Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Loan Saga, Part 1

Our story begins in January of 2006. Spring semester started and like the majority of students Mr.3 needed a loan to attend school and to pay for other expenses (in our case, rent for the rest of the semester). Like the semester before he applied for a $15,000 loan from TERI, and like the semester before it was granted, and like the semester before the University of Utah's financial aid department messed up the dispursement. Loan checks for students who live off campus and are granted by a lender outside of the federal government are not subject to maximum limits. However, the stupid fuck who messed the dispursement up last semester managed to repeat the same exact mistake to the same exact person that he had gotten "written up" about.

Two weeks before our wedding we were notified that there was a problem with the loan check and that it would take a couple weeks to reprocess. The result of this news was me yelling out the window at the top of my lungs "Fuck!" in the cold January smog-ridden air. Our wedding depended on that money....or rather, the wedding depended on my tax refund and now that tax refund had to cover rent and bills as well as a wedding.

The week of the wedding we were told that they were still in the process of cutting the new check and it wouldn't be back for another week. Result: honeymoon was out (luckily my boss managed to pull an extra comp day out of a resort vendor we work with), the reception went from catered to a self-catered reception sponsored by Costco, the wedding dinner went from Aristo's to the Spagetti Factory. My paycheck went to paying extra wedding costs associated with entertaining visiting family instead of the bills.

We cut our wedding plans down to a third of what we intended---Mr.3 and I should get medals.

The week arrives of the loan check coming, but Mr.3 can't pick up the check unless he fills out paperwork that only someone-or-other has ...and the check is locked in someone's office....and that person is sick...blah blah blah. This situation of him trying to pick up his check goes on for over a week. Then we are notified that someone in the office was apparently doing their job and as the check hadn't been picked up...they followed protocol and sent it back to the lender.

Mr.3 complains, rightly so...and the complaints go through the financial aid administration, to the University's counsol's office, even to the President of the University's office. They apologized, said that they would get the check re-issued, and tried to get Mr.3 to sign a form stating that he wouldn't sue. He refused to sign until he had the check.

We contact the loan company about a week later and they notify us that the check has been sent to the University. We tried to contact the office of financial aid and everyone that we have been in contact with...only to be met by silence.

In the meantime, my meager paycheck is only making utlities and food....and a whole lot of creditors are calling wanting to be paid. After almost a month of not being able to reach anyone at the University who would say anything about the check, Mr.3 calls in a favor to a colleague of his (they work on a university think-tank on terrorism together) that works for the US Attorney's office. I hear of an additional loan that I can apply for and get it. The $4000 disappeared almost overnight in covering the two months of rent and credit card bills that we are behind on.

We hear good news at the US Attorney's Office, the University now has given the check over to them...then.......... our contact is transferred out of the country and our case and our check falls in-between the cracks for close to another month, with 2 weeks of that month being deliberated between the Utah US Attorney's Office and the Denver Regional Attorney's Office as to who would take responsibilty for the delay in getting the check to us. No one in Utah would take responsiblity as all of the lawyers in a position to couldn't because they had a teaching affliation with the University of Utah.

When we finally get the check, we learn the following:
1. The university did not want to accept that they had screwed up in the first place and since Mr.3 was unwilling to sign a form stating that he would not sue, the University tried to invalidate the check from being reissued, tried to erase Mr.3 as a student, and had an active policy that they were not going to give him the check....just like it was possible for a poor-student to forget about a $15,000 loan check...yeah, that's it...he won't remember....idiots!
2. The US Attorney's office was going to look further into the University's action to determine any criminal actions had taken place.

In any event, we finally had our loan check--which with fees taken out of it from the lender--was about $12,000.

On May 26, four months since this horror had all began, we deposited the loan check thinking that our problems had finally come to an end.

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