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Thelawman2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1372
Experience:  Attorney-at-Law
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I attended a college in 1987 in Louisiana. I dropped two

Customer Question

I attended a college in 1987 in Louisiana. I dropped two classes before the drop/add date. I received a bill two weeks ago from the 1987 and to my knowledge I had no balance. I asked the school(LSUA) for a statement or proof of the debt and they told me hey had no bill or records back that far. I left that state in 1987 for the Navy after that semester at that community college and haven't lived in that state since then. What is my course of action since they only gave me 10 days to pay it and they sent it to collections after I called and submitted a written request for a bill? I received no proof of the debt or bill..
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 1 year ago.

In Louisiana, the time period to collect on a debt that is evidenced by a written agreement is 10 years. Therefore, the college has waited too long to collect their debt and they are not permitted to recover against you. You may want to call them and tell them that they have passed the statute of limitations.

I hope this has been helpful. If so, please provide positive feedback!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They told me that the Governor of that state has signed a bill to allow them to collect as far back as they need to to collect on the debt. They also sent me a letter from the La Department of Corrections which is a collection agency to add another 117.50 for collection fee. the orginal debt they indicated was 352.50. I can scan the information I have if needed. Is that legal? They indicated that the information would be passed onto the US Treasury to collect the debt from my wages.
Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 1 year ago.

There is no such bill. The statue of limitations is 10 years. The only possible exception is if it was a federal student loan. If so, the state statute of limitations would not be applicable.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are indicating that it was a Pell Grant.
Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 1 year ago.

I've got bad news ...

There is no statute of limitations on Pell loans. They stay alive forever, until they are paid.

So going back to your original question, there are certain procedures that the debt collector must follow when trying to collect from you:

Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing --

(1) the amount of the debt;

(2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;

(3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;

(4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and

(5) a statement that, upon the consumer's written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.

Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 1 year ago.

If they fail to comply with these requirements, you can sue them for up to $1,000.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
how do I sue them or obtain counsel to do this? They indicated no records exist because it was on paper and not electronic so they could not provide proof of the debt nor a statement...
Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 1 year ago.

Your first step might to simply tell them that they have violated the FDCPA and that their non-compliance can result in a lawsuit for damages of $1,000 if they do not stop their abusive debt collection practices. Their next step would have to be filing a lawsuit in court, but without any documentation, they are going to be hard-pressed to actually be able to collect anything. And if they do have documentation, you could raise a counterclaim that they have violated the FDCPA.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome. If you are happy with my answers, please provide positive feedback!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am very happy and if I needed to require further assistance or retain you as counsel how could I go about doing that or if I needed to sue them..
Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 1 year ago.

If you need additional help with questions, you can just request me in the future. If you needed to sue them, you will need to find someone in your local jurisdiction if you want to hire a lawyer to represent you in court.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I send you a copy of what was sent to me.. only thing it states is that a W for withdrawing from the classes in 1987..
Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 1 year ago.

If it does not have anything related to the actual debt, then it does not seem applicable to one the collection people are stating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it was just generic letter from them but okay thanks so much.
Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome, please remember to rate my answer!