Criminalization of debt in the U.S. - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15044864
I thought debtor's prisons were a thing of the past.
Apparently not:

https://www.aclu.org/issues/mass-incarc ... ivate-debt

There are a lot of "due process" issues here.

People are being arrested because they did not attend mandatory court collection hearings, even though they never received notice that there was going to be a hearing. Probably a letter was just sent out to their last known address and they were no longer living there.

A lot of these people who owe money are lower income and live in apartments and have to move frequently. Have you ever lived at an apartment and opened the mail box? There will be mail addressed to 5 other people in your box, people who used to live there years ago. Some of this is pretty important mail too. Letters from banks with the financial details of bank accounts. Pre-approved credit cards in someone else's name that all you have to do is call a number to activate. I remember seeing a court summons letter in someone else's name once. There was nothing I could do except write "Does not live here any longer, Return to sender" on the envelope and put it back in the outgoing mail box.

Being required to attend all these collection hearings can be a punishment unto itself. Again, many of these debtors are poor and have trouble arranging the transportation to get to the court on time. It could take 3 or 4 different bus transfers, and if one of the buses don't show up on schedule that could set you back an hour. It could end up taking the entire day to get to the court hearing and back. In some cases, needing to take a day off could even mean being fired from their minimum wage job. These collection agencies will try to drag the debtors into court hearings as often as possible, to try to make it as unpleasant as possible until the debtor pays up.

Here's an excerpt from the report:

The abuse of civil contempt proceedings to extract payments from debtors violates centuries-old federal and state laws prohibiting incarceration for debt. Although courts ostensibly issue arrest warrants to compel alleged debtors to appear in court or comply with a court order to provide financial information, in practice debt collectors request arrest warrants to use them as leverage in debt collection. Creditors and debt collectors are keenly aware that they are most likely to receive payments from debtors when they are under threat of arrest or incarcerated. Courses and articles on the practice of debt collection law even advise lawyers that arrest warrants are an effective way to extract payment. One such article advised, “Body attachments are usually rather effective, as most debtors do not like to be imprisoned and suddenly find funds for bonds.”

While in some cases debtors may cure their contempt by appearing in court and providing the requested financial information, more often debtors may secure their release from jail or have their warrant quashed only if they pay their debt, either in full or a bond amount that satisfies a portion of their debt. This direct connection substantively transforms contempt for failure to comply with a court order into contempt for failure to pay, in violation of state and federal laws prohibiting debtors’ prisons.

As Alan White, a consumer law professor at CUNY School of Law, described it, “If, in effect, people are being incarcerated until they pay bail, and bail is being used to pay their debts, then they’re being incarcerated to pay their debts.” Contempt proceedings become purely pretextual, explained Lisa Madigan, Attorney General of Illinois; if that “gives the lawyers the ability to say [debtors] aren’t being thrown in debtors’ prison, they’re being thrown into prison for contempt of court. To me, that’s disingenuous.”

An Idaho bankruptcy court recognized this reality, concluding that a collection company that sought, drafted, and obtained a bench warrant for a debtor’s failure to turn over tax returns had plainly done so as a tactic to extract payment. In that case the arrest warrant required the debtor to post a bail set at the exact amount of the judgment, payable only in cash and to be handed over to the debt collector. The court ruled:

There was a time in America when debtors were jailed for not paying their debts. In reviewing the facts of this case, it appears perhaps that time has not passed… It is clear that Creditor’s efforts to get Debtor put behind bars were calculated to enforce a money judgment, pursue a “collection motive,” [and] to harass Debtor…. The Court was distraught to learn that, even today, a creditor can persuade a state court to incarcerate a debtor to compel payment of a debt…. The facts show that Creditor initiated the contempt proceedings in state court not to secure the financial information Debtor was ordered to provide, but to coerce him into paying Creditor’s judgment.

In practice, there are several indicators when this use of contempt turns into unlawful imprisonment for debt. First, the bail attached to arrest warrants is often for the alleged amount owed to the creditor. Instead of performing an independent analysis to determine the amount of bail required to ensure compliance with court-ordered proceedings and the debtor’s ability to pay that amount, many courts simply require payment of the full judgment owed. Second, the bonds paid by debtors to get out of jail are often transferred directly to the creditor. While many courts transfer bonds to creditors as a matter of custom, some state laws explicitly require these bonds to be turned over to creditors. Third, the contempt of court finding is often dropped once the creditor receives the bond or if the debtor settles with the creditor.​

In numerous cases it appears debtors are being held in prison in violation of the guidelines of the law:

Julius Zimmerman was jailed for six days in 2011 in solitary confinement in Dakota County, Minnesota, on a civil warrant obtained by a debt collector. He had filed for bankruptcy and the jailing violated the mandatory stay. The debt was owed to American Family Insurance Group after he was involved in a car accident. Police officers arrested Zimmerman at his home while he was babysitting his girlfriend’s children. They completed booking at 1 a.m. on a Friday, and the earliest he could be brought to court was Monday. He says he told the police officers and jail staff that because of his bankruptcy filing, no action could be taken to collect the underlying debt. He didn’t have access to a phone for several days and was unable to contact his attorney during that time. He says he suffered fear, humiliation, and embarrassment as a result of his arrest and incarceration. Zimmerman sued the sheriff and 10 jail deputies, alleging they had violated the automatic stay triggered by the bankruptcy filing, but the court ruled it lacked jurisdiction to consider his claim.

A few examples of those who were arrested:

A Kansas woman with bipolar disorder who said she was arrested while in the throes of an episode and had to walk miles to get home when she was released.

An Illinois truck driver was fired from his job for missing work while jailed for six days because he could not afford the $31,500 bond set at the amount he owed to a bank for equipment financing. An Indiana woman was fired by her employer after she was arrested at work.

