Need a little more cray cray in your day? Get this: Breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay was sent a $280 medical bill completely by accident, and even after she was told she didn't have to pay the bill, she found herself in debtor's prison! She was taken there by STATE TROOPERS who showed up at her home and handcuffed her like she was a common criminal. Then, she had to pay $600 out of pocket just to get the charges all straightened out. And yes, this happened right here in the good ol' USA! In my home state of Illinois, in fact. What the ...?!
It should come as no big surprise that ever since the country tumbled into the Great Recession, the number of people who have debt collectors knocking down their doors has increased like whoa. In fact, the number of debts referred to third-party collection agencies has doubled since 2000. Incredible. But what's even scarier is that completely innocent people like Lindsay are bearing the brunt of this trend -- by getting thrown in jail.
This poor woman. Can you imagine ... To go through all of that over a stinkin $280 bill -- that she never even owed in the first place! Compeltely insane. Obviously there's something seriously amiss here. In fact, one-third of states allow debtors to be imprisoned.
That said, stories like Lindsay's are not as uncommon as you would think. Consider a disabled roofer named Jack Hinton who was put in an Illinois jail for not settling a $300 bill with a lumberyard, or a woman named Kelly Wiedemer who spent four days in jail because she hadn't paid traffic fines. Wow.
So now, there's actually a bill to prevent debtors from going to jail that's going to be heard in the Illinois state Senate tomorrow. Fingers crossed that baby gets desk, signed, sealed, and delivered to the governor's desk, because this is just outrageous.
Even in most cases where someone owes the bill that a debt collector is chasing them down for ... jail time can't possibly be the best solution. There are just way too many everyday Americans who cannot make ends meet right now. Instead, greedy medical companies and corporations knocking down doors to get paid amounts that are basically pennies to them need to better understand a couple of things called forgiveness and having a soul. Because people like Lisa Lindsay, Jack Hinton, and Kelly Wiedemer deserve better.
How outrageous is this?!