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 ...
And under (a), you will receive a 1099 for forgiveness of debt, and then the IRS will pursue you for the taxes.
If you NEED to use a credit card to buy food, there is a problem (tho’ food should have higher priority for CC use than new clothes or Nike shoes, I think). However, many of us use the credit card to buy food because it is simpler, and pay off our CC accounts in full every month.
Debts to the Govt. get special treatment. Try to stop paying a debt to the IRS...
This is an abusive mess of the courts. We have a civil court system in which the worst that can AND SHOULD be able to happen to you is forfeiture of items, liens on accounts, and garnishments of wages. CRIMINAL PENALTIES SUCH AS JAIL SHOULD NEVER APPLY, even if you don’t show up for court. In that event, if you don’t show up, there could be an immediate and default judgement, BUT NEVER A JAILING.
This will be used against ordinary Americans to round-up and destroy us, folks. Comon, figure this stuff out.
For colleges that's pretty cool. Now, they can increase the tuition, knowing that a student is liable for any loans for the rest of their life. Cool huh?
College tuition would radically drop if their was no Gov't grants, loans, etc. But, if a college knows they will eventually get paid they have no incentive to lower prices.
Thanks for posting.
Pretty soon, I'm just going to ignore such salcious stories and posts because all too often; these details are left out of the headline.
“free democratic republic”
No such thing exists anywhere, we once had a constitutional republic but a free democratic republic sounds to me like a contradiction in terms. Yes, I know how the term is used everywhere but when I think about it it still sounds like a contradiction.
The first two definitions at dictionary.com under Direct used as an adjective apply.
“She got a $280 medical bill in error and was told she didn’t have to pay it,”
Somebody is liable for the cause of her false arrest.
Future bill paying should be easy.
Yep, lookos like the article lies.
When will I ever learn?
Exactly what is it that makes you believe you have a “right” to file bankruptcy, to avoid your responsibilities?
“Of course, our corrupt Congress made it impossible for students to walk away from education loans and nearly impossible to clear up medical bills and other debt by filing for bankruptcy.”
Do you believe in any sort of bankruptcy protection?
More likely they are going go jail for not paying the legal fees that were court ordered after they failed to pay the debt in the first place. Or they are going to jail for failing to pay court ordered child support. Both are debts, but once it becomes ordered by the court and you still can't pay it you go to jail for contempt of court.
I’d rather get rid of bankruptcy laws altogether. They’re just fancy welfare.
And if you went bankrupt, then someone still had to cover the costs. Life is not a game of Monopoly.
As to college tuition, you are drastically oversimplifying things. College is not expensive simply because there’s lots of financial aid available. Salaries, facility costs, administration, regulations, etc all drive tuition up as well.
As for bankruptcy, yes the loss is factored in. And it happens everyday. Bankruptcy is one of the reasons America has a great innovative economy.
Correct. Unless your name is Bill Clinton, you go to jail for contempt of the legal process.