A few years ago, I entered Drew. My father lost his job after that, and ended up having poor luck with other persuits. My mother quit her job and moved. My grades steadily got worse until my sophomore year, when they hit the lowest possible abd steadily rose from that point on.
Every semester, there would be some new agreement my father wanted to make. After my freshman year, my father wanted to have me pay him back for 25% of my sophomore year, 50% of my junior year, and 75% of my senior year. I was perfectly ok with this, and agreed to it. He kept on saying that he wanted to have it written up as a document for us to sign and stick to. He never got around to it, and I wish he did.
After my Sophomore year, he and my stepmother really tore my head off for my grades. They finally agreed that they'd loan me the money for Drew, but only if I found a way to pay for the next semester AND improved my grades. Once more, my father talked about getting it in writing, and never got around to it.... Once more, I should have insisted that he follow through with his threat, for he fell back on that one as well.
I found loans for my junior year's fall semester. I took my spring semester, having brought my grades up quite a bit to a damn respectable level, assuming that the deal was in place and Drew was paid for. I didn't find out that it wasn't paid for until I went to room picks and got told I owed $14k+. It all fell apart after that.
The situation steadily worsened at home, and a selfless wonderful Catholic priest took me in. I found a local job, and got a job at Drew - which I still loved. I moved in with a friend, sharing a cramped single, for a while. I moved into the radio station where I was general manager for a while. Finally, I squatted in my own office for a time, as my office building was a former dorm house. Eventually, I got an offer to sublet a place nearby for the summer with two alumni who I managed the Pub with. After that, I got offered my present domicile. I still haven't talked to my father, though this year I sent him a Christmas card and intend to send presents and open dialogue for his birthday, if not sooner.
Forget about any bitterness, rift, or shit between me and my father. Take him out of the picture for the time being, for I was a fool and we were both pricks about money.
Drew contacts him for the Spring 1999 bill. He says he's not paying, to contact me. They try to find me, and fail, as I've up and gone. Once I start working at Drew, they contact me, trying to get me to pay the bill. I get a letter from a collection agency. I get a call from the collection agency. They refuse to believe that I can't get a loan from the bank or have a credit card that can pay the $14k plus or even a grand to help things.... I have no credit, I'm in DEBT and I can't pay off said DEBT due to my lack of credit. I tell them I will pay, but can't make a large payment. They suggest I get a loan. I ask every bank in the nearby area, including the bank I've used for years, for a loan. Noone is willing to let me have one, obviously. But the collection agency stops calling. Drew threatens me with a lawsuit in mail. A police officer shows up at my door, and hands me the summons.
I explained this situation to a co-worker of mine, a well-informed chap, who suggested I talk to the president during his next open office hour. He saw three options. I could declare bankruptcy, which means that Drew would get pennies on the dollar. The court could order me to pay Drew off. They'd look at my income, my assets (an eleven year old car I haven't finished paying off and some Pokemon), my expenses (rent that comes up to half of my post-tax salary, insurance in the state where it's the highest - as a young male to boot, etc.), and order me to pay a paltry sum. Or Drew could work out a payment scheme where I pay them directly out of my paycheck... which would be the most beneificial to them.
I'm aware I'm in the wrong for not contacting someone at Drew. But how hard would it have been for one of them to pick up the phone and call me? The first human being I talked to about all of this was the collections agent, and the second person I talked to was the officer early this morning.
I'm not trying to skip out. I want to pay them back. I owe them money, and while I think that I got screwed on having to pay it, it is my responsibility. I'm a 3/4ths alumni, a staff member, and a lover of Drew. Despite the ways that they screw me. Repeatedly. I have an almost battered wife type relationship with Drew, according to a few of my friends. I get shit on, I get screwed, I drown.. and I love it all the same.