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Any advice - STA international - Student Loan - OUSBA

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Any advice - STA international - Student Loan - OUSBA

Post by leonie29 on Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:12 pm

Hi there,

I'm new here so don't know if this is the right place to post.

My problem is :

In October 2016 I took out a loan online from the sister company of the Open University, OUSBA for close to 7.5K (for 2 modules). The repayments were 500 Euro a month. After a few months my circumstances changed and I was unable to make those repayments. I arranged with OUSBA to pay a token payment of 60 a month until my circumstances changed.

My circumstances became increasingly worse. I had and still have, a lot of trouble with the Open University - namely they refused to grade my end of year work because it was submitted 3 days past the deadline. However, this was due to problems with the software provided by the OU. So I have been appealing this decision (and a number of other issues that I have had with the OU) for the last 6 months. It has meant that I did not receive my degree. It has been extremely stressful and has impacted negatively on my health as well as resulting in a loss of earnings.

Given all this I was unable to make one of the token repayments at the beginning of November, but paid it by the end of the month.

In January I received a letter from OUSBA which was dated the 23rd December 2017. In this letter they refer to a Default Notice from the 25th November 2017 (which I did not receive) and said that they were terminating the agreement. The last of my payments however was on the 21st December 2017 (2 days prior to this letter). I wrote to OUBSA explaining the situation and asking that they revise the termination. That I wished to continue to the token repayments until the situation changes. I told them that I could provide a letter from doctor and also proof that I am currently unemployed as well as ongoing case with the OU. They wrote back simply saying that the agreement has been passed onto their legal agents, STA International and I need to contact them.

A few days later I start receiving calls, SMS messages, emails and letters from STA International that state I must pay the rest of the loan, 6.5K, in full and I must respond to them within 14 days. I am extremely nervous about this (I suffer from anxiety and the stress of dealing with the numerous issues with the OU has significantly intensified my condition - I receive weekly professional help with it) I do not have this money, as mentioned above, I am currently unemployed and struggling to make ends meet as it is.
I don’t want to make any mistakes in dealing with this though. Can anyone advise me on how best to deal with this situation.

Can STA take me to court? What’s the worst that can happen?

I am truly at my wits end after all of this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks
Leonie

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Re: Any advice - STA international - Student Loan - OUSBA

Post by Tiggy on Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:58 pm

Well they could take you to Court for the full amount and get an order for payment in full, however, you could then apply to the Court for a Variation Order and offer a repayment plan based upon your circumstances, this could be as low as £1 per month.

I think that the best thing to do would be to write to them giving your personal circumstances, particularly stating any mental health issues you have and no income and offer them a token payment per month and freezing any applicable interest.

Remind them under FCA Rules that they should be showing forebearance to persons with ill health and in severe financial difficulty.

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Re: Any advice - STA international - Student Loan - OUSBA

Post by leonie29 on Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:27 pm

Okay. I'll do that. Thank you very much for your response.

Would it be STA international that would bring me to court or OUSBA?


From reading other threads I thought that only the organisation/company that originally owns the debt can bring you to court.

I would feel much better having this agreement of token payment with OUSBA again, rather than STA International. They have been very intense calling my phone throughout the day and send sms and emails on top of that. The manner in which they operate is really exacerbating my anxiety. DO you think it would be possible to write to OUSBA about this again requesting that. (I did make the token payments before I was just late with them)

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Re: Any advice - STA international - Student Loan - OUSBA

Post by daveiron on Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:31 am

It may be worth looking at it from another angle as well ,
Your work has not been graded etc. due to their inability to provide usable software etc & as a result they have not completed their part of the contract.

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Re: Any advice - STA international - Student Loan - OUSBA

Post by actinglikeabanker's Ghost on Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:11 am

Hey,

See 'Harassment Protection from Harassment Act 1997' in this thread := http://goodf.forumotion.com/t655-making-an-employment-or-similar-claim-legislation-that-may-help-you

Second page last post.

For 'Protection from harassment' to be an option then you would need to contact them (in writing) and make them aware of their treatment and how it is effecting you. If you decide to follow this route then send it to the top of the food chain as they will then become vicariously liable should the treatment continue.