One single mother was arrested at her Pennsylvania home in the early morning hours while her son, a minor, slept. Despite her pleas, the police did not allow her to tell her son what was happening to her.

One Indiana woman, a mother of three, was jailed for missing hearings over medical bills for her cancer treatment. She was physically unable to climb the stairs to the women’s section of the jail, so she was held in a men’s mental health unit with glass walls that exposed her to the male prisoners, even when she used the toilet. She says she was denied medicine and feminine hygiene products, and exposed to lewd and “trauma-inducing” behavior, including one man who wiped his feces on the wall of their shared cell.

An 83-year-old man and his 78-year-old wife were jailed for failing to appear at a post-judgment hearing in Maryland, despite being out of the country at the time of the alleged notice. A private process server agency told the court that they had been given notice, but for some reason had wrongly described the elderly couple as a 41-year-old man and his 28-year-old roommate.


full downloadable report here: https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/file ... df#page=24
#15044866
another good article, unfortunately I'm going to have to copy it here because the site in the link is very slow:

As a sheriff's deputy dumped the contents of Joy Uhlmeyer's purse into a sealed bag, she begged to know why she had just been arrested while driving home to Richfield after an Easter visit with her elderly mother.

No one had an answer. Uhlmeyer spent a sleepless night in a frigid Anoka County holding cell, her hands tucked under her armpits for warmth. Then, handcuffed in a squad car, she was taken to downtown Minneapolis for booking. Finally, after 16 hours in limbo, jail officials fingerprinted Uhlmeyer and explained her offense -- missing a court hearing over an unpaid debt. "They have no right to do this to me," said the 57-year-old patient care advocate, her voice as soft as a whisper. "Not for a stupid credit card."

It's not a crime to owe money, and debtors' prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century. But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts. In Minnesota, which has some of the most creditor-friendly laws in the country, the use of arrest warrants against debtors has jumped 60 percent over the past four years, with 845 cases in 2009, a Star Tribune analysis of state court data has found.

Not every warrant results in an arrest, but in Minnesota many debtors spend up to 48 hours in cells with criminals. Consumer attorneys say such arrests are increasing in many states, including Arkansas, Arizona and Washington, driven by a bad economy, high consumer debt and a growing industry that buys bad debts and employs every means available to collect.

Whether a debtor is locked up depends largely on where the person lives, because enforcement is inconsistent from state to state, and even county to county.

In Illinois and southwest Indiana, some judges jail debtors for missing court-ordered debt payments. In extreme cases, people stay in jail until they raise a minimum payment. In January, a judge sentenced a Kenney, Illinois, man "to indefinite incarceration" until he came up with $300 toward a lumber yard debt.

"The law enforcement system has unwittingly become a tool of the debt collectors," said Michael Kinkley, an attorney in Spokane, Wash., who has represented arrested debtors. "The debt collectors are abusing the system and intimidating people, and law enforcement is going along with it."

How often are debtors arrested across the country? No one can say. No national statistics are kept, and the practice is largely unnoticed outside legal circles. "My suspicion is the debt collection industry does not want the world to know these arrests are happening, because the practice would be widely condemned," said Robert Hobbs, deputy director of the National Consumer Law Center in Boston.

Debt collectors defend the practice, saying phone calls, letters and legal actions aren't always enough to get people to pay.

"Admittedly, it's a harsh sanction," said Steven Rosso, a partner in the Como Law Firm of St. Paul, which does collections work. "But sometimes, it's the only sanction we have."

Taxpayers foot the bill for arresting and jailing debtors. In many cases, Minnesota judges set bail at the amount owed.

In Minnesota, judges have issued arrest warrants for people who owe as little as $85 -- less than half the cost of housing an inmate overnight. Debtors targeted for arrest owed a median of $3,512 in 2009, up from $2,201 five years ago.

Those jailed for debts may be the least able to pay.

"It's just one more blow for people who are already struggling," said Beverly Yang, a Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation staff attorney who has represented three Illinois debtors arrested in the past two months. "They don't like being in court. They don't have cars. And if they had money to pay these collectors, they would."

The collection machine

The laws allowing for the arrest of someone for an unpaid debt are not new.

What is new is the rise of well-funded, aggressive and centralized collection firms, in many cases run by attorneys, that buy up unpaid debt and use the courts to collect.

Three debt buyers -- Unifund CCR Partners, Portfolio Recovery Associates Inc. and Debt Equities LLC -- accounted for 15 percent of all debt-related arrest warrants issued in Minnesota since 2005, court data show. The debt buyers also file tens of thousands of other collection actions in the state, seeking court orders to make people pay.

The debts -- often five or six years old -- are purchased from companies like cellphone providers and credit card issuers, and cost a few cents on the dollar. Using automated dialing equipment and teams of lawyers, the debt-buyer firms try to collect the debt, plus interest and fees. A firm aims to collect at least twice what it paid for the debt to cover costs. Anything beyond that is profit.

Portfolio Recovery Associates of Norfolk, Va., a publicly traded debt buyer with the biggest profits and market capitalization, earned $44 million last year on $281 million in revenue -- a 16 percent net margin. Encore Capital Group, another large debt buyer based in San Diego, had a margin last year of 10 percent. By comparison, Wal-Mart's profit margin was 3.5 percent.

Todd Lansky, chief operating officer at Resurgence Financial LLC, a Northbrook, Ill.-based debt buyer, said firms like his operate within the law, which says people who ignore court orders can be arrested for contempt. By the time a warrant is issued, a debtor may have been contacted up to 12 times, he said.

"This is a last-ditch effort to say, 'Look, just show up in court,'" he said.

Go to court -- or jail

At 9:30 a.m. on a recent weekday morning, about a dozen people stood in line at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis.

