Can a I be turned over to a collections agency for bills incurred whenI was a minor and that weren’t paid by my mother?

UPDATED: Feb 18, 2011

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Can a I be turned over to a collections agency for bills incurred whenI was a minor and that weren’t paid by my mother?

I took college credits while still in high school as a minor. My mother never paid off the college bill and the college sent my name into a collections agency. Because I was a minor shouldn’t they have turned my mother’s name in instead of mine?

Asked on February 18, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Idaho


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although it sounds ridiculous, yes they are going to try.  Here is what you need to do.  You are entitled to what is known as validation of the debt.  Ask the collections agency to send you the following:  a copy of the ORIGINAL contract between you and the college for the courses you took.  A copy of all transactions posted ot eh account.  A copy of the agreement with the school allowing them to collect on their behalf.  Once you have all these documents write to them and advise that you did not sign the agreement, you were a minor at the time they were executed and you do not owe the debt.  Now, if they are smart you will get sued under what is known as a third party beneficiary theory, meaning that you derived a benefit from the contract and you should be held responsible for the bill.  They may win.  Seek legal help at that point.  Also check the Statute of Limitations.  Good luck.  

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