Are Armed Marshals Really Collecting on Student Loans?

February 17, 2016

Twitter featured many posts in the last two days about a report from Texas that seven armed U.S. marshals showed up at the Houston residence a man with outstanding student debt. Many worried that the millions of Americans with student debt now had to fear armed agents of the U.S. government. The New York Times reported that the story was true, and that there was some context. Marshals are being used to track down debtors with arrest warrants because they missed court hearings related to their debt. They are not being used for those who are repaying their loans, the overwhelming majority of whom have no arrest warrants. In the case of those who tracked down the Houston man, authorities told the Times that they had been trying to collect his debt since 2012. The reason seven marshals were involved is that authorities heard the man say he had a gun, and so increased the size of the group at his residence.

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