If a college put me down as an out-of-state student andI owe them, can I go to court ifI can prove that I was really in-state?

I owe a college $6300. I didn’t bring in 1document and they changed me to out-of-state. I was really instate because I was a dependent on my parents and they were both NY residents. If I go to court and prove that I was really in-state can the charges be canceled? Also, they have already sent the fees to a creditor so what must I do? I have been out of school for 2 years because I couldn’t pay the school (but I was really suppose to be charged in-state fees).

Asked on March 5, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

OK, you need to get to the bottom of the matter and deal with the issue head on.  You should have done so 2 years ago when it all came to light but we all live in glass houses and know how difficult it can be at times to face certain issues.  Let's see if there is any way that you can try and solve it now without too much worry.  I think that you mean that they have sent the bill to collections as they are the creditor.  Now what you need to do is determine if the collection people own the debt or are just collecting for the college.  You need to ask for "validation" of the debt from the collection people, which is a copy of the original agreement, a copy of your account showing the money you paid for tuition on the balance owed and a copy of the agreement between the college and the collection agency showing their right to collect the debt.  Do you have the one document that they say that you were lacking?  Then you can dispute the debt and send the document to the collections people showing that you do not owe the debt as listed as you were incorrectly charged.  They may sue you anyway and you will need the document for evidence in court.  It will get worked out as long as you have the documents needed.  It just might be before a judge.  If you are sued get some legal help.  Good luck.

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