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Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:22 AM

Lawyers crack down on school teacher for student loan debt



Lawyers drained Linda Brice’s bank account and seized a quarter of her take-home pay, or more than $900 a month. Brice, a first-grade teacher and Coast Guard veteran, begged for mercy, saying she couldn’t afford food, gas or utilities.

Brice’s transgression: she defaulted on $3,100 she had borrowed more than 30 years ago to pay for college. The chief federal judge in Los Angeles took her side, ruling that Brice should pay only $25 a month. The law firm of Goldsmith & Hull — representing the federal government — then withdrew $2,496 from her bank account.

“I am at the end of my rope,” Brice wrote in a May 2009 court filing. “I apologize for taking the court’s time, but I simply do not know what to do.”

Brice’s case shows how tough the government can be when it comes to collecting its share of student-loan debt, which totals $1 trillion, surpassing the amount owed on credit cards. Students who borrow as teenagers and whose degrees don’t pay off confront some of the harshest treatment and fewest chances for a fresh start of any debtors, except those owing child support. ...........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.theeagle.com/article/20120708/PC1601/120709608/1103/bc20/&slId=1



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Reply Lawyers crack down on school teacher for student loan debt (Original post)
marmar Jul 2012 OP
liberal N proud Jul 2012 #1
MADem Jul 2012 #2
DisgustipatedinCA Jul 2012 #3
MADem Jul 2012 #4
Fumesucker Jul 2012 #5
Sanity Claws Jul 2012 #6
MADem Jul 2012 #7

Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:27 AM

1. It is always the little guy that gets pinched

The banks owe billions and nothing, but forget to pay your student loan and wham.

This is the future for many young adults in this country today as they graduate with mountains of debt that there is no way they will ever be able to repay. The system will not permit anyone from rising above it all.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:37 AM

2. This person is a teacher and she thinks she shouldn't have to pay her debts?

Brice, 58, said she had no idea that she could be pursued for debts from the 1970s.

“If you are a person who gave to your country, who does the kind of work I do, or is a police officer or firefighter — anyone who gives back to their community — I think the government needs to give you a break,” Brice said in an interview at a Burbank, Calif., coffee shop, after a day of teaching in the Los Angeles school system.

... Former students must stop making payments for at least four years before they are sued, Hamilton said. The Justice Department gives borrowers a chance to settle their debts before filing a lawsuit, Allison Price, a spokeswoman, said in an email.

...The Education Department said it mailed 90 notices to Brice between 1990 and 1999 that some of her loans were in default. Brice said she never received them.

http://www.theeagle.com/article/20120708/PC1601/120709608/1103/bc20/&slId=1



If you owe money, time doesn't make your debt disappear.

Sheesh. We're not talking about a large amount--she could have discharged that debt without too much drama over thirty frigging years. And she was WARNED that she'd be sued, and she still didn't start getting her shit together.

I am sorry--I have no sympathy. I spent years paying off my college loans, and it wasn't easy, but I never once thought that defaulting was an option-- you just suck it up and do it....you don't whine that they finally caught up with you after thirty years of dodging them.

Surely she could have put a portion of her coast guard pay aside to pay that debt....or her teacher's pay. We're not talking about feeding a family of ten on a McDonald's entry level salary here. I am just not buying this drama--people who don't pay their debts make it harder for the kids coming up looking for school loans.

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Response to MADem (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:47 AM

3. "I am sorry--I have no sympathy"

 

One of those statements isn't true.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:53 AM

4. I am sorry to have to state to the group here that I have no sympathy for this woman.

Clearer?



I do have sympathy for people who are in tough spots, who are unemployed, underemployed, working minimum wage jobs, and so forth, but she's had thirty years to pay back three grand. I think she needs to just suck it up and pay it.

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Response to MADem (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:59 AM

5. I'm learning to be really suspicious of articles like this..

Call me conspiracy minded but it occurs to me that the examples are often carefully chosen to be just as you have pointed out, it seems to be a regular occurrence in this sort of quasi opinion piece..

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Response to MADem (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 10:18 AM

6. Statute of limitations

Actually time can erase debts. If any private person sat on a debt for thirty years, it would be discharged by now.

Also, her loans were taken out when student loan debts were still dischargable in bankruptcy. Amazing how the rules can be changed to disadvantage the little guy but not the big corporations or government.

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Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 04:49 PM

7. It took me forever to pay off my student loans. I never once thought I could

"get away" without paying. It wasn't some poor rippable-offable schmuck I got the loan from, it was guaranteed by the feds.

Also, 90 letters they sent, and she didn't receive a single one...but she did get the bank statement that said "We took your money, honey?"

Again--I just don't buy this "Ooooh, this hit me by SURPRISE" load of bullshit. If she were unemployed and suffering an illness I might have sympathy, but this is simply a person who figured she didn't "have to" pay that bill, because someone else (like we, the people) would sweep up after her.

If the government has three grand to throw around, I'd rather see them spending it on Head Start or better school lunches or the social safety net, not forgiving the debts of people who can afford to pay them back. She's the instrument of her own misery.

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