Nearly all of them had received court judgments for not paying a delinquent debt. One by one, they stepped forward to fill out a two-page financial disclosure form that gives creditors the information they need to garnish money from their paychecks or bank accounts.

This process happens several times a week in Hennepin County. Those who fail to appear can be held in contempt and an arrest warrant is issued if a collector seeks one. Arrested debtors aren't officially charged with a crime, but their cases are heard in the same courtroom as drug users.

Greg Williams, who is unemployed and living on state benefits, said he made the trip downtown on the advice of his girlfriend who knew someone who had been arrested for missing such a hearing.

"I was surprised that the police would waste time on my petty debts," said Williams, 45, of Minneapolis, who had a $5,773 judgment from a credit card debt. "Don't they have real criminals to catch?"

Few debtors realize they can land in jail simply for ignoring debt-collection legal matters. Debtors also may not recognize the names of companies seeking to collect old debts. Some people are contacted by three or four firms as delinquent debts are bought and sold multiple times after the original creditor writes off the account.

"They may think it's a mistake. They may think it's a scam. They may not realize how important it is to respond," said Mary Spector, a law professor at Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law in Dallas.

A year ago, Legal Aid attorneys proposed a change in state law that would have required law enforcement officials to let debtors fill out financial disclosure forms when they are apprehended rather than book them into jail. No legislator introduced the measure.

Joy Uhlmeyer, who was arrested on her way home from spending Easter with her mother, said she defaulted on a $6,200 Chase credit card after a costly divorce in 2006. The firm seeking payment was Resurgence Financial, the Illinois debt buyer. Uhlmeyer said she didn't recognize the name and ignored the notices.

Uhlmeyer walked free after her nephew posted $2,500 bail. It took another $187 to retrieve her car from the city impound lot. Her 86-year-old mother later asked why she didn't call home after leaving Duluth. Not wanting to tell the truth, Uhlmeyer said her car broke down and her cell phone died.

"The really maddening part of the whole experience was the complete lack of information," she said. "I kept thinking, 'If there was a warrant out for my arrest, then why in the world wasn't I told about it?'"

Jailed for $250

One afternoon last spring, Deborah Poplawski, 38, of Minneapolis was digging in her purse for coins to feed a downtown parking meter when she saw the flashing lights of a Minneapolis police squad car behind her. Poplawski, a restaurant cook, assumed she had parked illegally. Instead, she was headed to jail over a $250 credit card debt.

Less than a month earlier, she learned by chance from an employment counselor that she had an outstanding warrant. Debt Equities, a Golden Valley debt buyer, had sued her, but she says nobody served her with court documents. Thanks to interest and fees, Poplawski was now on the hook for $1,138.

Though she knew of the warrant and unpaid debt, "I wasn't equating the warrant with going to jail, because there wasn't criminal activity associated with it," she said. "I just thought it was a civil thing."

Joy Uhlmeyer of Richfield checked paperwork related to an unpaid credit card debt. Nothing mentions she might be arrested. She was stopped by a sheriff’s deputy while driving back from Duluth after an Easter visit with her mother, and spent a night in jail over a debt.

She spent nearly 25 hours at the Hennepin County jail.

A year later, she still gets angry recounting the experience. A male inmate groped her behind in a crowded elevator, she said. Poplawski also was ordered to change into the standard jail uniform -- gray-white underwear and orange pants, shirt and socks -- in a cubicle the size of a telephone booth. She slept in a room with 12 to 16 women and a toilet with no privacy. One woman offered her drugs, she said.

The next day, Poplawski appeared before a Hennepin County district judge. He told her to fill out the form listing her assets and bank account, and released her. Several weeks later, Debt Equities used this information to seize funds from her bank account. The firm didn't return repeated calls seeking a comment.

"We hear every day about how there's no money for public services," Poplawski said. "But it seems like the collectors have found a way to get the police to do their work."

Threat depends on location

A lot depends on where a debtor lives or is arrested, as Jamie Rodriguez, 41, a bartender from Brooklyn Park, discovered two years ago.

Deputies showed up at his house one evening while he was playing with his 5-year-old daughter, Nicole. They live in Hennepin County, where the Sheriff's Office has enough staff to seek out people with warrants for civil violations.

If Rodriquez lived in neighboring Wright County, he could have simply handed the officers a check or cash for the amount owed. If he lived in Dakota County, it's likely no deputy would have shown up because the Sheriff's Office there says it lacks the staff to pursue civil debt cases.

Knowing that his daughter and wife were watching from the window, Rodriguez politely asked the deputies to drive him around the block, out of sight of his family, before they handcuffed him. The deputies agreed.

"No little girl should have to see her daddy arrested," said Rodriguez, who spent a night in jail.

"If you talk to 15 different counties, you'll find 15 different approaches to handling civil warrants," said Sgt. Robert Shingledecker of the Dakota County Sheriff's Office. "Everything is based on manpower."

Local police also can enforce debt-related warrants, but small towns and some suburbs often don't have enough officers.

The Star Tribune's comparison of warrant and booking data suggests that at least 1 in 6 Minnesota debtors at risk for arrest actually lands in jail, typically for eight hours. The exact number of such arrests isn't known because the government doesn't consistently track what happens to debtor warrants.

"There are no standards here," said Gail Hillebrand, a senior attorney with the Consumers Union in San Francisco. "A borrower who lives on one side of the river can be arrested while another one goes free. It breeds disrespect for the law."

Haekyung Nielsen, 27, of Bloomington, said police showed up at her house on a civil warrant two weeks after she gave birth through Caesarean section. A debt buyer had sent her court papers for an old credit-card debt while she was in the hospital; Nielsen said she did not have time to respond.

