KUTTAWA, KY — Students continue to fight back as their former university pushes for payment.
The defunct Mid-Continent University filed for bankruptcy several years ago. Now, it’s suing students for what it says are unpaid student loans.
Jenna Richardson is one of many students from whom the former university is demanding money. “To be honest, I don’t know if I trust what they’re saying is even accurate,” she says.
A sheriff’s deputy served Richardson with papers last week, saying she owes the school $13,600 in unpaid loans. “I have five kids. I work 60 hours a week. And $13,000 is not something that I can afford to pay back, especially when I went through what I went through with them —transferring schools, losing credits and spending more time retaking classes.”
Attorney Todd Farmer is well-versed in these types of cases. He says: “The worst thing you can do is do nothing. If, after 20 days, you do not respond, then the other side could move for a judgment against you.”
Farmer suggests contacting an attorney right away if you’ve received a summons and payment complaint from Mid-Continent University. He says it could help you save a lot of money in the long run.
“They may be able to file a counterclaim against Mid-Continent for damages, and they may be able to allege that they did not receive what they bargained for,” says Farmer. “In this case, these students bargained for an education at an accredited university, and they did not receive that. They could potentially assert that as a defense to owing Mid-Continent any money, because they didn’t receive what they went after.”
Richardson met with a family attorney, who helped her put together her response, denying she owes the school anything.
“I am going to keep fighting with all of the other students that were affected,” says Richardson. “We’re going to come up with some kind of solution.”
Richardson and other former students are banding together, using social media to share stories and offer advice. They’re doing this through a Facebook group called MCU Students Affected by Closure.
Local 6 reached out to University Spokesperson Tim Walker asking him where the money goes after a student makes a payment. We also asked him where Mid-Continent is getting the money to pay attorneys. He has yet to respond to either question.
West Kentucky and Tennessee Telecommunications bought the former MCU campus for $1.8 million. The company says it is planning to convert it into a technology park.