U.S. Marshals arresting an unidentified man unrelated to unpaid student loans.

Last month, seven U.S. Marshals arrested Paul Aker at his Houston, Texas home and arrested him for unpaid federal student loan debt. Interestingly enough, he took out the loan in 1987 and owed $1,500 in past due payments.

With so many people unable to pay off their student loan debt, the federal government has hired private debt collection companies to go after those with delinquent student loan debts. Apparently, delinquent student borrowers thirty years removed are not even safe.

After almost three decades, Aker still owed $2,709.47 on a student loan which included legal fees and interest on the original loan. The arresting U.S. Marshals stated that they had no choice but to take Aker in since was armed when they came to collect the debt.

The unlucky Aker was reportedly kept in a federal holding cell until he agreed to sign a payment plan for the loan. Furthermore, he is required to reimburse the U.S. Marshals a total of $1,258 for the cost of arresting him.

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While it’s unconstitutional to be arrested for failing to pay a debt in the United States, lenders can still obtain judgments against borrowers who fail to pay with a loophole. If a debtor ignores a request to appear in court, then an arrest warrant can be issued for that borrower.

The average student loan debt of a Texan college student is $14,469, with 54 percent of graduates carrying some sort of debt. While the national default rate is currently 10.7 percent, the default rate in Texas is higher at 12.65 percent. The loan situation in Texas is not all that bad according to data from the Student Loan Report, but even borrowers who owe less than a fraction of the average student borrower are being targeted for their outstanding balances.

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