Her baby boy, Tyler, lay in the crib as she begged the officer not to take her away.

"Thank God, the police had mercy and left me and my baby alone," said Nielsen, who later paid the debt. "But to send someone to arrest me two weeks after a massive surgery that takes most women eight weeks to recover from was just unbelievable."

The second surprise

Many debtors, like Robert Vee, 36, of Brooklyn Park, get a second surprise after being arrested -- their bail is exactly the amount of money owed.

Hennepin County automatically sets bail at the judgment amount or $2,500, whichever is less. This policy was adopted four years ago in response to the high volume of debtor default cases, say court officials.

Some judges say the practice distorts the purpose of bail, which is to make sure people show up in court.

"It's certainly an efficient way to collect debts, but it's also highly distasteful," said Hennepin County District Judge Jack Nordby. "The amount of bail should have nothing to do with the amount of the debt."

Judge Robert Blaeser, chief of the county court's civil division, said linking bail to debt streamlines the process because judges needn't spend time setting bail.

"It's arbitrary," he conceded. "The bigger question is: Should you be allowed to get an order from a court for someone to be arrested because they owe money? You've got to remember there are people who have the money but just won't pay a single penny."

If friends or family post a debtor's bail, they can expect to kiss the money goodbye, because it often ends up with creditors, who routinely ask judges for the bail payment.

Vee, a highway construction worker, was arrested one afternoon in February while driving his teenage daughter from school to their home in Brooklyn Park. As he was being cuffed, Vee said his daughter, who has severe asthma, started hyperventilating from the stress.

"All I kept thinking about was whether she was all right and if she was using her [asthma] inhaler," he said.

From the Hennepin County jail, he made a collect call to his landlord, who promised to bring the bail. It was $1,875.06, the exact amount of a credit card debt.

Later, Vee was reunited with his distraught daughter at home. "We hugged for a long time, and she was bawling her eyes out," he said.

He still has unpaid medical and credit card bills and owes about $40,000 on an old second mortgage. The sight of a squad car in his rearview mirror is all it takes to set off a fresh wave of anxiety.

"The question always crosses my mind: 'Are the cops going to arrest me again?'" he said. "So long as I've got unpaid bills, the threat is there."

http://www.startribune.com/in-jail-for- ... /95692619/


According to a New York Times article, the Southern Center for Human Rights in 2006 sued on behalf of a woman who was locked up in Atlanta for eight months past her original sentence because she could not pay a $705 fine.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/06/opinion/06mon4.html
#15044870
SSDR wrote:The United States sounds very oppressive, psychologically stressful, and awful.

It sounds so unstable and uncomfortable.


To a large degree yes. This is how I describe the US to people that have never REALLY lived in the US.

If you are among the professional classes (educated, employed and compensated well). Living in America is fucking awesome. However, if you are poor, uneducated, having trouble finding work. This isn't a good place to live, not many safety nets, and we have a bad habit of punishing people that are disadvantaged.
#15044875
The problem is these large predatory lending finance corporations have sent lobbyists to state governments and Congress to get laws passed that will be in their favor.

We see here taxpayer money being excessively used to help them collect their debts.

From articles I've read, even in the UK some of these problems exist.

Profiting off the misery of the lower classes, and taking advantage of their financial ignorance and irresponsibility, is very profitable, and these big finance companies will do whatever it takes to make sure things keep going on as they have been. That means putting up resistance to any proposed changes in consumer borrower protection laws.

There was one comment left by a guy in another forum that he used to live an apartment, just before the recession, and all sort of credit card companies were throwing credit card offers at him in the mail. This was a guy who didn't even have a job at the time. Some of the letters contained actual credit cards with his name already printed on it that all he had to do was call a number on the card to automatically activate it. He had never solicited these offers. Kind of scary. These credit card companies were basically throwing money at people, hoping they would borrow, and then not be able to immediately pay back so mounting interest payments and late fees could build up. That's where they get their profits. A $500 debt can easily turn into $4000, with late fees and interest.

These credit card companies are in cahoots with other financial companies. Basically people are told they have to "establish credit" now to have a credit rating. Sometimes even insurance companies or apartment leases will take credit ratings into account. So young people are told they need to start spending money on a credit card. That it's important if they want to be able to borrow money on a house and pay lower interest rates on the mortgage in the future.
This is never how it used to be before. The advent of consumer credit scores seems designed to start getting more people into debt.
#15044944
True.

When the American economy was dominated by credit, it was really hard to get a credit card.

Then, in the 1980s, thanks to Republicans, we went from being the world's largest creditor to being the worlds largest debtor.

The economy was running on debt, and since then it has gotten steadily easier to ruin your life with a careless mistake. One that your children could make for you.

What really tore the shirt was the Republican Bankruptcy Reform Act. That made life easier for business in bankruptcy, and turned the lives of regular people into a living hell if they got into financial trouble.

Suddenly, you couldn't discharge student debt in bankruptcy, and credit card debt got a higher priority in court.

It was insane, and bankruptcy judges and academics argued against it vociferously. But in this era insanity talks and sanity gets to live in the streets.
#15061576
Puffer Fish wrote:The problem is these large predatory lending finance corporations have sent lobbyists to state governments and Congress to get laws passed that will be in their favor.

We see here taxpayer money being excessively used to help them collect their debts.


Again, I don't wish to sound rude, but have you read a history book on the early 20th Century? The 'Robber Barons' as they were known (JP Morgan, John D Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie etc.) all did thing similar to this!

It's just how business works!

I'm not going to sit here and say that all companies are innocent (because I know that they are not, and there are bad eggs, just as there are with everything else) but they work with the information that they have. It costs them more to chase you up for the debt than if you actually told them that you'd moved! So, if anything, it's both parties' faults. The debtors for not being open and honest and the companies for having to take drastic measures to get their investment back!

