Operator of Trade Schools to Settle Complaint : Agreement: United Education and Software will pay $6.5 million to students who are owed refunds.

From a Times Staff Writer

A consumer-protection complaint against United Education and Software, a trade-school operator, has been settled, the state attorney general’s office said Tuesday. The agreement provides $6.5 million in credit for students who are owed refunds by the Encino-based company.

United Education operates Pacific Coast colleges in Santa Ana, Encino and Chula Vista, and Sawyer College of Business in San Diego. Its main subsidiary is operating under bankruptcy court protection.

Under the agreement, which is subject to bankruptcy court approval, the company must credit $6.5 million to the loan debts of students to whom the schools owe refunds. Students who have already paid their loan debts would receive cash reimbursements.


In addition, students who have other claims against the schools, such as for failure to provide instruction, supplies or equipment, may share in a $600,000 recovery fund, Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren said.

Students who have potential claims should submit bankruptcy claim forms before June 25. To obtain a form, call (213) 846-3547.

The bankruptcy filing was made in December, 1989, after a series of problems that included student loan-processing foul-ups, a federal audit of one of the company’s schools and a consumer-protection complaint brought by the state of California.

Students may seek additional payments from the California Student Tuition Recovery Fund if the school or course they were attending closed. Those interested may call (213) 897-9450.

United Education formerly operated the National Technical School in Los Angeles and Pacific Coast Technical Institutes in Van Nuys, among others.