How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask socrateaser Your Own Question
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 38901
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate Broker -- Retired (mostly)
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
socrateaser is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Bankruptcy/college tuition

Customer Question

My husband and I filed a personal Chapter 11 due to significant irs/tax debt. We obviously had to include all of our debt, even though we did not want to. One of those debts is tuition (not financial aid/loans) from my college. Does the college have to release my transcript because of the bankruptcy protection or are they allowed to hold it until the bankruptcy is paid off...5 years from now?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.
Difficult question.

Withholding the debtor's school transcript for nonpayment of a dischargeable debt violates Bankr. Code § 525(a). See In re Dembek (BC ND OH 1986) 64 BR 745, 746, 747; Lee v. Board of Higher Ed. in City of N.Y. (SD NY 1979) 1 BR 781, 787–789. However, a college may withhold debtor's transcript where debtor owes college a nondischargeable debt. Johnson v. Edinboro State College (3rd Cir. 1984) 728 F2d 163, 166.

In short, if the tuition cost was loaned to you as part of a nondischargeable education loan, then the school can withhold the transcript until the loan is ordered discharged at the completion of the bankruptcy plan.

Note: The above analysis is based on extremely limited case law. There is actually no specific case directly holding that a school can withhold the transcript during the pendency of the bankruptcy plan. However, since the loan is not discharged until the plan is complete, the logic that the school can withhold seems sound.

Hope this helps.

NOTICE: My goal here is to educate the public about the law. Please help me in this effort by clicking Accept (or, click on one of the happy smiley faces/stars/etc., if applicable) for my Answer to your Question. If you have a subscription account, clicking Accept does not create any additional charge. It merely gets me credit for my Answer.

And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id at the beginning of your question ("To Socrateaser"), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!

Please Click the following link for IMPORTANT LEGAL INFORMATION.