If you don't like it, move to somewhere like North Korea... at least corporations don't rule there... but I don't know what else really.
#15061951
Raptor-Con wrote:
It's just how business works!



Actually, we started regulating business way back in the 1800s, and did a lot to restrain predation by business a century ago by TR and FDR.

Republicans have been torching that progress.

But regulation still exists in civilised countries. We're the ones that let psychopaths run wild.
#15062137
https://features.propublica.org/medical ... le-kansas/

Arresting people with medical debt is a profitable sideline in certain jurisdictions.

...In Indiana, a cancer patient was hauled away from home in her pajamas in front of her three [kids]; too weak to climb the stairs to the women’s area of the jail, she spent the night in a men’s mental health unit where an inmate smeared feces on the wall...

...In Utah, a man who had ignored orders to appear over an unpaid ambulance bill told friends he would rather die than go to jail; the day he was arrested, he snuck poison into the cell and ended his life...

...Another woman said she watched, a decade ago, as a deputy came to the door for her diabetic aunt and took her to jail in her final years of life. Now here she was, dealing with her own debt, trying to head off the same fate...

...His court dates had begun after his son developed leukemia, and they’d picked up when his wife started having seizures. He, too, had been arrested because of medical debt. It had happened more than once...
#15067735
Very people takes the debt but they didn't pay within thier given time period. Creditors very irritatd from this that's why they have to follow the debt collection process so they can recover their debts. Firstly they send some notifications regarding the payment and if debitor ignore or missed those notifications then creditors have rights to take any leagal action towards the debitor.
#15067745
Puffer Fish wrote:The abuse of civil contempt proceedings to extract payments from debtors violates centuries-old federal and state laws prohibiting incarceration for debt.

That's for private debts. Debts owed as fines are not applicable. In fact, the United States can even use prisoners for slave labor per the US constitution, but it isn't something we do.

Puffer Fish wrote:He says he told the police officers and jail staff that because of his bankruptcy filing, no action could be taken to collect the underlying debt.

No civil action. Contempt of court is a criminal action. It arises because debtors do not obey a summons to appear in court.

Puffer Fish wrote:But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts.

No. They are being arrested for failure to appear. Try not showing up to court or paying your fine for a speeding ticket. The same thing will happen to you. They release you on a promise to appear. If you violate that promise, you get arrested.

Puffer Fish wrote:The laws allowing for the arrest of someone for an unpaid debt are not new.

There are no laws allowing an arrest for an unpaid debt.

Puffer Fish wrote:By the time a warrant is issued, a debtor may have been contacted up to 12 times, he said.

"This is a last-ditch effort to say, 'Look, just show up in court,'" he said.

Go to court -- or jail

That's exactly what happens.

Puffer Fish wrote:The problem is these large predatory lending finance corporations have sent lobbyists to state governments and Congress to get laws passed that will be in their favor.

These "large predatory lending finance corporations" are mandated by law to lend money to people who are probably not a good credit risk. So that is the consideration for requiring them to lend to poor people. In the past, the opposite was the issue: poor people couldn't get credit. Now they can. They are just still a poor credit risk.
#15071035
blackjack21 wrote:Contempt of court is a criminal action. It arises because debtors do not obey a summons to appear in court.

"But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts."

No. They are being arrested for failure to appear. Try not showing up to court or paying your fine for a speeding ticket.

I don't think you understood the context of the text.

Contempt of court, in some of these situations, is being used as a pretext to get them jailed for their debts, since the law does not allow them to be jailed for their debts directly.

They are either being summoned to court repeatedly, over and over again, to hassle and inconvenience them, until maybe one of those hearings they miss, or they are being "notified" of the court hearing in very haphazard ways that oftentimes doesn't actually notify them.

Some of those low income people can't make every single one of those court appearances, because they would be fired from their job, then not be able to pay rent. Or they may not have transportation and it would take them the entire day to be able to get to the court and back.

And when they are being notified, sometimes a letter is sent to a previous address they don't live at anymore. (It's not uncommon for low income people who rent to move around a lot) Or the example in one of those stories about a couple who were out of the country for 2 weeks, and weren't there to open their mail.

Then they get arrested, even though they were never aware there was a court appearance they had to attend.
#15071127
Puffer Fish wrote:Contempt of court, in some of these situations, is being used as a pretext to get them jailed for their debts, since the law does not allow them to be jailed for their debts directly.

I understood exactly. They aren't being jailed because of their debts. They are being jailed because they ignore lawfully served summons to appear. They don't get jailed on the first failure to appear. They have usually been served 10+ times. It is contempt of court, and of civil law generally.

Puffer Fish wrote:Then they get arrested, even though they were never aware there was a court appearance they had to attend.

Plaintiffs have to satisfy the court that the defendant was served. That is why people aren't arrested until they have refused to respond numerous times. Generally, many debtors use it as a delaying tactic--they generally do not understand compound interest either.

There is an easy way to make this stop: remove requirements on financial institutions to lend money to poor people.
#15071129
@blackjack21 :

There is an easy way to make this stop: remove requirements on financial institutions to lend money to poor people.


Did you see a Netflix series about a predatory lender guy who got sued and made an example of? There are a lot of predatory lenders who make huge amounts of profit on scamming poor people. Here in Mexico there are a lot. In the USA as well. Payday loans are common in states where there are a lot of people who can barely get by and live paycheck to paycheck. I think the reality is that unless real wages start to rise in many states to cover comfortably bills that crop up in an emergency? The payday business is going to continue on and get worse. Why the hell would anyone want to get a microloan of $500 dollars to pay a shortage on rent because someone got sick for a week and they were short on rent and then wind up having to pay back three times that amount because they are a high credit risk because two years ago they had to go to the emergency room and did not have insurance? It is crazy. Cover people with medical issues, guarantee them dental care, vision care, and free check ups, do preventative medicine programs and encourage healthy eating habits and exercise, do smoke cessation programs, diabetes prevention and heart disease prevention programs massively and get minimum wage workers access to free vocational and college educations. That is how you cope with eliminating these horrible credit with high interest predatory loan places.

