Renton, WA asked in Federal Crimes, Contracts and Education Law for Washington

Q: Can I sue the gov. For giving me federal loans through an unaccredited college?

Ashford university 2012-2016 lost accred. About 1 month after enrolling. Never said anything to me.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: It is possible to sue the government for providing federal loans to attend an unaccredited college, but the success of such a lawsuit would depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Here are a few things to consider:

1. Borrower Defense to Repayment: If you believe that Ashford University engaged in misconduct or misrepresentation related to your education, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness under the Borrower Defense to Repayment program. You would need to demonstrate that the school violated state or federal laws, or misled you in some way.

2. False Claims Act: If the college knowingly made false statements to the government to receive federal funds, it might be possible to bring a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act. This type of lawsuit is filed on behalf of the government, and the person bringing the suit may be entitled to a percentage of any recovered funds.

3. Statute of Limitations: Be aware that there are time limits for bringing legal claims. The statute of limitations varies depending on the type of claim and the jurisdiction, so it is essential to act promptly.

4. Accreditation Status: You mentioned that Ashford University lost its accreditation about a month after you enrolled. It would be important to gather documentation about the school's accreditation status and determine whether the school or the government had a duty to inform you of the change.

Before proceeding with a lawsuit, it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney who specializes in education law or student loan issues. They can review the details of your case, advise you on the strengths and weaknesses of your potential claims, and help you understand the legal process and potential outcomes. Additionally, you may want to contact the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group for more information about your options related to your student loans.

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