Sunday, September 2, 2012
To most of us, “debtors’ prison” sounds like an archaic institution, something straight out of a Dickens novel. But the idea of jailing people who can’t pay what they owe is alive and well in 21st-century America.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, debt collectors in Missouri, Illinois, Alabama and other states are using a legal loophole to justify jailing poor citizens who legitimately cannot pay their debts.
Here’s how clever payday lenders work the system in Missouri — where, it should be noted, jailing someone for unpaid debts is illegal under the state constitution.