Stockton, CA – It’s 6 in the morning. The alarm clock seems to be ringing loudly, you try to reach for the snooze button but it’s not the alarm clock… Someone is banging loudly at your door. You get out of bed in your underwear to check what the ruckus is all about and as you reach downstairs, your door breaks down and about 10 to 15 armed men storm inside your house and suddenly grab you and handcuff you. Rude awakening … much!
This looks like a scene from a reality TV show like C.O.P.S. or Dallas S.W.A.T. Semi paramilitary law enforcers invading homes of suspected drug dealers, criminals, and gangs, et cetera. But no, this is the house of an average single parent in sleepy Stockton, CA.
Kenneth Wright, the unfortunate civilian who had to go through this harrowing experience along with his 3 kids ages 3, 7, and 11 (who are also apparently traumatized by now after being woken up by complete strangers and put inside a squad car) has no criminal record.
People would think that maybe Mr. Wright had committed some federal crime or some horrendous act resulting into this somewhat action movie scene. But no, the reason why the S.W.A.T. came crashing into his home was because they were in search of his estranged wife who had defaulted on her student loan. Maybe America has been so obsessed with watching way too many action movies or that there is always an urge to show so much machismo in law enforcement that even when a lizard crawls on the wall they always have to take out and show off their big guns.
To the S.W.A.T. team that invaded, Osama bin Laden is dead, get over it. This is a defaulted student loan that was committed by Kenneth Wright’s ex-wife not by him, so the use of brute force is uncalled for.
Strangely, when has America’s law enforcement become a paramilitary group? Wasn’t it that if you needed to be questioned about anything or issued any warrant, a police car would come up to your house and an officer would politely talk to you and hand you the search warrant?
According to news reports, the raid was conducted based on the orders of the Department of Education who wanted to issue a search warrant. Again, this story is becoming more bizarre, how can the Department of Education have such power?
In attempt to cover the stink from the pile of poop that they made, the Education Department issued a statement that local media reports about raid were incorrect. The Wright home was not invaded by the S.W.A.T. team. The local “armed authorities” were sent by the OIG (Office of the Inspector General), a branch of the Department of Education which handles cases like fraud, waste, and abuse of the Department of Education’s funds. They claim that they needed to issue a warrant to search the house, because they are in the middle of a criminal investigation not because of a defaulted student loan. The funny thing is, Wright went to the office of Mayor Ann Johnston and the Stockton Police Department and was advised that they did not know anything about the search warrant and OIG would not give any details about the criminal investigation case. Something fishy is going on or that some people at the OIG are not functioning with their full mental capacities.
It may be due to the increasing rate of paranoia in the nation or just downright machismo, but having people in government agencies like the Department of Education or OIC, who apparently are quite trigger happy sending an army to people’s houses early in the morning and raiding their homes, is quite scary. These people are neglecting procedures like surveillance, phone calls, investigators before charging into your house and handcuffing you and throwing you inside a police car. What next? Drag people and throw them in jail, because they forgot to put money into the parking meter? Exile people inside Guantanamo for not being able to memorize the national anthem?
For those people who have defaulted on their loans, to avoid being raided inside your home, here are some tips on what you should expect if you did default:
• Remember, student loans are the type of loans that you cannot default on even if you declare bankruptcy. The government will go after you, it is as inevitable as death;
• You may not receive any tax refunds until your student loans has been paid in full (but there is a way to challenge this);
• Uncle Sam may trim your paycheck to pay off your loans. 15% of your total wage can be taken to pay off your debts, but there is little ray of light in this, because they can’t take the equivalent of 30 times off your current federal minimum wage;
• Say adios to your federal benefits (e.g. Social Security disability benefits, Social Security retirement benefits but Supplemental Security Income is excluded). Uncle Sam can take your Social Security benefits to pay off your student loans but he is unable to do so if you are left with benefits that are less than $9000 a year or $750 a month. And he can’t shave off more than 15% of your total federal benefits;
• You get sued. Unlike other loans, there is no expiry date on the allowable timeframe when creditors can sue you. And they are like the 3-headed monster that Godzilla fought or a Cerberus (3-headed dog guarding the gates of hell), because they just don’t sue you, they are allowed to harass and abuse defaulters (this may have been literally interpreted by the OIG).
To learn more about student loans default and bankruptcy, request for a free 30-minute consultation with us.
Better yet, avoid going into default because BIG BROTHER is WATCHING!