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Court lets ex-student off $50K loan hook

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A Canadian bankruptcy court ruled a Nova Scotia ex-student with bank loans worth $50,000 doesn't have to pay it back as the bank wasn't wise in issuing them.

Alfredo Abdo, now 23, took out the first loan worth $20,000 from the Royal Bank of Canada in Halifax in his second year studying engineering at Dalhousie University in 2004, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

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Despite having a grade point average of 4.06 and a scholarship, Abdo lost much of the loan through bad online investments, the court heard.

The bank then offered him a second loan of $30,000, which he took. After switching to commerce from engineering, Abdo told the court he began experiencing stress-related dizzy spells and he dropped out of school and couldn't find work.

He filed for bankruptcy a year ago and now lives with his mother, the report said.

Bankruptcy registrar Richard Cregan ruled against the bank's claims for at least a partial repayment.

"I question whether advancing all that money at one time was prudent banking on the part of RBC," Cregan said in a written decision. "It may also fairly be said that, at least in part, RBC is responsible for the situation."

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The bank hasn't indicated if it will appeal, the CBC said.

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