What to do if I’m being billed by a college that I did not attend after I canceled my application?

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What to do if I’m being billed by a college that I did not attend after I canceled my application?

I applied to Arizona State University and did not receive enough financial aid to attend. I called and asked how to cancel my application and housing and they told me they cancelled both for me. Now 1 year later they called me to tellme that I owed them $650 for not cancelling my housing when I was told it was cancelled. I asked to file an appeal and they said they would mail me one. This was 8 months ago and I never received the appeal form and now they have turned the bill into a collection agency and reported it to the credit bureau. I have been told by family friends and teachers to just not pay.

Asked on March 11, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you complied with their requirements for cancellation while avoiding this charge, then you should  not be billed for it. That's the law--the issues are, 1) what were the rules about cancelling, as given in any applications or as otherwise expressed to you by the school; 2) did you comply with those rules; and 3) can you prove compliance?

Practically, it may be better to pay than fight. If the school believes you have to pay this fee, they or their collections agency may sue you; if they sue you, first, it may cost you more to defend yourself then to pay; and second, if you don't have good evidence that you were in the right--or if you in fact misunderstood and do owe the money--then you will lose, have to pay, and also have a judgment against you on your credit record. For $650, it may be more practical to pay.


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