Payday Lenders Use Courts to Create Modern Debtor Prison | Local company

But sympathy has limits. “If they’ve been notified and they don’t show up, then they get what they deserve,” he said.

Although creditors’ lawyers ask for attachments, it is the judges who issue them, he noted. “It’s the judge saying, ‘You didn’t come when we told you, and I don’t like it.”

It is not a free service for creditors, he notes. In Missouri, they pay the courts $ 90 up front for each bodily seizure, whether or not it results in an arrest.

But an arrest often pays off the debt. A review of several debt cases found that lawyers suggested sureties corresponding to the amount of the debt when they requested bodily foreclosures, and that judges set those amounts.

Once the debtor has bailed out, the bond money often ends up in the hands of creditors. In Missouri, debtors sometimes sign documents prepared by the creditor’s attorney, releasing the money from their surety to creditors.

Wakita Shaw hired a lawyer after her arrest, fearing she would face criminal charges for the debt. A court document shows that the lawyer agrees to release the surety for the Sunshine title.

Although borrowers provide post-dated checks to payday loan stores, they actually can’t be charged with criminal verification, Swearingen says, until they stop payment on the check or close the bank account. .

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