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Last of the Time Lords 1
Some of the comments over at the link made me puke. Some freaks are actually OK with this happening.....
Posted by Last of the Time Lords on December 10, 2012 at 5:28 PM · Report this
It's pretty disgusting, though I will note that usually with these sorts of cases people get thrown in jail for ignoring court dates, not the actual non payment.

The 2005 bankruptcy law change--the one that puts credit card companies above actual people--enabled a lot of this.
Posted by ryanmm on December 10, 2012 at 5:32 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 3
@2 well, Corporations are People, and People are Serfs, after all.

Next up: Corporations get 1 vote for 1 dollar and people get 3/5ths of a vote per person.
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 10, 2012 at 5:37 PM · Report this
Asparagus! 4
Ugh, shut up @3.
Posted by Asparagus! on December 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM · Report this
stinkbug 5
Also see:

"In Prosecutors, Debt Collectors Find a Partner"…

"Poor Land in Jail as Companies Add Huge Fees for Probation"…

Posted by stinkbug on December 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 6
Could this happen in Washington?

Perhaps now would be a good time to let people know about Rolling Jubilee, Brendan.

So far they've raised enough money to abolish nearly $10,000,000 of debt -- beginning with medical debt.

The Stranger has been inexplicably silent about Rolling Jubilee, despite Dan Savage tweeting: "I love -- LOVE -- this cause".

What gives?
Posted by Ipso Facto on December 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM · Report this
watchout5 7
I thought the occupy people were a little out there, now that were apparently sending people to county prison over a less than 300 bill I feel like their work is a national need in the war against people. If thats what personal responsibility means you can consider me the devil for all I care, you have to have no inner or outer soul to think any part of this behavior is human.
Posted by watchout5 on December 10, 2012 at 6:34 PM · Report this
Just to be a contrarian, there is a real problem with collecting on debts once you have a judgment.

I've got a friend who's a contractor, who did some work for a guy who decided not to pay for it. No dispute over the quality of the work or anything, he just decided to ignore the debt.

So my friend took him to small claims court. I actually served the guy twice as a favor to my friend (service needs to be done by a disinterested party), but he refused to show up in court. So my friend got a default judgment for the debt plus costs.

But he just ignored that, too. And my friend never would have collected, except that the magistrate had issued a bench warrant (judges really hate being ignored). And a couple months later, when he was pulled over for speeding, the cop arrested him on the warrant. He was tossed in jail with bail set at the amount of the judgment.

His mother posted bail, and then he finally turned up in court to retrieve the bond. He actually denied being served, I testified in detail about the times I'd served him and the magistrate handed the bond money over to my friend. Case (finally) closed.

So what else would have worked here to get this guy to satisfy this debt? Technically, he was tossed in jail for contempt, but the reality is this was a debtor's prison. And it worked!

Yes, debt collectors and corporations do abuse the legal process, by filing hundreds or thousands of cases at a time, pulling shady tactics on service (like lying about doing it), etc., etc. And that should be stopped. But that doesn't make it an illegitimate tool.
Posted by Corydon on December 10, 2012 at 7:11 PM · Report this

Try dealing with the IRS.

They are the ultimate debt collectors.

The ultimate pressure men.

The ultimate vig.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on December 10, 2012 at 7:36 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 10
And do the lenders face any criticism or penalties for lending to people who are bad risks?

Why is all the blame always on the borrower? Lending money is not a risk-free premise and the banks fucking know it! If someone's a bad risk and the bank gives them a loan anyway, who's the fool? Fuck the banks and moneylenders. They need to learn a lesson: you don't win every game, and if you bet on every long shot, you have only yourself to blame when you lose everything.

This woman's medical bill thing is a whole different stupid mess (i.e., that medical care should be free of charge to everyone), but that horse has already been beaten long past death.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 10, 2012 at 9:02 PM · Report this
@8 The problem is that due to the fact that we have (in effect) a pay to play legal system, the ability to enforce debts is increasingly not available to many Americans. Only those with deep pockets can be certain that they will collect.…
Posted by Tent_Liberation_Army on December 10, 2012 at 9:31 PM · Report this
thatsnotright 12
I wonder how much arresting and jailing someone costs? This is public expenditure to recover private debt. Why should tax money be spent recouping money for private companies?
Posted by thatsnotright on December 10, 2012 at 9:37 PM · Report this
Read the article. This is outrageous. It's not justice or fairness. It's extortion. It's indefensible that in a society that's increasingly geared to indentured servanthood, people have their personal freedom confiscated for being victims of the wheels designed to crush them. And then society bears the burden of dealing with the wreckage.

But it's okay, because it's the richest that make rules. As long as the system works for them, everything's okay.

Also, notice how the article mentions that local governments, starved for revenue, are relying on this legal intimidation to squeeze as many pennies as possible from folks who have nothing left. The glories of small government in action. ("You can throw me in prison. Just don't raise my taxes.")
Posted by floater on December 10, 2012 at 10:06 PM · Report this
@12 Amen!
Posted by floater on December 10, 2012 at 10:08 PM · Report this
So now that she's in jail, will Ms. Lindsay magically be able to come up with the $280?

Feels like this country is moving backwards -- this seems like something you'd read about in a Dickens' novel.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on December 11, 2012 at 3:20 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 17
@6..It's not Dan's to Tim the publisher. He isn't as..liberal as you may wish him to be.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on December 11, 2012 at 3:31 AM · Report this
"Just as in Rome, today’s debt overhead cannot be paid. The question is, just how will it not be paid? Will society realize the need for debt write-downs, or will it permit massive foreclosure to tear society apart and reduce debtors to neo-serfdom?"…
Posted by anon1256 on December 11, 2012 at 4:40 AM · Report this
No one should have to go to jail for not paying a medical bill. Other forms of debts are up for debate, but not ever medical care.
Posted by mitten on December 11, 2012 at 8:08 AM · Report this
treacle 22
Y'all should read "Debt: The first 5,000 years". It is a real eye-opener regarding the origins of debt, and how it has shifted and changed over the years. Actual anthropological evidence, as opposed to an economist's mythology.

It would serve the current debate very well.
Posted by treacle on December 11, 2012 at 10:04 AM · Report this
Ipso Facto 23

StrikeDebt (@StrikeDebt)

The logic of debt as explained by Reddit

(December 11, 2012)
Posted by Ipso Facto on December 11, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 24
@17: I've been wondering who calls the shots at The Stranger.

My impression is that there are several rather non-progressive actors at the helm, but who ultimately makes the editorial calls? Is it Tim Keck? Eli Sanders? Dan Savage?

Some of the choices they make are pretty bizarre. Dan Savage just made a post calling for a general strike, but he won't cover Rolling Jubilee? Strike Debt and Rolling Jubilee have been covered by everyone from the NY Times to Forbes. It's confusing that The Stranger won't touch it.
Posted by Ipso Facto on December 11, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
#6, Rolling Jubilee is a scam. I contacted them about my debts and their answer was that they couldn't purchase individual debts, just aggregate bundles.

What very few people are talking about is that if your debt is bought down, or if you negotiate to pay a part of your debt with creditors, the balance of your unpaid debt is reported to the IRS who consider it income. You then have to pay tax on that amount or get in trouble with the IRS. I have a freind who's in trouble with the IRS; believe me, you don't want them on your ass.

Since Rolling Jubilee is buying anonomous bundles of debt, those folks whose debt is bought don't have a choice in it, and will have massive tax bills to pay. Actually declaring bankruptcy would protect them from this. So Rolling Jubilee is actually putting people in danger of more, un-dischargable debt.
Posted by anita772 on December 15, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this

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