If I attended a school for the fll sememster 2 years ago and had to leave after that semester because I couldn’t find funding to stay, how can I be billed for not attending?

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If I attended a school for the fll sememster 2 years ago and had to leave after that semester because I couldn’t find funding to stay, how can I be billed for not attending?

They told me if I didn’t have the means to pay for school, I’d have to leave before the next semester, which I did. They called and said I owed them and I agree I may owe them something but what they wanted me to pay I couldn’t afford. They sent me to collections and the operator said I owed them a huge balance for the spring term when I was left the school. Can they do that? I didn’t even register for the semester.

Asked on December 26, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It depends upon what you had previously agreed to, such as in any contracts or other documents you signed when you accepted admission to the school. If you had agreed to pay a certain amount or for certain classes, you could be held to that agreement even if you were forced to discontinue attending due to a lack of funding. That's because your inability to pay for school means that you would have breached (violated) any agreement to pay for schooling; your own breach, however, does not let you out of your contractual obligations. It's like with leasing or renting an apartment: if someone signs a one-year lease, he or she is obligated to pay rent for a full year; if he or she runs out of money after two months and can't keep paying, he or she could be kicked out (evicted)--but would still be liable for the rent due for the full remainder of the year. Therefore, you need to review all the documents you signed with this school, to see what you obligated yourself to pay.


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