19 Apr My school won’t give me my transcript after bankruptcy
If you owe your school tuition and file for bankruptcy relief, your school might hold up your transcript or even your diploma. But not every debt for a school, college or university is a “student loan.” The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals – covering Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana – has just reminded us that a school cannot hold up your transcript or diploma if your bankruptcy case discharged a debt for tuition.
Student loans can’t be discharged in bankruptcy unless you face a substantial hardship. But money you owe your school, college or university for tuition is not a student loan.
The debtor, Kim Kuehn, was taking art classes at Cardinal Stritch University in Wisconsin. She couldn’t afford her tuition payments and ultimately filed a bankruptcy case. The school refused to release her transcript. The bankruptcy court ordered it to do so and required the school to pay her attorney’s fees and damages. The district court affirmed and now, the prestigious Court of Appeals has agreed.
Kim only is required to pay for the cost of her transcript and not the back-tuition payments which had been discharged. And since the school was unwilling to provide a transcript to her unless the tuition was paid, the court concluded that the school was violating her property rights under state law and could be punished for doing so.
Your bankruptcy lawyer can help you get a fresh start in many ways. So tell your lawyer about everything going on in your economic life. You may be surprised and pleased with the results.
Lakelaw helps people in bankruptcy cases in Illinois and Wisconsin.
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