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School says I have a balance....

Discussion in 'Education Law, School System' started by John Cable, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. John Cable

    John Cable Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Florida
    Thank you for reading.

    I finished attending a university in July of 2020. Prior to leaving I contacted the bursar office to confirm that I had no outstanding balance. They confirmed that I did not have a balance.

    Now nearly 9 months later I receive a random phone call stating that I owe the university $5,000. I never recieved a single statement in the mail over the last 9 months stating that I had an unpaid balance (and I still have not received any statements in writing).

    I am locked out of my university account and they state that unless I am a current enrolled student I cannot access the student portal which contains all of my financial and educational records.

    My question is simple, does a university have an obligation to provide you with a balance statement within a certain period of time? At what point does it become negligence on their end? 1 year? 5 years? Or can they simply draw up a bill at anytime and send it my way?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Your question is irrelevant, as the billing they have sent would certainly be within any time-limit that might be imposed.

    I would suggest that you continue working with the school to obtain proof of what they say you owe. Is this one of those for-profit schools that advertise on the TV?
     
  3. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    There is not likely to be such a law. Though there is a statute of limitations that limits when they can sue you for the amount they say you owe.

    Not really negligence but the statute of limitations will run out at some point and they will be out of luck collecting. The SOL in Florida is I believe 5 years for a written contract.


    Anyone can do that. Do you really have no idea what they are trying to charge you for. Finding that out is your first step.
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Not disagreeing - just pointing out that the statute of limitations may be affected based on whether the school is a public or private school.
     
  5. John Cable

    John Cable Law Topic Starter New Member

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    It is a private for profit university. I requested my ledger card.

    After further review of that and explaining the balance sheet to the bursar, it appears that for what ever reason they changed my status to "withdrawn" which is incorrect. This status change triggered them to send my federal student loans back which resulted in a balance on my account, which they are now trying to get me to pay. This makes zero sense as I will not pay for something out of pocket that I applied for loans for and was approved.
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I understand you are frustrated, but, as they say, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Keep working your way up (politely, but firmly) the chain of command at the university. They may be able to retrieve those funds from the lender, but they will be the ones who need to do the legwork.
     
  7. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    No federal or Florida law requires a university to send out a bill in any particular period of time. What Florida law does do is limit the time the university has to sue you to get a judgment on the amount it claims you owe. That time is five years from the date the contract was breached. See Florida Statute section 95.11.

    A delay in billing does not raised a legal negligence claim.

    Contact the University to see what might be done to correct this status and perhaps get the student loans reinstated. However, bear in mind that if the facts are that the loans you were approved for were sent back such that you do not have any loan balance for this at the present time then you'd end up paying one way or the other โ€” either the $5,000 that should have been paid by those loans is added to your student loan balance now or you pay the $5,000 separately.
     
    army judge likes this.
  8. John Cable

    John Cable Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes, I contacted them. They are trying to understand what happened to cause my status to be changed to withdrawn. Either way, I am currently in grad school and don't have 5k sitting around, so I would need the federal student loan to be re-dispursed.
     
  9. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    When you say, in your original post, "I finished attending a university in July of 2020," does that mean you graduated? If not explain the nature of your separation from the school?
     
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  10. John Cable

    John Cable Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I attended to complete courses for obtaining a professional license. I was non-degree seeking. So after completion of the courses I completed my time there.
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible that you did not follow the proper procedures for ending your relationship with the school?
     
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  12. John Cable

    John Cable Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Nope. I had dean and program director sign off on everything.
     
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  13. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Do you have documentation of that signing off?
     
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  14. Paddywakk

    Paddywakk New Member

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    If the school returned the funds to the feds, there is no way they can get them back now for last school year.
     

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