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Not paying off U.S. student loans

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Re: Not paying off U.S. student loans

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 04 May 2012, 08:49

Teddoman: You keep missing the point, and I really have to assume that you're just trolling. I'll spell it out one more time for you though.

Someone signs a loan contract. The bank does not break the conditions of the contract. The person who took the loan defaults. The person defaulting is the one who has done something wrong.

Someone signs an employment contract. The employer breaks the conditions of the contract. The employee quits. The employer is the one who has done something wrong.

Also, if you actually knew my story regarding Hess, you'd know that I was willing to pay the contract breaking fee (about 20,000NTD) if they were willing to pay me the overtime they'd coerced out of me (80,000-100,000NTD in my estimation, based upon my time cards). They didn't want to go for that though. They were shocked when we had the CLA arbitration and the CLA requested time cards and I made that offer.

Anyway, I know you're not serious about this.
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Re: Not paying off U.S. student loans

Postby Impaler » 04 May 2012, 09:47

silmanor wrote:The biggest irony of this thread is that I have spent my entire life working, since I was 14 years old, and these flamers are talking to me like I'm some sort of deadbeat baby murdering welfare moocher. I worked the entire time I was at college, to pay for my living expenses. And now, I am pulling 50+ hour workweeks, including transportation time - but still, I can't pay off everything I owe without condemning myself to live in a cockroach trap with dirty childish foreigners. I have not worked my whole life to live like that. Simply ain't gonna happen, if there's anything I can do about it.

Well, there was something you could have done about it -- majored in something useful and spent your time productively, as opposed to going out and getting baked and trashed every night and majoring in partying. But you chose to live a Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous on borrowed money -- and you did it in the dumbest way possible, by taking out student loans as opposed to running up your credit cards or begging a signature loan -- and now the bill is coming due.

Oh well, sucks to be you!
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Re: Not paying off U.S. student loans

Postby Teddoman » 04 May 2012, 09:59

GuyInTaiwan wrote:Teddoman: You keep missing the point, and I really have to assume that you're just trolling.

I didn't realize disagreeing with you = trolling. Pardon moi for "trolling" (translation: disagreeing). I think you're just too convinced of your own argument to even see how I've answered pretty much everything you've said. You look at your Hess situation as completely black and white, with you being the good guy. And you look at the OP's situation as him being the bad guy. And you can't imagine how it could be interpreted any other way.

As I've said many many times already, neither your nor the OP's situations are as black and white as you have convinced yourself they are. Which is the whole point about the hypocrisy this thread has generated. All the critics like you conveniently label themselves good guys in their own situations, and then turn around and label other people as bad guys because when it's someone else's situation, they have nothing personal at stake. That is pretty much the definition of subjective biased self-serving behavior.

You can't imagine how you could be painted a bad guy in your situation with Hess. I've read your Hess thread. The way it looks to me, you look pretty damn filthy charcoal gray in your situation with Hess, just like the OP is no hero himself.
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Re: Not paying off U.S. student loans

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 04 May 2012, 10:09

Teddoman: Absolute nonsense. Hess broke the contract first. Plain and simple. This is standard operating procedure at lots of buxibans here. I wasn't the first to complain about it, and I won't be the last. I was simply one of the few who stood up for myself. Buxiban employees are typically on hourly wages. The Hess manual (to which the contract referred) stated 20 minutes of unpaid overtime per two hour class. However, when I tried to do the 20 minutes only, I was reprimanded. Everyone knows that because they can cancel your ARC and you will then have to leave Taiwan, they have immense power over you in this regard. They want to pay hourly wages, but get free time out of you, despite the fact that they stated 20 minutes only. That's changing the rules of the game as they go along. I didn't change any of that. I was willing to do my 20 minutes. Where else do you know of that pays people an hourly wage, but demands free overtime? In whose world is it okay to adjust that free overtime arbitrarily? That's the whole point of it being a wage -- everyone knows where they stand, except Hess wanted to know exactly where they stood (having their cake and eating it too), but didn't want anyone else to know where they stood (except to know that if they didn't toe the arbitrary line, they were out of the country). I'm not talking about a salary here, but a wage.

I also don't just stand up for myself. I support others, be they English teachers or domestic helpers, in not getting screwed by people arbitrarily changing the conditions of their contract and holding their ARCs over their heads like swords.

