Public Universities In Pennsylvania Will No Longer Refer Unpaid Student Fees To Collection Agencies
Even if you have scholarships and grants, even if you hold paid employment every semester that you are in college, and even if your parents have lived below their means for your entire life in order to build a college fund for you, higher education has a way of hitting Generation X and everyone younger with all kinds of unexpected costs. Federal student loan debt alone does a fine job of adding insult to economic injury; if you do not sign up for income-based repayment, you will be making payments on your student debt until you die, but if you do sign-up for it, then you only have to make payments until the federal government is sufficiently convinced that you will never amount to anything. Beyond that, though, if you owe money directly to a university, many universities can and will transfer your debt to a collection agency, which will do an even better job of ripping you off and making you miserable. The good news is that Pennsylvania’s attorney general has announced a policy that will protect current and former students at 15 institutions of higher learning in Pennsylvania from abusive tactics to collect unpaid fees. Meanwhile, if you are struggling with education debt, contact a Philadelphia debt collection abuse lawyer.
Students Will Still Owe the Fees, but Thank Goodness for Small Favors
Collection agencies are awful. Not only do they call and harass you, but they add fees to punish you for your financial hardship, but sometimes when you try to pay, you find out that they don’t accept payment by check or debit card. Instead, you have to go through the extra hassle and expense of getting a cashier’s check or a money order.
This spring, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office announced that 14 state-owned universities, plus Thaddeus Stevens School of Technology, will recall the unpaid student fees that they have referred to private collection agencies. This means that 4,800 students, whose unpaid fees add up to nearly $18 million, will now be spared the collection agency nightmare. From now on, collection of unpaid student fees will be done by the Attorney General’s Office or by the universities themselves. Meanwhile, the students still owe the money, just to someone who accepts personal checks and offers more flexible payment plans.
Needless to say, this new decision will not solve anyone’s education debt problem by itself; student loan forgiveness it is not. It does, however, protect at least 4,800 students from the predatory tactics of private collection firms. It’s a start, but you will need more help, such as from a consumer law attorney, to tackle all of your student debt. Your lawyer can help you get some debts forgiven and extend the payment term on others.
Contact Louis S. Schwartz About Unpaid Student Fees
From overdue library fines to those nebulous student activities fees, a Philadelphia debt collection abuse attorney can help. Contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com to set up a free, confidential consultation.