Gail DonaldsonRecently, a Houston resident made national headlines for his claim of being arrested over a $1,500.00 student loan debt that he incurred in 1987.  Several media outlets reported that the U.S. Federal Marshals came to his home in full combat gear. This occurred after he allegedly told a Marshal who had stopped by his home earlier that he had a gun.  Of course, there is more to the story.  Further reports stated that he was summoned regarding an unpaid debt in 2007 and failed to show up in court to answer the government’s lawsuit.  His failure to appear resulted in the court ordering him to pay the full amount as soon as possible.  After a couple of missed court appearances, the court issued an arrest warrant for failing to appear.

Arrested For Student Debt

This case is extraordinary but the bottom line is that you cannot be arrested for owing a student loan debt.  It is very important to follow up on any consolidated student loans to make sure all of them were included so you do not default on one of them years later like the gentleman in Houston.

The take-away is that if you receive any notices from a court—DO NOT IGNORE THEM!  You need to follow up with your lender, the court who issued the notice and/or the attorney assigned to the case to make sure the notice is legit.

If you have received a court notice about a debt, please call our office to discuss with one of our Bond & Botes attorneys.  One consultation may save you a lot of heartache and lost sleep.

Gail Donaldson
Written by Gail Donaldson

Gail Hughes Donaldson is a Managing Partner of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. She’s been helping families work through the bankruptcy process since she started with Bond & Botes back in 1993 as a paralegal. Read her full bio here.

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