What part of defaulting on a loan don't you get? The banks didn't change the conditions of the loans. If they had, that would have been/would be a different matter.
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Re: Not paying off U.S. student loans

Postby ironlady » 04 May 2012, 10:18

If you are 18, and you sign a loan paper, you are legally an adult. You are responsible for what you borrowed. Conditions in Taiwan are such that any yahoo with a pulse can pay back loans if they want to. What most of the defaulters don't want to do is postpone pleasures in favor of spending their income meeting their obligations. When you truly don't have food to eat in Taiwan, THEN you can think about defaulting on loans you owe.
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Re: Not paying off U.S. student loans

Postby Teddoman » 04 May 2012, 11:28

GuyInTaiwan, your case with Hess is a legal case. And as any lawyer can tell you, there are a million ways to skin a cat. So when I hear all of your arguments about the Hess case, I just think about it more from the big picture, which is, yes that is one legally plausible way to look at it. But in reality, whether you like it or not, it might not play out that way in actual court. Do you know Taiwanese case law? I mean, for all we know, there is case law for teacher grading to be equated with an arbitrary amount of out of class time even though in reality it fluctuates. Or maybe a Taiwanese court would have a different cultural perspective on teaching jobs and say, of course teachers have to grade. Or maybe a Taiwanese judge doesn't like foreigners and rules against you because he's a racist. Law is interpreted by courts. Reading Taiwanese labor laws gives you a plausible case, but that's it. You are totally convinced because it's your case. But what plaintiff or defendant isn't totally convinced of their case? That's exactly why they have court: to resolve cases that people can't resolve themselves.

I look at your Hess case and see a guy with a counterclaim. Fair enough. Well, Silmanor has all kinds of plausible counterclaims and defenses too. See all of my arguments about how educational debt of such scale, permanence, and non-dischargability in bankruptcy is unfair for a wide eyed 18 year old. Would he win on any of these arguments? I don't have the faintest clue. Just like you, it's just a legal case with all kinds of plausible arguments.

But morally? Morally, you came to Taiwan the same way every other Hess teacher comes to Taiwan. The Hess website says in black and white that you have to do unpaid work. The Hess manual's reference to 20 minutes of prep? C'mon, you'd never read the Hess manual until you were prepping for litigation. You're going to go all legal on me about what the contract says or what the labor laws say, but none of these things factored into your decision to come to Taiwan and work for Hess so from a moral point of view they are irrelevant. Who goes into teaching and thinks they're not going to grade or do school activities? And doing extra unpaid work is something teachers all around the world do. And you should have known that there might be different cultural and corporate expectations of you in a new country with a new employer. Hess gives new teachers a chance to start out in a strange new foreign country without any worries by attaching themselves to a known chain with an international recruiting program. At the end of the day, you were unsatisfied with the Hess experience. And what pretty much anyone who has gone through Hess is told is that if for any reason you are unsatisfied with your Hess experience and want to cancel, then you have to pay the cancellation penalty.

So you're digging your heels in on a LEGAL case that you can make, which I agree is plausible, a legal case which you built after getting fined, and after you already left Hess. But morally? After Hess did the hard part of helping you transition to a strange foreign land and its customs and people, after pretty much giving you the teaching experience that you probably expected, you figured out you could be paid better locally and you wiggled out of your contract so you could achieve that.

Hey, I'm all for that, if that's what you needed to do. Just like I'm all for Silmanor figuring out what he needs to do. But let's go easy on all the moral judgment getting thrown around here.
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Re: Not paying off U.S. student loans

Postby Kea » 04 May 2012, 11:50

GuyInTaiwan wrote:I also don't just stand up for myself. I support others, be they English teachers or domestic helpers, in not getting screwed by people arbitrarily changing the conditions of their contract and holding their ARCs over their heads like swords.

This is absolutely true, GuyInTaiwan is a helpful and interesting person.

Anyway, I have previous experience of teaching on this beautiful island, and almost always was expected to put in unpaid marking/overtime work of 5-10 hours a week. Teachers' rights suck here. Why, a school can fire you without notice, cancel your ARC on the spot-forcing you to leave TW within 10 days, and get away with it at the Labour Bureau by merely saying that the teacher was 'unprofessional'. You have recourse if you are quick and smart, but many don't know how to respond. If you teach for a buxiban in TW, always CYA.

