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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33544
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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GTUs collection agency unreasonable charges

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Georgetown Univ. sent a collection agency after my newly-graduated son. His father was dying during the last semester so he forgot to pay the tuition. His father died three days after graduation and he then went into his mother's basement and developed severe depression. His avoidance led to never mentioning the unpaid bill. A collection agency began harassing his mother (me) and i learned it was unpaid. I wrote the check and gave it to my son to mail. My son was so debilitated, he never got a stamp on the envelope and so it never got mailed. I did not discover this until about a year later when -- son still very crippled with depression --- i cleaned his room and FOUND the check. Meanwhile, the collection agency wants the $15K tuition plus $8K in penalty default fee, and another $8k for 23% interest. It's three years later and I am still trying to pay the tuition.I am willing to suffer some for my son's illness and negligence, but they want $32,000 which I don't have. My son has never had a job. is this really want Georgetown University wants? What can I do? Collection agency is abusive and insists there is no appeals process. Son can't get a job because he can't get his transcripts for grad school or for employers, etc. they have already reported him to credit agency (he HAS NOT CREDIT, duh!). This is a rough way for a new grad to launch his life. We are still trying to deal with his avoidance/agoraphobia/social anxiety and depression but making some progress. Shd I return to Georgetown and plead our story? His father, my ex, died a long horrid death that was traumatizing to son. I will spare you the details. Horrific.  I tried to go back to GT and they sent me to collection agency (S.C) and they say that GT instructed them to "not settle" but I think if someone knew our story, they would show some compassion and negotiate.  His father died of an infection from heroin addiction (a Georgetown law grad himself) which led to multiple medical problems...took him  a year to die at Georgetown Hospital (Medicaid...$175K+ death). ARe these charges reasonable? I googled Maryland law but unsure what this transaction is...the collector says there was a "contract"...but I am the person who paid the tuition bills; yet they only targeted my son because he was over 18 I guess.  If someone had just called me and told me it was not paid, they woudl have had it in three days!!!! So it's a lot of miscommunication...and of course my son's pathological avoidance/depression...


JD 1992 :

Is this amount a student loan or an amount payable directly to Georgetown?

Customer:

Last semester tuition $15, 680.60. no loan.

Customer:

What if I just sent the amount to GT today (3 years later) with a letter of explanation. I bet they would be happy to get it and revise the penalty. I dunno.

JD 1992 :

Have you considered having him file bankruptcy?

Customer:

He has never had a job! How could he do that?

Customer:

No credit. No paychecks. (Well, some freelance editing)

JD 1992 :

No, they probably are going to take that money and keep pursuing him for the rest.

Customer:

how can a kid be bankrupt?

JD 1992 :

Filing bankruptcy doesn't require a job.

Customer:

So they will garnish his very first paycheck etc?

JD 1992 :

He is 18?

Customer:

He is now 26.

Customer:

graduated 3 years ago.

Customer:

Philosophy BA. Wanted to do PhD but economy made him re-think.

JD 1992 :

He can file a total bankruptcy and that can completely erase the debt.

Customer:

Wants to get scientific grad degree U. Md now....

Customer:

But 7 years of no credit?

JD 1992 :

Also, when he files they may be willing to settle for less and then he can dismiss the bankruptcy.

Customer:

Ahhhhh. I see.

JD 1992 :

It will certainly affect his credit but this is likely affecting it as well.

Customer:

I need to send a check to Elizabeth Warren! Consumers rights vanished since Carter daze.

Customer:

Shd I plead with someone at Georgetown first?

Customer:

Maybe collection agency paid Georgetown the amount so they are happy..I don't know how that works.

JD 1992 :

I agree with you completely on the rights.

Customer:

How much does it cost to declare bankrupcy?

JD 1992 :

You can plead with Georgetown but they are probably going to say "we can't discuss it because we turned it over to the collection agency".

Customer:

I just think if I could find a compassioante person at GT maybe make it all go away...

Customer:

jesuit priest maybe

JD 1992 :

Declaring bankruptcy usually costs around $1500 but I don't know the exact figure.

JD 1992 :

It is set by statute so all attorneys will charge the same.

Customer:

Ok. I can't believe that's where the poor kid is stuck. Oy vay.

Customer:

All so wrong.

JD 1992 :

Maybe, but I haven't found anyone to be compassionate in cases liek this unfortunately.

Customer:

There is no claim of mental illness or somethign?

Customer:

Temporarily incapacitated? stupid and young?

JD 1992 :

You could ask for forbearance based a disability but you have to jump through a bunch of hoops and even then they don't usually grant them.

JD 1992 :

If young and stupid worked we could have all gotten out of our loans!

Customer:

Ok. So I will go look for bankrupcy attorney. just what the damaged kid needs after death of his father. argh.

JD 1992 :

It is an absolute shame. Collection agencies are scum. I have seen call people on the way out the door to a funeral and try and force them to make a payment for the deceased.

Customer:

Thanks for your help, albeit painful news.

JD 1992 :

I'm sorry it wasn't better news, but it is the best option for him.

Customer:

Yea. So I will be sure to talk to my Congressman too.

Customer:

Thanks much.

JD 1992 :

That doesn't hurt either.

JD 1992 :

You're very welcome and I wish him the best

Customer:

thanx.

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