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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I was trying to get my college transcript from a school in

Customer Question

hi I was trying to get my college transcript from a school in california I was notified that there is a hold on my account because of a bounced check from 12 years ago I have no way of disputing the charge because it was a check from washington mutual
JA: Because education law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no it isn't on my credit report I didn't know anything about until I tried to order my transcripts
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I know the SOL have since passed but I want to know can they not release my transcript on a debt that I can't dispute because I can't contact the bank and I don' t remember if I paid it, it's been 12 years
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, even though this is beyond the statute of limitations for them to sue you, the law says the school does not have to release an official transcript. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 USC 1232g and 34 CFR 99, gives you the right to inspect and review their own education records.
Under 34 CFR 99.10 (d)(1) the college must provide you with a copy of the education records if circumstances prevent you from inspecting and reviewing the records in person. Since the definition of education records includes an academic transcript, FERPA requires colleges to provide you with a copy of your academic transcripts if you do not live in the local area. Under 34 CFR 99.10(d)(2) permits the college to "make other arrangements for you to inspect and review the requested records", so a college could potentially fulfill the requirement by means other than providing a copy.
The big issue is that the copy does not need to be an official copy of the academic transcript with the registrar's seal. The college is also not required to provide more than one copy of the unofficial transcript. Also, since the law says they only must provide YOU with a copy of the education records, the college is not required to send a copy of the education records to a third party such as a prospective employer or another school.
So, yes, they can hold the official transcript until you pay what is owed, even if they cannot sue you on it any longer because of the SOL.