here's how it works:
Ex-student off hook for $50K in loans
Bank partly responsible for debts, bankruptcy court rules
Last Updated: Thursday, November 19, 2009 | 11:08 AM AT Comments202Recommend93.
A Nova Scotia court has ruled that a former university student does not have to pay back tens of thousands of dollars he borrowed from a bank.
Alfredo Abdo won his case in bankruptcy court this week, with the court concluding that the Royal Bank of Canada was at least partly responsible for what happened.
"I question whether advancing all that money at one time was prudent banking on the part of RBC," registrar Richard Cregan said in a written decision.
Abdo was a promising engineering student at Dalhousie University in September 2004. He had good grades, a scholarship and lived at home with this family.
In his second year, at the age of 19, he borrowed $20,000 from RBC through a student line of credit. He made bad investments online, according to court documents, and he accepted an offer from the bank for another loan of $30,000 to solve his problem.
Abdo started having dizzy spells. Finding his engineering program very stressful, he switched to commerce. But he dropped out of university in his third year.
The dizziness and social anxiety never went away, Abdo said, and therefore he couldn't work or pay back the bank loans. He filed for bankruptcy last November.
RBC argued that Abdo shouldn't be let off of the hook.
The former student, who lives with his mother, represented himself in court during a hearing in October. He asked to sit down when presenting his case.
Cregan said he believed the young man suffers health problems and has no job prospects, and he questioned why the bank loaned the $30,000 when it didn't appear to be related to Abdo's studies.
"I take it simply to be a loan to an immature 19-year-old investor out of his depth to temporarily solve a financial problem. RBC took the risk," Cregan wrote.
Abdo, now 23, was discharged from bankruptcy and is no longer responsible for the loans.
It's not known whether the bank will appeal.