Hi, I recently graduated from the art institute of Austin. I am constantly being harassed for a balance I owe the school that I do not agree with. I was made an offer to pay off half of my debt and they would pay the rest. I asked for this in writing and never received it.
Now they are calling me at work, sending me various emails to pay off the debt. How can I get them to honor this agreement? They have threatened to send me to collections. What should I do?
The company that owns the Art Institute recently announced they would be closing a number of campuses but Austin wasn’t in the list. You can click here for more information.
As far as this debt goes, you can request the school to provide you with an accounting of the balance due. You can send the request in writing and send it registered, return-receipt requested through the USPS. Keep in mind, as long as the balance is outstanding they are probably adding interest to the balance.
While someone might have agreed to a 50 percent settlement of the debt, unless you get it in writing it really isn’t a valid offer. You can’t force them to make any offer. Settlements are an agreement between two parties and it doesn’t sound like they are offering up a valid offer in writing to consider.
Depending on the amount of the debt, it might make good sense for you to hire the services of a local attorney who has experience in consumer law. Look here for an attorney. The attorney will probably start by writing a letter to the school and asking for an accounting. Your request will get more attention.
The attorney could also act as a third-party between you and the school to negotiate a settlement in writing.
It seems to me it would be money well spent if the amount of your debt to the school is more than a few thousand dollars.