Ivy Tech submitted my account to collections without attempting to collecting payment from me first or notifying me.
I had to withdraw from classes because my husband was in receipt of military orders. I completed a request to waiver fees package to have the amounts due corrected to reflect only the one class I took. I maintained my student email address, a personal email address, and I ensured that they had the new address that I moved to. They mailed me the request to waiver fee package in April. Which was accidently ruined due to a coffee spill. I then emailed asking to have the packet emailed to me, since I had access to a computer and a printer. This was in June 2015 and I submitted and account was corrected in July 2015. I was trying to get my transcripts from Ivy Tech to continue my education, when requesting transcripts, the website said there was an error, but didn't direct me to talk to the Registrar. After failing to get my transcripts for the third time (for the same, non-descript error), I called in December and they told me that I needed to pay $716. I looked through all the emails that I have received and I did not receive any notification. I did not receive any notification via email, snail mail, or by phone. They told me they forwarded my account to collections already. I told the college that they did not notify me. I told them I have no problem paying the amount due. I asked the lady to talk to her boss, and she said she would have them call me. I hung up and did not receive a phone call from them. They simply turned my number over to the connection agency and I received a phone cal from the collection agency the following day telling me they just received an updated phone number and address. I got my first letter from the collection agency three weeks after that phone call. The collection agency or school wants me to pay $180 more in collection fees plus the $716.25. The college never gave me the opportunity to pay the fees, because they never notified me.
I want the college to pull my account from collections, verify amount due and bill me for the correct amount which is $716.25. Then allow me to pay it.
I also want them to correct their billing process and give students adequate notice before charging off their accounts.
The assertion that the debtor student was unaware of the debt until December of 2015 is incorrect. When the student withdrew from courses, this reduced the Federal financial aid she qualified for by $716.00. The bulk of her balance is because she received a refund check. The debtor student called the College's Valparaiso office late July/early August and spoke with an Account Specialist. After becoming upset when the Specialist explained that she had a balance due, she ended the call. Furthermore, according to our records, the debtor student was sent a pre-collect email on 10/07/15 from the collection agency (e-mail address redacted). A physical letter was mailed to (address redacted) on 11/9/15. It was returned 11/10/15 as she left no forwarding address.
A debt collector called the debtor student on 12/15/15, not realizing she was in (state redacted). The debtor student verbally berated the collector. The collector then skip traced her and found her new address: (redacted). Since (state redacted) is a closed border state and the collection agency was not licensed to collect there, the collection agency sent the account back to the College.
The account was then forwarded to a different collection agency, which accepted the account on 1/14/16. The debtor received a letter from this agency in January.
The debtor student has known that she owed this balance since July/August of 2015, not December 2015 as she alleges. Furthermore, even if the College sent the account to collections without reaching out to the debtor student first, there is nothing in the Fair Debt Collection act prohibiting that action as the College was not contractually obligated to provide her with any such notification. The debtor student is trying to give herself rights the law simply does not provide for her. The College was never under any obligation to notify, consult, or negotiate with her prior to employing a collection agency to recover the $718.00 we sent back to the US Department of Education on her behalf.
The College will maintain the account with the collection agency and sees no reason to change its policies or the status of this debt.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I do not accept their response for three reasons.
The first reason. The original amount was $2865. Due to active duty military orders, the classes were dropped before the deadlines. The original amount was incorrect, so I had to submit a waiver to have the classes that were not taken removed from my account. Once I submitted the waiver request, without me being notified, the new amount was $716 and it was backdated to show January 20, 2015. I was never made aware of this debt.
The second reason. We knew our new address before we moved and I updated the schools records with the new address. On top of that, I spoke to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. She emailed me and she also mailed the "Refund, Balance Waiver or Exception to Academic Policy Request form" in April, to my new address. July 23rd, I talked to her again and she told me the amount would be recalculated. I checked my account and at that time, there was no amount due. Since I gave her my address in April, I have not moved. I never received a phone call to pay. I never received a precollection letter or email. I have no problem paying what is due, I have never been given the opportunity to pay.
Third reason. The school has told me the debt is $716. The debt collectors stated the amount due is $895. The school says I owe $716. The debt collector says the school said I owe $895. I disputed the debt with the debt collectors and they told me I need to dispute the amount with the school. The school says I owe $716.
Please keep in mind that the collector never did a 'skip trace'. I never received a precollection notice. I was trying to get my transcripts to enroll in school again. Over the period of a few weeks, I kept getting an error that said the system was down and to try again later. I was getting closer to the deadline for enrolling in school again and I needed my transcript. So I called and spoke to the lady in the Business Office in December and I found out that I owe money and that is why I could not get my transcript. I gave her my phone number and address. The phone number has not changed from before I started going to school. The address has not changed since I updated it in April. She told me that she would have her boss call me. She didn't call me back. Her boss did not call me. The creditor called and told me my information was updated by the school. I was never given the opportunity to pay.
I want the school to take the amount out of collections and let me pay the $716.