Here is a bit more information on the industry:
https://journalistsresource.org/studies ... -research/


They do this to working people who are scratching by and have a little shortfall between $400 to $1000 for an unexpected expense like a car breaking down or a sickness for a week with a job with no sick day pay. I used to work with the homeless and all we did was research on how to prevent it from happening. The stats say that by having $1000 in savings for emergency would prevent a lot of people from going to the homeless status. Once they are homeless? Getting them housed again especially with very old people or people with dependent children? Is a lot more expensive.

Most people wind up being evicted due to not having an extra $500 lying around one month. It is horrible.

Most poor people only know other poor people. They can't borrow from the poor people whom they know who are in a similar boat.

Cultural Capital BJ. It is like that.
#15071132
Tainari88 wrote:@blackjack21 :



Did you see a Netflix series about a predatory lender guy who got sued and made an example of? There are a lot of predatory lenders who make huge amounts of profit on scamming poor people. Here in Mexico there are a lot. In the USA as well. Payday loans are common in states where there are a lot of people who can barely get by and live paycheck to paycheck. I think the reality is that unless real wages start to rise in many states to cover comfortably bills that crop up in an emergency? The payday business is going to continue on and get worse. Why the hell would anyone want to get a microloan of $500 dollars to pay a shortage on rent because someone got sick for a week and they were short on rent and then wind up having to pay back three times that amount because they are a high credit risk because two years ago they had to go to the emergency room and did not have insurance? It is crazy. Cover people with medical issues, guarantee them dental care, vision care, and free check ups, do preventative medicine programs and encourage healthy eating habits and exercise, do smoke cessation programs, diabetes prevention and heart disease prevention programs massively and get minimum wage workers access to free vocational and college educations. That is how you cope with eliminating these horrible credit with high interest predatory loan places.

Here is a bit more information on the industry:
https://journalistsresource.org/studies ... -research/


They do this to working people who are scratching by and have a little shortfall between $400 to $1000 for an unexpected expense like a car breaking down or a sickness for a week with a job with no sick day pay. I used to work with the homeless and all we did was research on how to prevent it from happening. The stats say that by having $1000 in savings for emergency would prevent a lot of people from going to the homeless status. Once they are homeless? Getting them housed again especially with very old people or people with dependent children? Is a lot more expensive.

Most people wind up being evicted due to not having an extra $500 lying around one month. It is horrible.

Most poor people only know other poor people. They can't borrow from the poor people whom they know who are in a similar boat.

Cultural Capital BJ. It is like that.



We let landlords, payday crooks, drug companies and more screw the little guy to death.

He clearly doesn't have a problem with that.
#15071133
Tainari88 wrote:@blackjack21 :



Did you see a Netflix series about a predatory lender guy who got sued and made an example of? There are a lot of predatory lenders who make huge amounts of profit on scamming poor people. Here in Mexico there are a lot. In the USA as well. Payday loans are common in states where there are a lot of people who can barely get by and live paycheck to paycheck. I think the reality is that unless real wages start to rise in many states to cover comfortably bills that crop up in an emergency? The payday business is going to continue on and get worse. Why the hell would anyone want to get a microloan of $500 dollars to pay a shortage on rent because someone got sick for a week and they were short on rent and then wind up having to pay back three times that amount because they are a high credit risk because two years ago they had to go to the emergency room and did not have insurance? It is crazy. Cover people with medical issues, guarantee them dental care, vision care, and free check ups, do preventative medicine programs and encourage healthy eating habits and exercise, do smoke cessation programs, diabetes prevention and heart disease prevention programs massively and get minimum wage workers access to free vocational and college educations. That is how you cope with eliminating these horrible credit with high interest predatory loan places.

Here is a bit more information on the industry:
https://journalistsresource.org/studies ... -research/


They do this to working people who are scratching by and have a little shortfall between $400 to $1000 for an unexpected expense like a car breaking down or a sickness for a week with a job with no sick day pay. I used to work with the homeless and all we did was research on how to prevent it from happening. The stats say that by having $1000 in savings for emergency would prevent a lot of people from going to the homeless status. Once they are homeless? Getting them housed again especially with very old people or people with dependent children? Is a lot more expensive.

Most people wind up being evicted due to not having an extra $500 lying around one month. It is horrible.

Most poor people only know other poor people. They can't borrow from the poor people whom they know who are in a similar boat.

Cultural Capital BJ. It is like that.


He clearly doesn't give a fuck about poor people ethics or morality. After all, he voted for Trump, a con man.
#15071141
Rancid wrote:He clearly doesn't give a fuck about poor people ethics or morality. After all, he voted for Trump, a con man.


I don't think BJ is without his ideas. And he has principles Rancid. But his goal is to destroy the RNC and the DNC. Trump is his 'monkey wrench' candidate. He has ethics. But they are about a class system where everyone is in their correct role and people are loyal to the flag of the USA and all that is stands for in terms of a conservative and class based society. A clean, well run society, in which capitalism serves the national interests and is reigned in to serve an orderly society and doesn't run rough shod over any of the American classes whether working class, middle class, ruling class.

I think I understand him well now.

He doesn't believe poor people who get those loans are very competent in this system of class consciousness. Each class deals with their lack of abilities. For him? Poor people if they want something better got to pull themselves up by their boot straps and do it for themselves and not ask for the nanny state to do it for them. He thinks about them like Ronald Reagan did. He liked Reagan.

