Is jailing debtors the same as debtors jail?

  • Article by: CHRIS SERRES , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 17, 2011 - 4:42 PM

Some legal experts say the practice violates state constitutional bans on debtors prisons.

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b4igonJun. 9, 10 8:11 PM

I don't understand how a person is suppose to come up with money sitting in a jail. would they possibly earn more money at a job and maybe be able to make a payment. Along with that the way interest on these debts is figured and the late fees accumulated as they are, should not be legal. kind of like loan shark.

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leftyredJun. 10, 10 6:46 PM

Debt collection is an easy business to get in to if you really don't care about harassing the downtrodden. For those being threatened by debt collection agencies; please let your friends and neighbors know who it was that sold your debt to these bottom feeders. The only effective way to end the practice is to not let your original debt holder remove their name from the actions of the collections agencies they employ.

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ld1030Jun. 11, 10 2:18 PM

= no jail time for failure to pay debts. Period.

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jsens3Jun. 14, 10 5:45 AM

It is the dream of every debt collector to be able to use criminal process to collect civil debt. It looks like some are being successful at doing so by manipulating the system with court orders followed by contempt proceedings for failure to appear. It is hard to believe a Minnesota judge would issue an arrest warrant for contempt involving a small sum much less jail a debtor for failure to make a payment on a civil debt. What a waste of taxpayer funds! For some time we've been hearing whining from the judicial branch about needing more money. The courts must have plenty of money if they can afford to waste resources hounding the downtrodden over petty debts. Where is observance of the maxim "De minimus non curat lex?"

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oldeamericanJul. 3, 10 3:46 PM

They all swore an oath to UPHOLD the CONSTITUTION. If they are American they they are guilty of some crime, a felony surely & maybe treason? It is easy to see who the actual criminals are. the "Details" are just an excuse for them to break the law. Did they migrate here from Nazi Geremany?

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surleygirlJul. 5, 1011:06 AM

My grandmother told all my family members to never get credit cards because they will only lead to problems. She talked about the "poor house" and people being sent there to work off their debt. I didn't believe her until I read the story about the facility in New Ulm a few years ago and now Debtors prison is a reality again. The greatest generation never lies.

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ams3110Jul. 13, 1010:39 PM

I agree with Mr. White this is idiotic. Our legal system should have better things to do then arresting people for their past debts. Don't get me wrong people need to grow upo and do what they can to pay their dedbts. But as an American citzen I should be protected by the fact that we abloished debtors prisons eons ago. Now if it's legal matters such as failure to appear for court or failure to make court ordered payments that's one thing but be fair with the whole bail hearing issue why set bail for the amount of the debt if it's a legal issue and not a debt issue? The debt collectors are cruel to most of these people more then half the time any way. Yes, some people do have the meand=s to pay the debts they owe but look at the econmey we are currently living in people are barly holding onto their homes, let alone to be able to pay for stuff that's so old even the orginal creditor forgot about it. It only are creditors cruel and downright disrespectful but they also make twice sometimes more then twice what they pay for the debt. Cruel and unusal punishment is against the law here in the Untied States and yet these people get away with all the time. And they involve a much overworked and underpaid system to their advantage. Our civial servants should be out spending their time dealing with the very real and drangerous crimes that people everyday people including the collectors in danger. I would be more then extemly pissed if I found out that an officer couldn't respond to a real emergancy or crime because their issuing arrest warrants for people who can't pay their debts. I understand that collectors want their money, who wouldn't, but maybe maybe if they tried a little more to work with the debtor and the individual sititution at hand then maybe they would have a better success rate at getting the debts paids. But when you set on the other end of the phone and treat the debtor as if they are just above human being then what the hel do you expect? The debts collectors have just been able to find another "loop hole" in the system to try to tie down the everyday working joe. And our goverment wonders why we are all falling into hell in hand basket. Its because everyone is always so worried about the bottom line that they forget these are human beings, mothers, fathers, grandparents,and children they are dealing with. These are not just a bunch of numbers on a spreedsheet. We, as the human race, we be a lot better off in more ways if we remembered that.

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