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Comments by YACCS
Friday, April 29, 2005

Pay back that money, gimp

Make sure she pays back those student loans

Case should warn student-loan deadbeats

April 28, 2005

To anyone out there with an old student loan that you have "neglected" to pay, the federal government has three words for you: Start paying now.

The case of James Lockhart, which has made its way up to the Supreme Court and will be decided sometime during the coming term, should serve as a warning to all you student- loan deadbeats.

The court will decide if the government can legally deduct from Social Security checks debts owed on student loans more than 10 years in default. I hope the court will say, "Yes, it can."

Lockhart, a Washington State man in his late 60s, took out nine guaranteed student loans to attend four institutions of higher learning between 1984 and 1990. He had become unemployed in 1981 and never worked for more than a few months after that. He also never paid back his loans.

Guaranteed student loans are made by private lenders and are guaranteed by the federal government if the student defaults. They're the means by which millions of students finance their college and graduate-school education.

The government paid off Lockhart's loans, and in 2002 Lockhart, who by then was suffering from a heart condition and diabetes and collecting a monthly disability check, was told the government would start deducting a portion of his monthly check to pay back the more than $80,000 he owed.

The deductions continued when he became eligible for Social Security retirement, coming to $143 out of his $874 monthly check. Lockhart went to court, claiming he needed the money to pay his medical and living expenses, and that the statute of limitations on his debt had already run.

Two lower courts have ruled against him, but there seems to be a discrepancy between a federal law that says Education Department officials should aggressively pursue defaulters by garnishing their wages and other sources of income, and another law that says the government can't dun Social Security benefits to repay debts more than 10 years old.

Having paid off many thousands of dollars in student loans myself, I'm annoyed by those who drink generously from the well but then duck out on the government's request to pay back the money. If somebody lends you the money for something as beneficial as your education - whether it's a private donor or the government through the taxpayers - you have a moral obligation to repay it.

Most people take out student loans when they're young, so they have plenty of time to pay them off before old age and infirmity set in. But even if you're a late bloomer, you shouldn't be allowed to walk away from your obligations. James Lockhart should get a part-time job.


What got up her ass today? This is crazy.

OK, so the guy is a bit of a deadbeat, but her cruelty here is amazing. I mean stunning. It's not easy to get disability and taking money from it is downright cruel if nothing else. But her suggestion: get a part-time job, beggars description. She's not wingnut, but this is just wrong. This man CANNOT WORK. He has a heart condition and diabetes, what the fuck is he supposed to do for a living? Drop dead?

My God, there are plenty of working, well off people who don't pay off loans, go after them. But this kind of stuinning advocacy of cruelty is amazing.

You would think she was cheated out of an education.

This woman has a job which pays quite well and an education. Yet, she cheers on taking money from a chronically ill man. Is this society so cruel that this kind of meanspiritedness is now acceptable in a liberal newspaper? How would she like to live on $731 a month? Man, this kind of just intense meanness seems to be all the rage these days.

It's not that he's right, but he certainly didn't make himself sick, did he? He could be a complete loser screwball for all I know, but it is unseemly for a well-off, educated woman cheering on the seizure of a SSI check.

You might want to let her know how you feel

posted by Steve @ 1:26:00 AM

1:26:00 AM

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