Author Topic: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company  (Read 735 times)

MikeTheSalesman

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Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« on: November 04, 2018, 07:26:06 AM »
I finished my MBA in May of this year.  My old company gave me tuition reimbursement to the tune of $9,300 or so.  I signed an agreement that I would repay that amount if I didn't stay for two years.  In June I got an offer from another company that I couldn't refuse, even with the $9,300 repayment calculated in.  I left with the assumption that I was going to pay this back in full, even though my buddy with that company said that he "wouldn't be surprised if they forgot to collect, because he knows the process is very manual."  I kept my fingers crossed, but sure enough they sent me the letter 3 weeks later asking for their money back.  I obliged, and we set up a 12 month interest free payback plan.  I could tell the process was very manual because they didn't give me monthly due dates, they don't send me statements, there are no electronic payment options, and I'm mailing checks to some general HR mailbox on the other side of the country.  (My thinking is that it's possible the initial demand email is automated but the collection efforts just depend on the individual employee in the Corporate office checking up on it)

All that said, I mailed my first check, took a picture of it, kept a log of the check number, and set recurring reminders for the next 11 checks.  When I got the reminder for my second check, my first check had still not cashed.  They finally cashed it 5 weeks after I sent it.  I sent the second check, and after 6 weeks still nothing cashed.  This time, I HAVEN'T sent any emails asking about the status.  They are making it incredibly difficult to repay them.  I'm considering the pros/cons of just stopping payments, as I think it's 50/50 that they don't even notice and I can just move on with my life.  I'm not trying to weasel out of my obligations, but I'm not going to put in more effort to give them my money than they are putting in to let me pay them. (If that makes sense)

The one concern I do have, even if they don't notice, is that they will perform an audit somewhere down the line and send me to collections.  (The original demand letter did state I'd be sent to collections if not paid back). My credit score is over 800, and I really don't want to risk that over the $7,800 or so that I still owe them.  I've never been sent to collections before.  Obviously, if my company or collections came back down the line and said "we noticed we still don't have the money", I would send it.  If I was sent to collections, and I explained the situation, and paid them immediately, would it still ding my credit? 

Any feedback is appreciated!  Am I a dirtbag for even considering this?  I've never not paid a debt in full, and on time.  But I've also never had a situation with a creditor making it this difficult to pay them.

big_slacker

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2018, 07:34:47 AM »
Any feedback is appreciated!  Am I a dirtbag for even considering this?  I've never not paid a debt in full, and on time.  But I've also never had a situation with a creditor making it this difficult to pay them.

Maybe not a dirtbag, but it's not a smart move. Give them a call, don't rely on email.

JGS1980

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2018, 07:50:17 AM »
There's a hassle factor here you may not be truly considering. Why not just pay in full (if you can) and confirm receipt via email and phone, and be done with it?

Morally and contractually, you are obliged to pay. So pay it and get on with your life. Especially considering that MBA likely greatly contributed to getting you dream offer for the current job.

JGS

the_fixer

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2018, 07:50:22 AM »
How are they making it difficult?

Seems pretty straight forward they told you to send your payment to an address and have not bothered you about it.

Send your payments, keep track of the checks and request a paid in full receipt when paid in full.

You left knowing it was due and factored that into your decision.

You were hoping they would not request repayment and now that they are and some time has passed you are regretting having to pay and trying to justify it to yourself of why you shouldn't have to pay them.

Suck it up, you made the decision and now it is time to pay up..


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MikeTheSalesman

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2018, 08:01:15 AM »
Points well taken everyone. I’m still on schedule and haven’t stopped payments yet. Was just allowing myself to dream for a bit about hanging on to that money if they’d never notice. (Which they probably wouldn’t) But I do owe it so I’ll pay it...

MikeTheSalesman

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2018, 08:03:28 AM »
There's a hassle factor here you may not be truly considering. Why not just pay in full (if you can) and confirm receipt via email and phone, and be done with it?

Morally and contractually, you are obliged to pay. So pay it and get on with your life. Especially considering that MBA likely greatly contributed to getting you dream offer for the current job.

JGS

I have the money to pay now but it would dip into my emergency fund more than I’d like. And they specifically told me that if I don’t want to pay 100% then they’d rather get 12 equal payments. Since it’s interest free I’m sticking with that.

JGS1980

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 08:38:31 AM »
There's a hassle factor here you may not be truly considering. Why not just pay in full (if you can) and confirm receipt via email and phone, and be done with it?

Morally and contractually, you are obliged to pay. So pay it and get on with your life. Especially considering that MBA likely greatly contributed to getting you dream offer for the current job.

JGS

I have the money to pay now but it would dip into my emergency fund more than I’d like. And they specifically told me that if I don’t want to pay 100% then they’d rather get 12 equal payments. Since it’s interest free I’m sticking with that.

Calculate your personal rate per hour for "bookkeeping and confirmation" for the above payments for the remainder of the next 12 months. See if that is reasonable to you. If so, you're making the right decision. If not, might be worthwhile to resolve the debt entirely.

