Skip to comments.Jailed for $ 280. The Return of Debtors' Prisons
Posted on 04/26/2012 7:39:45 AM PDT by ex-Texan
How did breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay end up behind bars? She didn't pay a medical bill -- one the Herrin, Ill., teaching assistant was told she didn't owe. "She got a $280 medical bill in error and was told she didn't have to pay it," The Associated Press reports. "But the bill was turned over to a collection agency, and eventually state troopers showed up at her home and took her to jail in handcuffs."
Although the U.S. abolished debtors' prisons in the 1830s, more than a third of U.S. states allow the police to haul people in who don't pay all manner of debts, from bills for health care services to credit card and auto loans. In parts of Illinois, debt collectors commonly use publicly funded courts, sheriff's deputies, and country jails to pressure people who owe even small amounts to pay up, according to the AP.
Under the law, debtors aren't arrested for nonpayment, but rather for failing to respond to court hearings, pay legal fines, or otherwise showing "contempt of court" in connection with a creditor lawsuit. * * *
"Creditors have been manipulating the court system to extract money from the unemployed, veterans, even seniors who rely solely on their benefits to get by each month," Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said last month * * *
Such practices, heightened in recent years by the effects of the recession, amount to criminalizing poverty, say critics in urging federal authorities to intervene. "More people are unemployed, more people are struggling financially, and more creditors are trying to get their debt paid," Madigan told the AP
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
They all should be thrown out of office by popular demand but they will not be because we no longer live in a free democratic republic. America has been turned into a fascist country where the political parties are an open joke and a sham and merely take orders from wealthy corporations and corrupt organizations like the CFR.
Not even "free political speech" is sacred anymore:
Nothing new here.
Since the early nineties, Debtor’s Prison has been in full swing should, for example, a divorced father get laid off who owes matriarchy suppor. . .errr I mean tax-free alimon. . .errrr I mean “CHILD” support and the courts take six months to determine if he, by some miracle, be granted a downward modification.
Meanwhile the original amount of CS continues to acrue resulting in instant arrears. Said father can easily lose his professional licenses including driver’s license and be thrown into debtor’s prison. Good luck getting a “father’s rights” attorney.
Misleading headline: Jailed for $ 280. The Return of Debtors' Prisons
They aren’t going to jail for not paying debt.
They are going to jail for not showing up to court.
“impossible for students to walk away from education loans”
What’s wrong with making that impossible? The rest of us have to pay our debts. Why exempt students, aside from strengthening the (D)o-nothing voter base?
Where was ABC News when a Democrat-run Pittsburgh suburb jailed a woman over $152 in unpaid local wage tax a couple of years ago?
Jeepers. Thanks for the ping!
Know a guy whose alimony/child support was set at an income he was earning when he was making great money as a builder. Since the bottom fell out, he still has to pay the same amount. Since he can’t, he spends his nights and weekends in jail.
Know another builder who got creamed in a divorce. Ex-wife brought him in front of a judge so he would pay an $800 doctor bill. “Judge, I simply do not have the money” “Doesn’t matter, sell some of your assets. You have 30 days to pay or else”
The problem was people fresh out of college had no assets and often little income. A newly minted pair of lawyers, for instance, with over $200,000 of student lones and earning well over $150,000 combined income, could simply file for bankruptcy and walk away from all that debt.
Clearly there were abuses.
No surprise here. My current “hubby” pays so much CS that he cannot possibly live on his own income. That’s where I come in to play. He is not in arrears but would be if not for my income. More and more states are changing family court laws to include the NON-CUSTODIAL stepparent’s income in CS calculations. And look the other way when first wife/biomom remarries sugar step daddy.
This is due to the fact that the higher the amount collected (or shown to be owed) the more kickbacks the local CS collection offices get from the federales as “incentives.” The courts know this and have ZERO reason to lower CS in case of hardship.
That’s why more and more “second wives” are refusing to marry their men legally.
Not really. The charges may not say "Failure to pay debt" but they are a direct result of failing to pay the debt or of being poor.
If you can't pay the debt, so you get fined with legal fees because you can't pay the debt. Now you don't pay the legal fees which are probably astronomical relative to the debt you owed in the first place, so you get charged with contempt of court and thrown in jail. It's all a direct result of failure to pay.
Whats wrong with making that impossible?
Simple, because it removes any incentive on the loaning party to do proper care before making loan.
One of the problems we have in this nation today is it is too easy to borrow money.
I was shocked the first time I saw someone using a credit card buying food. If you are buying necessities on credit you are on a downward spiral.
What makes a student loan so sacrosanct? We as a society allow for all kinds of debt relief on amounts far greater than school loans. Why are school loans specifically rigged to be impossible to be discharged?
For example, a person who never took out a school loan but bought a million dollar house in CA with a federally backed mortgage at the top of the market defaults, declares bankruptcy, accepts the consequences and the taxpayers get stuck with a half million dollar bill. How is that better than a 20 to 100k dollar school loan?
I do not want to subsidize bad behavior but it is surreal to argue that some debt should and some debt should not be dischargeable.
“...state troopers showed up at her home...”
So, they knew her correct address.
I bet the letters, certified mail, and notices postd on her door made it to the correct address too.
She didn’t go to jail for not paying $280. She went to jail for ignoring the notices, because ‘somebody’ told her she ‘didn’t have to pay it’.
Terribly misleading headline. This is not new, nor are people being jailed for being in debt, persay. Stupid journalism.
I don’t know if you watch the series Entourage, but there was a funny exchange between Ari Gold (Ari Emmanuel) and his best friend, Andrew:
Ari: That’s why you’ve got to get an ironclad prenup.
Andrew: Did you get one?
Ari: Hell no, I’d kill her before I got a divorce.
“our corrupt Congress made it impossible for students to walk away from education loans”
Are you kidding? Walking away from student debt is about as hard as avoiding jury duty. Everyone does it. What the feds did was make it easier for students to get into debt. For that millions of lazy bums owe them ire. Not that they notice it, as they still vote for Obama.
“they are a direct result of failing to pay the debt or of being poor...It’s all a direct result of failure to pay.”
Methinks you need to look up the word “direct.”
It particularly help when the judges salaries (as in some parts of Indiana) are paid out of the fees received from debt collectors' filings.
You are really naive about how corrupt every level of govt in the US has become.
We have the best government money can buy.