If my previous employer cashes checks I send them for reimbursementoftuition expenses, does that consummate acceptance of my repayment terms?

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If my previous employer cashes checks I send them for reimbursementoftuition expenses, does that consummate acceptance of my repayment terms?

I signed an agreement to repay my former employer for any expenses for my MBA for the last 24 months before my last day. On my last week they told me I needed to pay it all at once, which was not stated in the agreement. I sent them a letter stating how much I could pay each month and I started sending checks which they have cashed. Now they hired a legal firm that sent me a letter demanding payment in full or they will sue me. Nowhere does it say I have to pay it all back at once.

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is *possible* that  you could establish that a combination that of you detailing how much you could pay in writing to them, and then them demonstrating acceptance of that amount or  payment plan by cashing the checks without complaint--ast least for a time--constitutes and evidences an agreement between you and them as to a payment plan. However, be aware that without something more explicit from them demonstrating or stating acceptance, that is an uphill battle for you--it is far from definite that you would prevail. That is because the debtor does not have the right to unilaterally determine how much he or she will pay, and when someone owes a debt, the creditor is generally allowed to accept partial payments towards that debt without compromising its abiltity to proceed against the debtor for the balance of payment. In most cases, therefore, the creditor cashing your checks does not, by itself, show that they accepted the payment plan and agreed to it; the fact you laid out the plan in writing helps, as does that they seemingly demonstrated acceptance of the plan for a period of time. However, as noted, it is far from definite that you can prove there was an agreement as to the payment schedule. Without an agreement, they can seek all the money at once.


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