Let's say you value your own free time at $50/hour, and it takes 1 hour per month to resolve the above. That's $600 a year in time right there. This approach helps me settle these concerns in my own head, anyway.

Dicey

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2018, 09:09:57 AM »
Wait! On another thread you're asking about prepaying your mortgage. Now this question. The answer is obvious from any perspective. Deal with this first.

use2betrix

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2018, 09:29:16 AM »
Them not cashing your check is hardly “difficult.” What would be difficult is if no one was able to give you an address to mail the checks to, despite hours of phone calls to multiple people, etc.

If them not cashing the check is somehow so “difficult” then why not send a cashiers check or money order with certified receipt, so you know they’ve received it. Would cost a bit, but it seems like it might be worth your peace of mind.

I had a similar issue with my companies payroll. They had shorted my checks on several occasions so for some reason the payroll lady already hated me. Then, right after messing up like 3 checks in a row, they overpaid me by the tune of maybe $600. I told my boss, payroll, and one other manager. My boss said “sounds like a bonus.” When I brought it up to payroll, she had a huge shitty attitude about it and was “positive” it was correct. I don’t think she wanted to get in trouble for messing up again. After that, I felt I did my due diligence and let it go. I tried, laid it all out, and offered, and no one seemed to care. Oh well.

MikeTheSalesman

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2018, 10:03:31 AM »
Wait! On another thread you're asking about prepaying your mortgage. Now this question. The answer is obvious from any perspective. Deal with this first.

The decision on this was unrelated to the mortgage question. The repayments are already built into my budget and the extra mortgage or investments would be in addition.

Dicey

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2018, 10:46:09 AM »
Wait! On another thread you're asking about prepaying your mortgage. Now this question. The answer is obvious from any perspective. Deal with this first.

The decision on this was unrelated to the mortgage question. The repayments are already built into my budget and the extra mortgage or investments would be in addition.
My answer is the same. Deal with this first.

use2betrix

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2018, 01:31:41 PM »
Wait! On another thread you're asking about prepaying your mortgage. Now this question. The answer is obvious from any perspective. Deal with this first.

The decision on this was unrelated to the mortgage question. The repayments are already built into my budget and the extra mortgage or investments would be in addition.

Why not change the addition to paying back the money you owe?

MikeTheSalesman

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2018, 02:34:44 PM »
Wait! On another thread you're asking about prepaying your mortgage. Now this question. The answer is obvious from any perspective. Deal with this first.

The decision on this was unrelated to the mortgage question. The repayments are already built into my budget and the extra mortgage or investments would be in addition.

Why not change the addition to paying back the money you owe?

I am paying back the money I owe.  I've made 2 payments in two months.  The planned extra payments to the mortgage are above and beyond the $800 I'm paying each month.  It was never an either/or question.

Proud Foot

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2018, 03:40:19 PM »
For a few extra dollars a month why not send it certified mail so you can track it and see when they actually received it? If they don't want to deposit it right away then that's up to them.  Maybe also consider using a cashier's check from your bank for your payments so them waiting to deposit it doesn't create any issues with your cash flow.

SweetTPie

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2018, 09:12:48 AM »
I would continue sending payment via regular check and not contact anyone about it.  Take pictures and get a certificate of mailing from the USPS post office ($1.40) to prove that it was sent, and if they don't cash it, well, that's their loss* and your gain.  At least that way you'll have proof that you sent the checks.  Eventually the bank will consider a check too old to deposit (stale) but that depends on the bank.

*not real legal advice.  They may ask for payment again, but I'm not a lawyer.

jeff191

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2018, 12:52:39 PM »
I wouldn't stop the payments, just keep sending them on time and if they take their time to cash, that's on them. I'd make sure to keep the money in your accounts in case they cash them all at once.

A long time ago I left a company and had to repay a prorated portion of my signing bonus. I mailed them a check every month but for whatever reason, they never cashed one. Finished payments and didn't really think about it again until about 18 months later I got a certified letter from an attorney about that missed payment. Even though the company lost the check, I was still responsible for the payment. Made the payment and received a letter releasing me from further obligation. Never went to collections and so no impact to credit score.

Typically, collections isn't the first place you would be sent. It's usually in their best interest to contact you first. In your situation, I wouldn't go out of my way to contact the company, but I wouldn't stop payments either. The company I repaid is one of the largest financial services companies in the world but the repayment process was very manual and it often took 4-6 weeks for them to cash a check which seems similar to what you're going through now. I also never received any actual bills, just an initial agreement with monthly amount on it. Eventually they will realize it if you stop payments though.

fluxy

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Re: Tuition Reimbursement Repayment Situation - Old Company
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2018, 02:06:27 PM »
Look into amending your taxes to take education deductions/credits.  I had to pay back tuition years ago and was able to get some money back via taxes.  I don't remember the specifics.