I have 110 credits at Brooklyn College but can’t get my transcripts released due to owing 10,000 (due to health problems!). They sent it to a collection agency, so I can’t even do a payment plan.
What do you advise? Should I fight the actual debt and pay a lawyer, would filing for bankruptcy help?
Apparently, this is a debt you owe Brooklyn College directly. They are withholding your transcript as collateral until the debt is paid. That is not unusual for colleges to do.
Just because debt has been sent to a collection company that does not mean a payment plan can’t be established if Brooklyn College has authorized them to do so. The college does not have to do so.
You can fight the school and attempt to negotiate with them. If you are not getting anywhere and need your transcript the irony is you can file bankruptcy to get it.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy would end the debt you owe the school so they can no longer hold the transcript. If you filed bankruptcy today you should be able to get your transcript in about 90 or so days.
Filing bankruptcy does not prevent you from applying for federal student loans in the future.
The bottom line here is if you can’t get anywhere with the school or collection agency and/or you need your transcript quickly, then filing bankruptcy would do the trick.
Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in NYC can be accomplished for around $1,500 if you shop around.
You may want to read my post How to Find a Great Bankruptcy Attorney for some tips on what to look for. Shopping by price alone is not the best approach. You also need to find an office you like and can work with.
So, filing bankruptcy is less expensive than the debt and you can rebuild your credit after the bankruptcy.