Can a creditor refuse a payment regardless of how minimal it is?

UPDATED: Oct 18, 2011

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Can a creditor refuse a payment regardless of how minimal it is?

I am forced to drop a class and was told that I have to pay for the class out of my own pocket and have to do so within a couple months, regardless that I cannot afford over $500 a month. If I make payments of less than what the university claims they need, can they refuse it and still turn me over to collections?

Asked on October 18, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if you pay less than the creditor--the university--agrees to accept, they can turn you over to collections and/or sue you for the money. When you owe someone money, they are entitled to payment in full of everything due to them; they are not required to accept less than that. They can, and often do, agree to accept payment over time or a payment plan, but doing so is voluntary on their party; they must choose to agree to it, and the debtor (the one owing money) cannot force a payment schedule on the creditor. So if you are unable or unwilling to pay an amount which the university would find acceptable, the university has the right to place you collections or take legal action against you, unfortunately.

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