Thank you for your patience as I reviewed the information the automated process obtained (and I apologize for the misunderstanding towards the end of that exchange)
This must be very upsetting for you and your daughter;
If the waiver of all claims was not signed, then the company can not cite that as a basis for refusing to assist, as that would penalize a person for not signing the waiver.
Further, presumably the waiver is written so that it waives any other claims-not a waiver of the money for which the waiver was being signed; that would give rise to a person arguing that the waiver was signed under duress, in order to get the very sum under discussion.
A company has a duty to exercise due diligence, and if they did not verify a current address before sending out a check, and failed to follow explicit instructions, the company can be liable for negligence.
Negligence is defined as a failure to perform with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but may consist of omissions when there is some duty to act. This cause of action has 5 elements: the existence of a legal duty to exercise reasonable care; a failure to exercise reasonable care; harm caused by the negligent conduct; physical harm of actual damages; and proximate cause (reasonably foreseeable damages).
The original contract should discuss how to handle disputes (often times arbitration is required); if the original contract cannot be located one can look to see if the terms and conditions are posted online. If arbitration is not required, then one can sue to recover money damages; given the amount it is outside the realm of small claims court.
Before suing, it is standard to first write a formal demand letter, with all of the relevant dates, and the basis for the claim (ie non receipt of refund), along with a date by which compliance will be expected. Then if there is no resolution, one would need to proceed with a negligence lawsuit to recover the money. It may be possible to allege breach of contract if the lender is in breach of the contract- ie failed to refund the money per the terms of the contract (the contract would need to be reviewed to determine if mailing it to the original address was a breach; or the student could argue that the contract was modified by subsequent instructions as contracts can be amended based on changed circumstances (ie relocation)
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.