I haven't read much of Teddoman's posts, too wordy.
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Re: Not paying off U.S. student loans

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 04 May 2012, 12:20

Teddoman: No, it wouldn't be open to interpretation. The reason is because the actual matter of unpaid overtime wasn't left deliberately nebulous, in which case you might have a point. However, because they actually specified an amount of time both verbally and in writing, they should be held accountable to that.

As for whether I read the manual or not before this, that's a completely asinine point. I did, not least of which because they went through it with us, page by page, which was also in line with what I was told verbally both before and after coming to Taiwan. This was not just a case of me not doing due diligence, or being unable to make an informed decision. I was actively lied to. In cases where people have been actively lied to about the terms of their loans, then those people also have complete justification for their complaints about the lenders involved.

Also, "teaching" as you refer to it with Hess is not teaching as you make it out to be. This is another asinine point of yours. Firstly, I was prepared to do unpaid work. Secondly, you ask who goes into teaching not thinking they'll have to do unpaid work? Maybe people who realise they're on a wage. "Normal" teaching, the kind that also involves unpaid work, as has been the case with my previous jobs and jobs since, is salaried and also includes all sorts of other benefits, such as paid public holidays, not to mention a whole lot of other things. The argument that teaching for a buxiban should incur the penalties of a salaried job, but none of its benefits is absurd.

The cultural argument is also nonsense since my current Taiwanese colleagues (and also those at other Taiwanese government schools) are on salaries, and do receive all sorts of benefits (such as sick leave, holidays, public holidays, typhoon days, etc.) in addition to their pay. They are indeed expected to do marking, grading, etc., but they have free periods built into their working schedule for that, and there are also provisions for them regarding overtime. My contract also has provisions in it for overtime. If you're going to talk about some sort of benchmark for education in this country, then why not look at what government teachers (foreign or local) get? Because their contracts do not in any way resemble a Hess contract.

However, Hess goes even further than that by deliberately lying about parts of this. The job is on a wage and has more in common with working at McDonald's in terms of the working benefits (though even McDonald's probably has better benefits). That's all fine, if everyone agrees to that up front, and then sticks to that. However, that simply isn't the case when working for Hess, who want to have their cake and eat it too. What I expected was for Hess to honour what it told me, both verbally and in writing, several times. You continually miss this point, which is why I believe you are trolling me.

This particular case of defaulting on the loan is completely different. The bank did not state A in the contract (e.g. interest rate conditions, period of the loan, etc.) and then change them to B at some later point.

As for people only being eighteen and not able to make decisions for themselves, either they are legally of the age of majority or they are not. If they are legally a major, then they are capable of doing so. If they still feel as though they are not capable, then they should either consult financial and/or legal advisors, or they should refrain from signing a loan contract. There's a reason why I don't engage in derivatives trading: I don't know a damned thing about it and am willing to admit such.
And you coming in to scold us all like some kind of sour-puss kindie assistant who favors olive cardigans and lemon drinks without sugar. -- Muzha Man

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Re: Not paying off U.S. student loans

Postby bigduke6 » 04 May 2012, 12:33

This thread is getting absurd.

It is simply the case of someone taking out a loan and looking for a way not to pay it back. It is nothing more than this.

It is not the "establishment/The Man/the exploiters of the working class/the 1% etc etc etc looking to screw the little guy. What utter rot. Lets not get paranoid.

I am against this for a simple reason. It is not a "victimless crime" as some make it out to be. As I have said before, someone will pay the money back eventually.

You have no right to pass your responsibility off to someone else. :no-no:
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Re: Not paying off U.S. student loans

Postby flike » 04 May 2012, 19:13

Black, white, and shades of grey: I get that. Sure lots of things are grey in life, BUT NOT THIS THING. The OP was an adult, with benefit of university training at the time of signing, and a college student who had options (unlike the OP, lots of US students switch from expensive private colleges to less expensive state schools rather than take out additional loans).

Pulling this guy's decision into the grey, even when it's clearly black or white (like this case), reduces the integrity and our esteem of any US citizen who ever paid off a student loan - or currently pays down a loan. Their efforts to rein in personal budgets in order to pay off student loans are minimized by the OP. In fact, given arguments made by the OP, some might say they're mocked (people who paid off their student loans are working toward the ends of 'the rich' and against the best interests of 'the masses', after all).

And what do we as US citizens get out of this deal, pulling the OP's situation into the grey? Why, we have a salved and soothed OP. :retch:

Sorry, but this guy's gag factor just goes up by the post count here.
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