request validation of the collection from the university. Also state that they are to cease all collection activity during this validation process.

If this doesn't work, you have the choice of filing a civil suit against the university for violation of the FDCPA, or you can file a complaint with the state AG, or the USDE.

If it is discovered that the university is in error, they must order the CA to remove the collection entry.

[Edit by DocDon on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 @ 06:49 PM]

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Excellent response DocDon.

Long before I knew about my credit rights, this site and the credit repair process I had to settle a "tuition issue" that had gone to collections.

Even though I was terribly uninformed I was able to negotiate a settlement for 38% of the original amount by starting with a letter to the president of the university!

Thought for the day: "Never take the answer "No" from someone who does not have the authority to say "Yes".

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<blockquote>Originally posted by smogtek

Thought for the day: "Never take the answer "No" from someone who does not have the authority to say "Yes".

</blockquote>

I still have all that documentation too - all 300 pages. Kind of a trophy in my file cabinet.

I have a rule now. I speak to customer service reps once, and their supervisors once. Then I make life miserable for their corporate offices.

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I would proceed by requesting the university validate the charges, then take it from there. There should be no collection activity for a debt you have no knowledge of.

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After reading these posts, I get the feeling this isn't about a student loan, but has to do with another payment: Maybe tuition, dorm rent, application fees, etc. You should clarify what it is you owe. I don't know if the SOL applies in your case. I know it doesn't in Student Loans. :notsure:

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