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bills and collection letters going to wrong address when correct address is provided


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Understanding of my question requires the following background story:

I started attending a local private university a few years back. I did not have to take out student loans as my family had set aside enough money to cover my education.

I was living on campus and did not get home (my permanent address) often enough to reliably check my mail, especially notices regarding tuition, etc.

Using the university's student account management system I updated my mailing address to that of another family member who was in charge of dispersing funds for my education.

Throughout the years I had various issues with the university reliably sending things to this correct address (mailing address) instead of my home (permanent address). The university was generally understanding, if not constantly irritated by the fact that it would be many weeks later by the time they would receive payment.

This long delay would be due to me having to physically take my payment information to my relative so they could send it to the financial institution so they could cut a check and send it directly to the university. Even then... most of the time the checks would come back (to the financial institution) as undeliverable, for what ever reason the university has a hard time accepting money.

I ended up not returning to the university at the beginning of this year and I thought everything was squared away with them financially. Apparently not, as I just returned home to find a collection letter along with a few other tuition notices from the university waiting for me.

I do not understand how the university cannot get it into their head that this is not my mailing address. They have no problem sending random promotional mailings to my mailing address. But why my tuition bills? I even have my bank statements sent to my mailing address.

SO... my question is:

I do not dispute that I owe tuition, but what recourse do I have to not have this negatively affect my credit and pay who knows what in late fees?

The way I see it. If they tell me to use their system to change my mailing address, then that is what they need to go by.

***In a hypothetical scenario: what if my permanent "house address" was not serviced by the post office and I required mail to be sent to a PO BOX, my "mailing address"? what would happen then? The way I see it my situation is essentially the same.***

Edited by johnny5
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Personally, I would either compose a letter, or, visit in person, demanding to restrict to their eyes only, or see the "Biggest Boss on Campus". Have a copy of each communication as well as all of your info during the time you attended classes. Have it laid out in an outline format so as to show that you did this, they did that. Your goal is to demonstrate to them that they are the problem, not you. Stress this part to beyond ridiculous as you want to be sure it is planted very deep in their "Gray" matter. Yes, you may owe money, but, by taking this approach, you can hopefully cause them to see the problem and "write off" or reduce any interest added. Be sincere and professional. Don't look for battle, let them step in it.

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A few things:

This is in collections.

It is not a student loan.

The resulting delinquency is essentially due to the university's lack of ability to do anything right. By the time the payoff would hit and be applied from the financial institution, the next semester's tuition would already have become due.

So much to the point that the last 2 semesters my relative ended up paying out of pocket on a line of credit and then be reimbursed by the financial institution, this resulted in a mix up where I thought I was paid up in full.

Side information (not necessary to understanding my situation):

The payoff problem was becoming such an issue that many times I would not be registered for classes in a timely manner due to a financial hold being placed on my account and would have to be added manually by an administrator at the university. This would result in me owing essentially two semester's worth of tuition at the same time. The ensuing confusion of what would be owed and what was already in transit was too difficult to determine as the financial institution would consistently receive checks back as "undeliverable" from the US Mail despite having the address correct and confirmed multiple times.

On one occasion I even found one of my tuition checks in an often unchecked on campus mailbox that is used for student organization mail. The check was postmarked and dated some 6-8 weeks prior. These happenings, bordering on ludicrous, are what resulted in the decision to just start paying directly via a line of credit and going through the more difficult process of reimbursement by the financial institution.

It amounted to me going to the enrollment services desk and giving them the card information and they would then zero my balance with the university. I did this multiple times over the period of 2 semesters; the last being about halfway through my last semester at the university. Apparently, my last semester's tuition was not included on this, when I thought it was. As if "put everything on the card" is not clear enough. And after reviewing records, I do not dispute that the last semester was not included. But now the problem lies in the fact that, once again, the university failed to use all known addresses *particularly* the Mailing Address I specifically provided and indicated I wish mailings to go to. As a result, a non payment situation occurred and now is in collections.

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I still say you need to have a long sit down with the "Boss". Take every piece of paper you have along with an outline of all events. Tell them enough is enough, fix it, or else. By this, if they do not fix it, you will go public with your problem and assure the people know they fail to properly manage each student's accounts to where this happens every day of every term. Even go so far as to post notices on the bulletin boards asking other students if they have the same problem, to contact you.

If someone can come up with another idea to get the ball rolling to correct this, please share. Otherwise the poster may missout on reaching their goals as planned.

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