To keep this as short and simple as possible I will only provide relevant details and be as anonymous as possible.

I’ve been talking to a former University about an issue (hold on my account) for the past few weeks (about a month probably).

I have not been able to come to an agreement with the University. They have given me two options about my issue but I’ve declined as I’m seeking for a better solution for myself (and I cannot afford the options they’ve given).

Most recently, I’ve emailed very high up officials and received an email stating, “no more conversations will take place about this issue. You must pay the full hold.” (I paraphrased). I only emailed these high up officials once and received back this one email.

I have since emailed back stating I would like to continue and have a solid argument about kind of solution I’m seeking (so now a total of two emails sent to them).

So can a University tell me they will no longer talk or work with me? Is this actually legal?

Edit: As to provide more details here are some.

I have this hold because I applied for a private student loan to use for the one semester only. The University changed their policy to use loans for the entire year (Fall and Spring). I asked through a phone call if they could use my loan for the one semester only as I knew I would not be attending the next or any upcoming semesters. I was told they would do this. I have no proof of this phone call and neither does the university. (So that's where things fall apart on my end).

Fast forward a few months and I find out I still have this hold as the University representative never did as they said.

I know my chances of having this forgiven are essentially none, however I decided to shoot for it and come to a good compromise. They offered two options, both I cannot afford.

I don't want to go to a lawyer as obviously, I cannot afford one. The sum of money is less than $5K. I'm in the United States. I am essentially liable for the money. I know I cannot get away without paying it. BUT I have documentation from the University stating that a committee may look at my case and come up with an exception. As far as I know, they have not done so. It has simply been speaking to different University officials.

I really want to know if it is as simple as a University stating that they will no longer have conversations with me about this issue. It seems highly unethical.

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    If the sum of money involved is large enough, it is lawyer time. – Patricia Shanahan Aug 29 '16 at 15:47
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    They have given you several options. You don't like them. At some point, why should they keep bargaining? You owe them money, apparently, and not surprisingly they want it. Of course it is legal for them to wait for you to choose one of the options presented. Presumably they will turn it over to a collections agency at some point should you continue not to pay what you agreed to pay. – Jon Custer Aug 29 '16 at 15:47
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    From what you describe, the university is not refusing to "talk or work with" you. They are merely telling you that there is no more wiggle-room for additional options besides the ones that were apparently offered, as (from their point of view) this is the crucial message that has not yet gotten through. – O. R. Mapper Aug 29 '16 at 15:52
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    Most lawyers will agree to sit down with you without you paying them a penny. I AM NOT A LAWYER and I don't know how it is with universities, but usually you first file a complaint in the court, then there's a hearing in which the judge recommends the matter be solved through arbitration. This costs you nothing. If some form of settlement cannot be reached, then comes the trial. At this point, you would have to pony up for lawyers. I know this cause I went through something similar, though not with a university. Good Luck. – Lucif3r Aug 29 '16 at 17:17
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    Legal issues are off topic for this site. – Nate Eldredge Aug 29 '16 at 21:59

Apart from being legally compelled, they can chose not to talk to you. In the US at least, if you sue the university, they will have to talk to "you" (or a judge) or they will be in contempt of court. It is worth noting that if you sue the university and the court finds your suit to be frivolous you can be force to pay the legal fees of the university.

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  • Short of a suit, if the OP has a really strong legal case for not being liable for the money in question, a letter from an attorney stating that case may get a response. – Patricia Shanahan Aug 29 '16 at 16:00
  • @PatriciaShanahan of course there are a lot of steps one should take before suing. I was just pointing out that the university cannot legally ignore a law suit. Prior to to that, they can do whatever they want. – StrongBad Aug 29 '16 at 16:25

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