For him poor people are underperformers Rancid.

And in a meritocracy you don't get to gripe if your merits are very few.

It is not the same as being a Trump behavior imitator at all. Blackjack is a true nationalist. And in his way? He is not selling out to corporations and capitalism take it all. He is keep the USA number one. If that means reigning in the corporations and making sure they don't upset an orderly class based society? Then that is what he will do. Many of those people are redundant Rancid in an Artificial Intelligence future.

What to do with them to keep them occupied and busy? I think he is trying to figure it out still?

He also is surrounded by liberals in Northern California and they are extremely difficult to deal with when you consider they are snobs and class conscious people too, but spout rhetoric about being compassionate and so on? Yet they are bought off by corporations and capitalist globalist that are the enemies of every sincere nationalist like Blackjack is.

My thing is that capitalism has changed the world. How do you adapt to make the wealth that is done by mass leaps in technology and labor efficiency? it is like Stephen Hawkings said that @anarchist23 stated? If all the extra labor value produced by robotics and AI go to the wealthy hoarders on top? And nothing to the vast groups in the middle and on the bottom? You will have a failure and a collapse.

That is inevitable. So? BJ is fighting socialism. The only thing that will save the future of this new society.

It is interesting. He will wind up resisting the inevitable.
#15071293
Tainari88 wrote:Did you see a Netflix series about a predatory lender guy who got sued and made an example of? There are a lot of predatory lenders who make huge amounts of profit on scamming poor people.

No. I did work on a legal compliance expert system for lending, so I'm deeply familiar with the Truth in Lending Act, more specifically Appendix J to Federal Reserve Board Regulation Z of the Truth in Lending Act. So I'm quite familiar with the scams. Car dealers are also quite the scammers, charging "banking fees", "documentation fees", and loads of other BS that they tack on after the cost of a car to unsuspecting people.

The thing is that when you get to my class of people, you don't just have health care and dental. You also have legal insurance, car buying services, employee discounts, etc. I'm not going to walk into a car lot. I'll find what I like online, then tell the car buying service to line it up for me. We'll save $3000 on average. Some poor schmuck though gets scammed. Hell, I can even have them fight speeding tickets for me.

Tainari88 wrote:Cover people with medical issues, guarantee them dental care, vision care, and free check ups, do preventative medicine programs and encourage healthy eating habits and exercise, do smoke cessation programs, diabetes prevention and heart disease prevention programs massively and get minimum wage workers access to free vocational and college educations. That is how you cope with eliminating these horrible credit with high interest predatory loan places.

That's a way to make sure health care providers and educators make more money. It doesn't do anything for people who can't get jobs. We have a lot of graduates that have college debt, because they got fleeced by "woke" colleges who sold them a bag of goods. We don't just have predatory lenders, we have predatory colleges getting people to trade some of the best years of their lives and saddle themselves with debt for degrees that are functionally worthless in the marketplace.

Tainari88 wrote:They do this to working people who are scratching by and have a little shortfall between $400 to $1000 for an unexpected expense like a car breaking down or a sickness for a week with a job with no sick day pay.

Yeah, and if doctors don't charge full freight, Medicare will cut their reimbursement. If they are specialists and do this, primary care doctors will punish the specialists by never giving them referrals. The problem in health care is cost, not price. They are allowed to gouge consumers. They will gouge taxpayers too. Nobody will support a public option until there is billing reform.

Tainari88 wrote:Most people wind up being evicted due to not having an extra $500 lying around one month. It is horrible.

Yes. And the law is cut-and-dried. It's not flexible for landlords either. They can file unlawful detainer, or be construed to waive what is owed. Estoppel by laches. The law does not allow landlords to extend credit.

late wrote:We let landlords, payday crooks, drug companies and more screw the little guy to death.

He clearly doesn't have a problem with that.

Try it out from the court's perspective. A defendant has been served with a summons 10 times, and they don't show up to court. What do you do? Courts are not going to get on their hands and knees and plead you to come to court. It's absurd. If they can find you to arrest you, they can find you to serve you. If you don't show up to court, you will get arrested.

We let wage arbitrageurs and human traffickers screw the lights out of our working class. That's why they are in those straights, and that's why THEY voted for Trump because Trump promised to deport illegal immigrants, build a wall to prevent them from coming in, and putting up tariffs against China and renegotiating trade deals. You may think those policies are wrong, but that's why Trump won so much support among working class people.

Rancid wrote:He clearly doesn't give a fuck about poor people ethics or morality. After all, he voted for Trump, a con man.

And you think you have a point there? A lot of those poor people voted for Trump. A lot of them will vote for him again. Who is most hurt by illegal immigration from Mexico? Lawfully resident Hispanics and Blacks. Whose wages are going up the fastest in the Trump era?

Tainari88 wrote:He has ethics. But they are about a class system where everyone is in their correct role and people are loyal to the flag of the USA and all that is stands for in terms of a conservative and class based society. A clean, well run society, in which capitalism serves the national interests and is reigned in to serve an orderly society and doesn't run rough shod over any of the American classes whether working class, middle class, ruling class.

You're a lot closer to it. I don't oppose class mobility at all. I'm not looking for a 19th-mid-20th Century British system where your accent determines how far you can rise. If you recall during the utterly pointless House impeachment hearings, Fiona Hill was griping about people in the UK making fun of her working class accent. Going back to what I said to you before, they can pull out a lot of things about me just by my name--religion, region, Norman ancestry, etc. America was not set up that way; although, a lot of people on the East Coast have tried to make it that way. It just so happens while Michael Bloomberg is very well off, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Jeff Bezos are richer and they've set up shop outside of the East Coast.