Some reading on fair treatment, section 'CONC Consumer Credit sourcebook' := https://www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/CONC/

These are all separate issues so if you feel up to it then it is possibly worth following all avenues.

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Re: Any advice - STA international - Student Loan - OUSBA

Post by Tiggy on Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:26 am

@leonie29 wrote:Okay. I'll do that. Thank you very much for your response.

Would it be STA international that would bring me to court or OUSBA?


From reading other threads I thought that only the organisation/company that originally owns the debt can bring you to court.

I would feel much better having this agreement of token payment with OUSBA again, rather than STA International. They have been very intense calling my phone throughout the day and send sms and emails on top of that. The manner in which they operate is really exacerbating my anxiety. DO you think it would be possible to  write to OUSBA about this again requesting that. (I did make the token payments before I was just late with them)
STA are acting as their agents, so unless the debt was assigned it would be OUSBA. You can write direct to them but I suspect they'll simply refer you back to STA.

If you have a complaint regarding the quality of the course then that has to be made to the Course Provider not to the finance provider.

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Re: Any advice - STA international - Student Loan - OUSBA

Post by leonie29 on Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:28 am

Thank you for your replies , I really appreciate it.

@daveiron, that is something that I am hoping to address with the OU through the appeals process (that has gone on 6 months now) If they decide again in this round of appeals to uphold the decision not to grade my work then I will have to take further action with regards to them not providing the service they promise (faulty software) and getting a refund or the likes. Then I can pay the debt that way. But it is a lengthy, soul destroying process and I am just trying to manage this the 'debt' side in the meantime. OUSBA state that they are a separate (sister) company of the university so it's as Tiggy says, the breach of contract with the university does not affect the OUSBA student loan.

@Tiggy, you are right in that OUSBA will refer me back to STA. They did this already I was just wondering if it would be worth trying again. Maybe asking why they terminated the agreement when I had paid the token payments but that I was just late (given the circumstances and offering to provide medical certs and other proof)

@ Actinglikeabanker Thanks for this, it may well help me out .. I will look into it further now. Thanks a lot!!

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Re: Any advice - STA international - Student Loan - OUSBA

Post by Tiggy on Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:54 pm

Unfortunately, you had breached the contact terms as soon as you stopped paying in full and they were entitled to default the agreement then (or possibly after two full payments were missed - depends on the contact terms). They would argue that they showed forebearance by not terminating the agreement there and then.

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Re: Any advice - STA international - Student Loan - OUSBA

Post by leonie29 on Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:01 pm

Thanks Tiggy.

So you suggest that I contact STA and try to make an arrangement re token payments with them ?

(still reading up/trying to get my head around the stuff Actinglikeabanker sent )

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Re: Any advice - STA international - Student Loan - OUSBA

Post by Tiggy on Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:09 pm

No, if you're going to contact anyone go straight to STA, tell them your problems and that you wish for all correspondence to be in writing as the constant calls are affecting your mental health and well being.

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Re: Any advice - STA international - Student Loan - OUSBA

Post by Ausk on Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:49 am

"A few days later I start receiving calls, SMS messages, emails and letters from STA International that state I must pay the rest of the loan, 6.5K, in full and I must respond to them within 14 days."

This is where you need to be imaginative and creative in the negotiation skills.

At the end of the day, they want their money, and the cannot ever realy afford to let anyone off the hook because form their perspective if they let one there will soon be more.

You want your degree. They know that if they insist in defaulting you and taking you to court, they get little out of that at the end of the day because you cant pay. Turn this wekness into a strength by pointing out to them that if they cut you off they will get nothing at all. Remember, for them a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.

As I see it you have strong negotiating poisition if you chose to, for example, suggest that they mark your papers etc and continue on as before but they can withhold your degree unitl a payment plan is agreed upon and arreas are made up. In other words you will keep paying what you can afford for so long as they do not trash your work and your degree.

Of critial importance here is communciation. If you can get a deal along the lines outlined make sure you keep them updated on any changes that impact on your ability to pay and stay positive in your communications with them and they will start to trust you sooner and later and this is the key for a successful outcome for you.

besta luck

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