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"School District" overpayment from 4 years ago - Ca.

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  • "School District" overpayment from 4 years ago - Ca.

    Two months ago, I received a letter from ****** School District that in my final paycheck, I received an overpayment 4 years ago (August 2008) in the amount of $4000.

    The letter was from an attorney and I contacted her to clarify how I owed them so much money. After receiving another letter describing the overpayments, I don't know what to do. I stopped working that summer to spend time with my family and I haven't been able to work since, especially now that teachers are the last people getting hired with all of the cutbacks.

    I have no income, lost my house last year, have little savings and live with my family. I am not trying to evade payment but I just don't have this money anymore (and as an aside, can't believe they waited this long to contact me).

    The letter stated they were going to obtain a civil judgment and have it reported to my permanent record if I don't pay them right away. What are my options? Do I have any protections after all this time?
    Last edited by Betty3; 07-15-2012, 10:10 PM. Reason: remove name of employer from title/add state

  • #2
    Das ist in der Doktor!

    An Attorney would be better able to advise you on what your options are and any protections you may have.
    I'd strongly urge you to speak with one soon.

    ..______________
    ~ Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit extorted by force to some,
    at the expense of others.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agreed on talking to an attorney. I can give you some "soft" advice, but free advice in this case should be worth what you pay for.
      - A four year delay in contacting you just means that they recently found out about it. Probably as a result of an audit and probably you are not the only person with such an issue since the audit was unlikely to pick out a single error made four years ago. Likely someone thought there was a more general problem prior to audit being made. Random audits of old records on the off chance something would be found are very unlikely. Old records are audited because someone is looking for money from recoveries, not because they are bored.
      - Do you actually owe the money? Someone saying you owe money does not make it true. But if you actually owe the money, then if this goes to court, you will likely lose.
      - Someone saying they will take you to court does not always mean that they will. Talk is cheap. Lawyers are not. Court actions cost money. And even if they win, you might be "judgement proof". No assets or income.
      - HOWEVER sending the debt out to collections is cheap. Giving it to some collection agency in exchange for 1/2 of any possible recovery costs the debtor nothing. Putting the notice of a bad debt into your credit history is a very real threat, especially since it does not actually require any proof that you really owe the money. It is difficult to completely remove the collection effort from the credit history, especially since you apparently actually owe the money. I have been on the other side of these things, and my employers needed a significant possibiity of collection to go to court. Not just winning the judgement but having income/assets to collect the judgement. But sending out debts to a collection agency was pretty much a no-brainer. It worked or it did not, but from the employer's standpoint, the worst case possibility from sending out a debt for collection (no recovery) is the same as the best case possibility for just writing off the debt. Past that, you are taking a governmental employer at a time governmental employers are in deep financial doo-doo. It is likely not possible for them to just write off the debt.
      - If you really have no ability to pay, your options are VERY limited. You cannot pay the debt. You cannot make the debt or the collection go away, short of bankruptcy. Which is a lot harder then it used to be, and really is a talk to an attorney issue.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

      Comment


      • #4
        If they would get a judgment against you & you currently have no income/assets to collect from, a judgment is good in Ca. for 10 yrs. (& renewal for another 10 yrs.). It's possible you might in the future have income/assets they can seize/collect from.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

        Comment


        • #5
          I removed the name of the employer but left the type of employer as that is relevant. As it is a public sector employer, if you owe the money, I would expect to have to repay it. Forgiving the overpayment is not an option for your employer even if they were so inclined. It isn't "their" money it is public/ tax money and it must be accounted for. I would suggest working out a payment plan. That tends to go much better than letting it go to collections or court. Most employers are willing to work with you and accept a little money back over time, rather than deal with collections and court.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
            I removed the name of the employer but left the type of employer as that is relevant.
            You removed name of employer from post. I also removed employer from title of thread & added "school district" & state of Ca.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks. I can't alter the titles for some reason.
              I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                Thanks. I can't alter the titles for some reason.
                "Maybe" you have to be a super moderator. I was able to do it anyway.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                Comment

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