Tainari88 wrote:He doesn't believe poor people who get those loans are very competent in this system of class consciousness.

They don't understand finance. What allows some of this predation is the presumption of equality--it allows bankers to presume that you can read the terms of the contract--which you don't get to negotiate the terms of anyway--that you understand those terms, and that you are entering into the agreement knowingly and intelligently of your own free will and accord.

Tainari88 wrote:If that means reigning in the corporations and making sure they don't upset an orderly class based society? Then that is what he will do.

Yes. If you saw the movie "A Beautiful Mind," it was about John Nash. If you've read much on game theory, the Nash equilibrium is all about that. The problem with globalism is that it violates the Nash equilibrium. It's not about people with $5-10M that are a problem. It's people with $500M or more that are becoming a problem, and it's not because they are squeezing the poor in the US for low wages. They are doing that in China and leaving people in the US unemployed or underemployed, and the state allows them to do this. That is why free trade with China is a terrible idea. Tariffs on China should be high and permanent.

Tainari88 wrote:Many of those people are redundant Rancid in an Artificial Intelligence future.

What to do with them to keep them occupied and busy? I think he is trying to figure it out still?

You don't provide welfare to people who refuse to do unpleasant jobs. That's not welfare. That's buying votes. You don't want to pack chickens in the chicken house, because you have a bachelor's degree in music? Sorry. No welfare for you. You don't get to say, "I'm overqualified for the slaughterhouse, because I have a degree in music." The welfare state has evolved into nothing short of vote buying bribery. People get more in benefits than the minimum wage, and refuse to get work. There's work out there. We don't have immigrants coming here to take those jobs for nothing. We have a class of people who WONT work, because the government pays them not to provided they vote a certain way. It's a bi-partisan scam. Even John McCain would say things like Americans wouldn't be able to go and work in the fields. Oh yes they are able. They are just not willing. It doesn't take tremendous skill to do that work, but it's hard work and nobody wants to do it. Our political class is hopelessly corrupt. As one Congressman lectured about the unfair treatment of Roger Stone, "if you lie to Congress, it's a crime; if a Congressman lies to you, it's not a crime." Similarly, it's a crime to bribe a public official. It's not a crime for a public official to bribe a citizen with welfare.

Tainari88 wrote:He also is surrounded by liberals in Northern California and they are extremely difficult to deal with when you consider they are snobs and class conscious people too, but spout rhetoric about being compassionate and so on?

Many of them are absolutely horrible people. As you've also noted, that doesn't mean West Coast liberals aren't snobs. So "too" isn't appreciated in that sense. These are the types of people who read something about symphonic music and then lecture you about it as though you didn't know when they haven't picked up a musical instrument in their lives. They are frankly just horrible people. The wine snobs are the worst. When we want to get out of town, we're often down at a friends ranch adjacent to a winery his family founded--now owned by Seagrams, I believe. I've had access to some great wines my whole adult life; yet, you get these liberals around it, and they just feel the need to act as if they were sommeliers or something. You can do a blind taste test with the same bottles of wine, one opened before the other and a bit warmer. They cannot tell that it's the same bottle, but they will go on and on about the differences, completely fucking oblivious to it. The worst part of it is that in hyping it, they've got all the Chinese buying up good wines--and they don't drink them. So whereas it used to be a cut above your typical $15 bottle of wine to pick up a bottle of Stag's Leap Petit Syrah, now it's unaffordable to drink it regularly. Like $65-70 a bottle. So now you have to know the better unknown wineries and not tell anybody for fear that they will jack prices up and export everything. I'm sure that's why the French are so pissed these days too. The liberals are just intolerable, and so unnecessarily smug--not realizing we're making fun of them either that they can't tell the same bottle of wine in a blind taste test (and of course we don't tell them they're the same bottle).

Tainari88 wrote:Yet they are bought off by corporations and capitalist globalist that are the enemies of every sincere nationalist like Blackjack is.

They also hate the people they say they care about. Think long and hard about all the bullshit people like @late offer with respect to Trump and Russia, Russia, Russia. It's like Ivory Soap, only it's 99 44/100% pure bullshit. Even if you assume that Vladimir Putin hacked the DNC server, John Podesta's email and Hillary Clinton's server himself, what damage did he do to the 2016 election? All that happened in the scheme of things is that how the Democrats actually talk behind the scenes when the cameras aren't rolling and the public isn't watching was revealed. That's it. There isn't a shred more damage than that. Donald Trump turned over millions of emails to Mueller et. al. Do you know why there wasn't a constant stream of leaks there? Not because of the integrity of the prosecutors. It's because there was nothing particularly salacious. Yet, in troves of Hillary emails, she's talking about having a public position and a private position--that she's basically straight up lying to voters. So if Vladimir Putin exposed that, he's all but an American hero excepting he's not an American.

The Ukraine impeachment has largely tanked Joe Biden, because in trying to damage Trump they brought to light the fact that in every foreign venue where Biden had influence, the US was likely being taken advantage of by foreign countries and Biden family members were getting rich. Have you listened to Michael Bloomberg say he doesn't think Xi Xinping is a dictator? Who the hell would seriously be afraid of Vladimir Putin in view if Xi Xinping? Yet, we have an elite that is disloyal to the United States and its people and lining their pockets at the expense of the American people.

Tainari88 wrote:If all the extra labor value produced by robotics and AI go to the wealthy hoarders on top? And nothing to the vast groups in the middle and on the bottom? You will have a failure and a collapse.

That is inevitable. So? BJ is fighting socialism. The only thing that will save the future of this new society.

Socialism is not inevitable. It's a shimmering promise that betrays The Road To Serfdom as Hayek pointed out. What's inevitable is feudalism. So the class consciousness is born of fear, because it's always better to be nearer to the top than the bottom.

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