Stop paying your student loans and debt collectors can send US Marshals to arrest you


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I’m all for student debt reform, but this fellow was arrested for not showing up in court, not for being in debt.


I don’t understand the person in the picture. Did they take their loan out from the mob?

I still am paying my loans and have done a terrible job paying them down, but their interest hasn’t been anywhere even in the same planet as that persons…


I think it’s pretty plausible he wasn’t properly noticed. The government, including the courts, often uses the credit-reporting bureaus to do their detective work. That works great when you’re pursuing a member of the middle class.

But poor folks generally don’t have much debt, because they don’t have much credit. If you don’t have a car loan or a mortgage or a credit card, they’re not very interested in you, and your address on file might be 20 years out of date. So the court can’t notify you there’s a suit and you don’t show up. Unfortunately for you, the cops have other tools at their disposal, and when they find you, you’re in a pile of trouble… because you’re poor.


WTF? No social security or medicare until the loan is paid off!? This is legal?


I’ve never had a student loan, but aren’t all the terms spelled out? I know it’s hard to read these contracts, especially when you are 18 years old. Still…


I feel the same way. Who offers loans whose principal increases when you “pay faithfully”?

The figures on that printout could be based on a misunderstanding, or deliberately misleading, or even an outright lie. But of course it’s equally possible that the lender in question is a criminally predatory horror show.


Everyone knows that the only way to motivate someone to not be poor and in debt is to give them fewer government services!


Gonna bet the second party bill-collectors terms with its fees and interest are NOT in the original loan document agreement.


Bah, the poor! To quote someone that the GOP/Tea Party seems to love (before his conversion to being a liberal).

“If they would rather die, . . . they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”


The problem for many people is that when they were receiving their student loans, not only were they irresponsible teenagers who likely didn’t know what they wanted to do with their lives, but they were also told by the generation before them that it was the only way to get an education to get a good job and they were also told (up to a certain point) that anybody with a degree could get a decent job and pay off their loans. So the loan terms that they might have completely read through weren’t the only thing influencing their decision to take on the loans. And that’s before they find out that they don’t like their major, they’re not good at college level math, or that they have ADD and hadn’t been diagnosed yet.


The student loan system is pretty broken, but I don’t have much sympathy for a someone who presumably finished an undergraduate degree and has such a poor grip of basic mathematics.


I haven’t gone through the procedural history – and IAAL – but I’m just saying it’s completely reasonable for a court to arrest you for an unpaid parking ticket if it’s gotten to the point that you are being non-responsive to repeated attempts to haul you in to deal with it.


so the claims of a new debtors prison is hyperbolic?


Nope, not hyperbolic.

Of course, a much lower percentage of student-loan recipients go to prison for unpaid debts than do those who haven’t paid other kinds of debts. I’m sure the fact that most student loan recipients are white has nothing whatsover to do with that difference.


I’m aware of some systems trapping you in prison with debt. I’m not so sure we have anyone in prison over student loans which is the topic at hand.


Well I think that a big part of the problem is the increasing requirement of a college degree these days. With the disappearance of a large union manufacturing sector which supported reasonable wages for people without college degrees, education has become something of a Red Queen race, with each generation required to get ever more of it just to get mediocre clerical or service sector jobs…Add to that the fact that tuition is rising at far higher than the rate of inflation or wages, and we have a system that begins to resemble debt peonage.


Yep. An associate degree is the new high school diploma. A bachelors degree is the new associate degree. A masters degree is the new bachelors degree. Et cetera.


If I had kids I would encourage them to pursue a trade instead of a college degree. Seems like a bachelors degree doesn’t go as far as a good hands-on skill these days. Plus an apprenticeship is a lot easier to manage than a $75k student loan debt. I went to college during the 1980s when Gordon Gekko and white collar jobs were the things we wanted and college was cheaper then. With today’s “maker” mindset, I’d think a lot of young people would appreciate perfecting a craft that would be profitable.


I live in a fancy-pants suburb of San Francisco and, both oddly and refreshingly, I’ve heard more than a few parents say that their high school seniors were either going to take a gap year and learn a trade before diving back into school, or were just going to make a play as a welder, electrician, etc. (One kid I know means to be an engineer, but decided he wanted to take time to become a machinist, first). These kids are smart – and smart enough to turn a trade into a damned fine business in a few years – my kids are 11 and 8 and I’m certainly keeping an eye open toward this very thing.