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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I am 64 year old teacher. I have gone through my retirement

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I am 64 year old teacher. I have gone through my retirement money about 5 months ago and am looking for a teaching job as the school I was at let us go. I cannot get a job because the school I attended and paid cash (successfully) for will not release my transcripts because of an additional debt that occured almost 15 years ago. The private school sold my account for additional education to a collection agency. I have been talking to the school hoping to reach some kind of mutual agreement but have not been successful. The most they are willing to do is accept half of the original debt. They want 1000.00 immediatly with a 200/month payment plan which would last about 2 years. At this point I am living hand to mouth and do not have that money while trying to pay out of pocket medical bills, medication, etc. Without my transcripts I cannot work as an educator which is all that I know how to do. The transcripts are the property of the school, I understand that. But they sold my account, I was in collections for almost 8 years, I am elderly and this is not only an udue hardship, it is killing me slowly. I want to work. Can you help me understand what I should do next? Thank you.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer,

My name isXXXXX am a licensed attorney, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Can you tell me if you are alleging that you do not owe the debt?

Also, did you make payments when the debt was in collections that they are not accounting for now?

Finally, do you happen to have old versions of your transcripts you could use? Have you seen if a previous employer has a copy?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I paid cash in full for this debt and my graduate degrees before that to same school. I am alleging that I do owe them money, but not the amount they are asking for. They have warned me not to claim or allege that an employee might have taken it, but thats what I think as 15 years ago the way to make payments was in a box you dropped the envelope into.

I did not make payments. I have a good reason, but it is not a legal argument.


California does not accept copies, it must be an offical transcript which only the school can give me.

Hello Penelope,

Do they want you to sign a contract that would state that you would have to give them $200 a month.

Would they release the transcripts to you if you can pay $1,000? Can you afford that amount by any chance?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They did not want or suggest that I sign a contract.


They want 1,000.00 immediatly and 200/month for two years. I have gone through my retirement. No, I cannot afford that.

Thanks for the additional information. I'll look into this and get back to you shortly.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, Joseph.

Thank you. I'll be back with you soon.
Hello Penelope,

The one option that you would have would be to take your former school to court to sue them for the release of the transcripts based on your contention that you paid the entire bill 15 years ago (although I’m a little confused that you saw you admit that you still owe them money just not the amount that they allege you do).

That would definitely be a long shot, especially since the alleged debt started 15 years ago. It would also likely be more costly than the $1,000 up front payment I'm afraid too.

I’m afraid that you’ll probably need to pay the $1,000 in order to get the transcripts as they’ve requested even though you’re in an unfortunate Catch-22 situation, not being able to work until you get the records.

That said, I had asked if you could afford the initial $1,000 and if they will release your transcripts at that time. The reason I ask is if you got the transcripts that you need then, you could then worry about finding a job, and if you breach the $200 a month agreement after that, they would against have to file charges against you for breach of contract to recoup their money.

If that is really the only way you can get the transcripts to work then you may have to agree to their offer, knowing that you’ll be unlikely to comply with the agreement.

I hope the above information is helpful, although I realize it is not what you wanted to hear. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service.
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Thanks and best of luck!

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