Residents of Houston, Texas are being visited by US Marshals recently and being placed under arrest for outstanding debt on their student loans- no matter how old these outstanding debts may be. One resident, Paul Aker, was recently taken into custody by US Marshals for an outstanding debt he owed on his student loans in the amount of $1,500 from nearly 30 years prior. Aker took the federal loan out in 1987 and had failed to repay it.
In an interview Aker did with local news channel Fox 26, he said that the US Marshals showed up to his door armed and out-of-the-blue ready to arrest him for the three-decades-old loan. Instead of being hauled off to jail to await his turn to see a judge in federal court, the US Marshals instead had Aker sign a payment plan for the loan on the spot. Fox 26 reported that a source has told them that Aker is not the first or the last person that this will be happening to.
Congressman Gene Green has spoken up to say that this is happening because the federal government is allowing private debt collectors to recover those delinquent student loan debts. The debt collectors are working with federal judges and the US Marshals to detain those people who are unwilling or unable to pay back the loans that they took out from the government. Those who are not willing to pay back the money, or work out a payment plan, could potentially be facing jail time.
As of now, there are over 1,500 warrants issued for people who have not paid back their student loan debts. That number is only going to get worse before it gets any better. America is currently in what many are calling a “Student Debt Crisis”. Tuition rates are rising, public funding for education is falling, and wages are staying the same.