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Thread: Repayment of college fees

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  1. #1
    Corei5's Avatar

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    Default Repayment of college fees

    Hi, I'm looking for some advice. (wall of text incoming)

    I signed up for a college course at work, they would allow me day release but I had to work back the hours for free. Part way through the course my employer told me I would have to sign a payback agreement otherwise they would remove me from the course.

    A verbal agreement was made that if I completed the course to a high standard I would receive a pay rise to bring me in line with other people in my department

    When I completed the course, I was then told no pay rise was available. I figured if I didn't take action it would be the equivalent of wasting several years of my life so I chose to leave.

    They took me into a room and told me they would take the money from my salary which would have left me with nothing, I explained my personal circumstances couldn't allow for that so they made me a sign a new agreement to pay back monthly installments which I signed as I felt I had no option. I made several payments but my wife lost her job, I phoned them a few times and left messages but they never responded so I stopped paying (I couldn't afford to pay them) and that's pretty much where I am right now.

    Unfortunately they were very clever in how they dealt with it, all their communication with me was verbal but they insisted I respond via email so I know they have me over a barrel, I guess I just want to know is how enforceable is this agreement? And if I havent paid it by the agreed date can they take me to court for the full amount?
    Last edited by Corei5; 1st March 2017 at 04:25:AM.

  2. #2
    Sangie595's Avatar

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    Default Re: Repayment of university fees

    Quote Originally Posted by Corei5 View Post
    Hi, I'm looking for some advice. (wall of text incoming)

    I signed up for a university course at work, they would allow me day release but I had to work back 75% of the hours for free. Part way through the course my employer told me I would have to sign a payback agreement otherwise they would remove me from the course.

    As I had invested a year of my own time as well as working the hours back I signed it otherwise I felt the time was wasted. A verbal agreement was made that if I completed the course to a high standard I would receive a pay rise to bring me in line with other people in my department (I was paid around 10% less.

    When I completed the course, which I achieved a first I was then told no pay rise was available. I figured if I didn't take action it would be the equivalent of wasting 4 years of my life so I chose to leave.

    They took me into a room and told me they would take the money from my salary and remaining shares which would have left me with nothing, I explained my personal circumstances couldn't allow for that so they made me a sign a new agreement to pay back monthly installments which I signed as I felt I had no option. I made several payments but my wife lost her job, I phoned them a few times and left messages but they never responded so I stopped paying (I couldn't afford to pay them) and that's pretty much where I am right now.

    Unfortunately they were very clever in how they dealt with it, all their communication with me was verbal but they insisted I respond via email so I know they have me over a barrel, I guess I just want to know is how enforceable is this agreement? And if I havent paid it by the agreed date can they take me to court for the full amount?
    I am afraid that the agreement is totally enforceable (and the terms quite common), so yes - they can take it to court or hand it to debt collectors. I know that you feel that you had no options, but you did. You could have terminated the course before you owed them anything. You could have paid for yourself. You could have let them take the full repayment back. You could have stayed until there was no repayment due. Simply stopping paying, instead of sending them an alternative proposal and some token payments was unwise. Is this your only debt, or do you have others that you cannot manage? If you have a number of debts, then a debt management plan may be the way forward, and this debt would join other debts in that plan. Otherwise you really need to make them a formal of something - even just £1 a month - to demonstrate that your are trying.

  3. #3
    Corei5's Avatar

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    Default Re: Repayment of university fees

    Very easy for someone who understands these situations to say it's unwise but to be clear I made several attempts in the last 18 months since I stopped paying to contact them and had no responses to my voice mails.

    While I could have made token payments in hindsight, how would I know this was correct?

    I do feel an obligation to this which is why I'm asking, I'd rather not end up in court but surely they should be willing to speak to me to deal with it?

    Also the only point where I said I had no option was the part where I was leaving and it was either agree a payment plan or let them take my whole salary. Taking my salary was not an option otherwise I would have been in a very bad position

  4. #4
    wales01man's Avatar

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    Default Re: Repayment of university fees

    Write to them forget voicemail and email

  5. #5
    Sangie595's Avatar

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    Default Re: Repayment of university fees

    Quote Originally Posted by Corei5 View Post
    Very easy for someone who understands these situations to say it's unwise but to be clear I made several attempts in the last 18 months since I stopped paying to contact them and had no responses to my voice mails.

    While I could have made token payments in hindsight, how would I know this was correct?
    Oh, I'm sorry you weren't aware that debts have to be paid, and that it is unwise to not pay them.

    Or that it never occurred to you in 18 months to write to them, or to take advice before you stopped paying or allowed this to on for a year and a half.

    I thought that these sorts of things were known by most people, and therefore didn't warrant sniping answers because you don't like the response. I understand these situations just as well as anyone else, so I don't think it is unreasonable to believe it unwise to stop repaying debts, or that it requires any hindsight. I appreciate that your income had taken a hit, but you must surely realise that you still have to repay debts or make other arrangements.

    Why, if you haven't paid a penny of your debt in 18 months, have you suddenly decided that you need advice? Has something happened - like them threatening legal action? Because they have six years from the last time you acknowledged the debt to take legal action against you. So they have a lot of time left. Is this "agreed date" you refer to some type of deadline? It just seems odd that you are bothered about it out of the blue now if you were unaware that you had to repay it before now. If this is the case you need to explain what is going on, because it won't go away and you need to deal with it before you do end up in court and owing even more money.

  6. #6
    Corei5's Avatar

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    Default Re: Repayment of university fees

    nothing has changed at all, I just want to deal with the issue and understand what's going to happen if it isn't dealt with, the agreed deadline is actually at the back end of 2018. I was more concerned that I would end up with a court date despite trying to contact them.

    Thanks for the advice

  7. #7
    Sangie595's Avatar

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    Default Re: Repayment of university fees

    Quote Originally Posted by Corei5 View Post
    nothing has changed at all, I just want to deal with the issue and understand what's going to happen if it isn't dealt with, the agreed deadline is actually at the back end of 2018. I was more concerned that I would end up with a court date despite trying to contact them.

    Thanks for the advice
    I don't think you understand. You have breached the repayment agreement. Therefore they can take you to court now. They don't have to wait until 2018. You need to do something about this now. Leaving it only places you in a worse position, and more likely to end up in court.

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