Can a company send my tuition reimbursement to collections?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a company send my tuition reimbursement to collections?

I owe my former employer around $7500 in tuition reimbursement for leaving the

company within a year of being reimbursed. Before I quit, I called and spoke

with HR and they advised me that they work with you on a payment plan and I

wouldn’t be responsible for paying it back immediately. After I quit, I received a letter stating I needed to pay it in full immediately. I have been emailing with HR and they offered me $1500 a month for 5 months which is way more than I can afford as a single mom. I wrote back and advised about my HR call and that I could do $315/month for 24 months. I sent my first payment last month. They still have yet to deposit my check and are telling me that if I don’t pay the full $1500 by the 9th, they are sending this to collections. Can they do this legally? This is going to ruin my credit. Our contract is very vague and does not state that it needs to be paid back in a certain amount of time. I’ve been trying to pay this in good faith but they won’t budge.

Asked on September 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

IF you have to repay it due to leaving employment too soon, as appears to be the case from what you write, they are entitled to all it *immediately*: the contract does not have to say that this is the case, since the law does (if you breach or violate an agreement and owe someone money, you have to pay it all at once). While they could voluntarily give you a payment plan or let you pay over time, this is voluntary--they don't have to do it. Therefore, if they are not satisfied with what you offer to pay, they can send the matter to collections  or sue you. It doesn't matter if you can't afford to pay it or not, or if it will ruin your credit--the law lets them insist on payment in full at once.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption