What is school tuition debt?

School tuition debt can be accrued in a variety of ways. For example, if a student registers for school and attends classes relying on student aid that, for whatever reason, ultimately did not come through, then the student may be indebted to the education institution. If the student withdraws from the courses in a timely manner and in accordance with the policies of the school, then they may be able to avoid all or some of the charges relating to the courses. Generally, a student can be held liable for services rendered. Non-payment can sometimes be considered by an institution as "theft of services", however, our office has not experienced any such a matter becoming criminal in New York.

Do you owe a debt directly to a college or university?

Sometimes, if a school cannot recover the tuition through traditional methods such as phone and mail, then they may resort to assigning the account to a law firm such as Kazlow & Kazlow or Kleinman Saltzman and Bolnick LLP to bring a debt collection lawsuit.

A major difference between student loans and tuition debts is that some tuition debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy, just like a credit card debt. This does not necessarily hold true in every situation, especially if the tuition debt is incurred with a city or state school. However, our office has been successful on several occasions in assisting client's with discharging a school tuition debt without having to file an adversary proceeding.

We have worked with client's that had outstanding tuition debt with: Long Island University, Hofstra University, Boston University, Fordham University, St. Johns University, Mercy College, Mount Holyoke College, High Achievers Inc., and York College. Many other colleges, such as the University of Phoenix, also engage in collecting outstanding tutition balances. These debts are oftentimes assigned to debt collection agencies and lawyers outside of the educational institution.

Can tuition debt be reduced in a settlement or debt consolidation?

Since the "creditor" on a tuition debt is usually a school, each institution can vary in it's guidelines as to what they offer for resolution. Some schools may be open to negotiatiations for a large reduction, some might be open to a medium savings, and some institutions may be averse to settlement negotiations. A tuition debt is rarely eligible for a debt consolidation loan, however, there is always a possibility that a lender may provide this kind of loan product.

Our lawyers offer assistance to people whom are struggling with repaying outstanding tution debt to colleges and universities. We can help identify the available resolution options, and if a settlement is available, we can assist in negotiating the best terms.

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