The U.S. Marshals are now being deployed to collect on outstanding student loan debt.
Unbelievable as it may seem, it happened to Paul Aker in Houston – and it will start happening more and more.
Back in 1987, Aker took out a $1,500 federal student loan. He must have ignored it because it came back to bite him in the butt big time: Seven armed deputy U.S. Marshals in combat gear showed up at his home and dragged him to federal court, ordering him to sign a payment plan.
“I was wondering, why are you here?” Aker said. “I’m home, I haven’t done anything.”
Aker was arrested, shackeled, and handcuffed and taken into custody. He sat in a cell for an hour and was never read his Miranda rights nor offered legal representation.
When he complained, Rep. Gene Green, (D-Texas) started asking questions. It turns out it’s true.
The federal government is now hiring private debt collectors to go after people who owe student loans. Those debt collectors are getting summary judgments in federal courts and then asking the judges to order the U.S. Marshal Service to arrest people who have defaulted on their loan.
“There’s got to be a better way to collect on a debt that’s so old,” Green said.
Fox26Houston reports that Aker’s story isn’t the first and won’t be the last. They have between 1,200 and 1,500 warrants in their area alone to serve for people who have failed to pay on their student loans.
The average student loan debt for 2015 graduates is about $35,000. It’s estimated that 651,000 student loans are currently in default – meaning they haven’t been paid for more than 270 days.
Rep. Green and his fellow lawmakers in Washington need to stop this bizarre overreach by the feds before the Marshals try to take someone into custody who’s a little less willing to cooperate.