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Non dischargeable student loans violate the 13th amendment

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  • Sat, Mar 06, 2010 - 11:26pm

    #1

    George Karpouzis

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    Non dischargeable student loans violate the 13th amendment

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Peonage
Refers to a person in “debt servitude,” or involuntary servitude tied to the payment of a debt. Compulsion to servitude includes the use of force, the threat of force, or the threat of legal coercion to compel a person to work against his or her will.  Peonage Section 1581 of Title 18

 

Involuntary servitude

Refers to a person held by actual force, threats of force, or threats of legal coercion in a condition of slavery – compulsory service or labor against his or her will. This also includes the condition in which people are compelled to work against their will by a “climate of fear” evoked by the use of force, the threat of force, or the threat of legal coercion (i.e., suffer legal consequences unless compliant with demands made upon them) which is sufficient to compel service against a person’s will. The first U.S. Supreme Court case to uphold the ban against involuntary servitude was Bailey v. Alabama (1911).

Here is the current legislative language, as amended by Section 220 of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), P.L. 109-8, effective October 17, 2005.

   523(a) Exceptions to discharge

       (8) Unless excepting such debt from discharge under this paragraph would impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor’s dependents, for–

             A- an educational benefit overpayment or loan made, insured, or guaranteed by a government unit, or made under any program funded in whole or in part by a government unit or nonprofit institution; or an obligation to repay funds received as an educational benefit, scholarship, or stipend;

 

US Bankruptcy Code 11 USC 523(a)(8) is unconstitutional as it violations section 1 of the 13th amendment. The exception for undue hardship only occurs when the borrower is basically flat out broke, destitute, and emotionally and physically drained. Section 1581 of Title 18 and the language of Bailey v Alabama are in direct conflict with US code 523(a)(8).

A student loan is a contract like many other contracts that are signed on a daily basis worldwide. Definition, “An agreement between two or more parties, especially one that is written and enforceable by law”. Contracts, being agreements, are breached all the time for many reasons. Sometimes they are breached because of undue hardship, sometimes it is more economical for a party to breach rather than fulfilling its obligation. Sometimes, impossibility is used as a defense, as it is impossible to satsify the terms or frustration of purpose is used as a defense to breaching a contract. However, student loan contracts are special in that the consequences of breach are severe and for the most part, nondischargeable.

I argue that the penalties, enforcement, and nondischargeable nature of federally backed student loans violate the 13th amendment. As such, it is imperative that a suit be brought against the government. The specific remedy should be: that US Bankruptcy Code 22 USC 523(a)(8) is violative of section 1 of the 13th amendment as accruing interest, lifetime duration nature of student loan payments is tatamount to involuntary servitude as private banks, through the use of collections agents, use legal threats of coercion to defaulted borrowers to repay their loans. In addition, the fact that the contract can effectively never be terminated is also violative of the 13th amendment as borrowers are forced to work to make these payments “against their will” by the use of legal coercion. Contracts are terminated when a party has committed a total breach. When a party has breached the terms of a contract, they go to court, a judgment is rendered and a remedy is provided. In the event that a party cannot pay the remedy, he files bk and the case is over. The party which could not pay CHOSE to file bk, and that is the end of it. With nondischargebale student loans, the borrower is forced against his will to continue to pay a usurious loan against his will. This fits the description of involunary servitude.

 


  • Sun, Mar 07, 2010 - 12:58am

    #2
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Non dischargeable student loans violate the 13th …

Sorry,  I am not buying it.  I think it is wrong that debts are dischargable in most cases at all.  As some one who was severely financially damaged by some one who defaulted on their contract by declaring bankruptcy,  I am not going there.  It is against the 13th Amendment for a person to be able to file for bankruptcy and put me in debt.  If you fail to pay back your student loan you are taking my tax dollars because the bank will always get paid,  that is the meaning of backed by the government.  So no.  Too bad.  The education in your head cannot be returned.  I say indentured servitude would be good.  Thousands of hours of community service as a pro bono lawyer for failing to pay those loans.  I wanted to go to law school but I was afraid of that debt.  Why should I have to pay for the fact that you got to go?

  • Sun, Mar 07, 2010 - 01:06am

    #3
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Non dischargeable student loans violate the 13th …

The government has been subsidising housing and people are defaulting like mad. That bankruptcy provision violates the 13th on its face. If you like slavery then go to africa.

  • Sun, Mar 07, 2010 - 01:16am

    #4
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Non dischargeable student loans violate the 13th …

Other people are doing something wrong so it makes it OK for me to do it is a crock.  I don’t like slavery but at the moment I cannot get out of my tax slavery so why should you be allowed to violate that?

 

  • Sun, Mar 07, 2010 - 01:34am

    #5
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Non dischargeable student loans violate the 13th …

Student loan slaves pay taxes and loans with interest. If u dont work, u dont pay tax. If you dont work, you still get the bill from the student loan servicers. Its a DEBT, and DEBT is liquidated in all circumstances except for student loans. If u look at the legislative history, the rules were tightened dramatically in 2005. I guess they figured that no one would think to use the 13th amendment to battle that bk code. Until of course, BMT gets his license.

 

People that have 70k in loans and are making 50k a yr, odds are strong that person wont default on a 650 a month payment. Someone who owes 120k and makes 35k a yr SHOULD be allowed to default. Period. By allowing distressed student loan borrowers to defualt would hurt the student loan market. Thus, tutions would fall more in line with realistic incomes. Let the market work damn it!

Ive read so many horror stories of law or mba, phd grads getting out with 200k in student loans and are making 30-40k a year. They default, the principal grows and they will never get out of debt. This is involuntary servitude which benefits primarily the banks and then the gov. 11 USC 523(a)(8) needs to be revised.

  • Sun, Mar 07, 2010 - 02:06am

    #6
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Non dischargeable student loans violate the 13th …

The world isn’t fair and most of the time, economically, you don’t get what you want, you get what you deserve.  Man up, pay up, and move on.  Life’s too short. 

  • Sun, Mar 07, 2010 - 02:25am

    #7
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Non dischargeable student loans violate the 13th …

You older folk fail to realize the predicament facing the younger generation. Young adults listened to their parents and society, studied hard, went on to higher education, incurred unprecedented debt, and are now finding themselves in a desperate situation. At least the boomers that went on a home buying frenzy have the option of walking away. Generation Y cannot walk away from student loans. Not only Gen Y, but the most recent graduates that also happen to carry the largest debt loads are the ones having the toughest time getting a job. No generation ever had it this hard, absent the civil war folks. Not even the great depression youth were subject to this. Some attorney told one of my fellow grads that “if i was in your shoes id shoot myself in the head”.

By and large the comments that I get every time i speak about the plight of my generation are haughty and cruel. If society will punish their youth and treat them the harshest out of any class of people in this environment, then there really is no hope for the future. We grads deserve to have our wages garnished to fund your social security benefits becuase we elected to pursue a higher education? No, in the end you will get what you deserve when the entire system falls apart.

  • Sun, Mar 07, 2010 - 03:20am

    #8
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Non dischargeable student loans violate the 13th …

[quote=land2341]

Sorry,  I am not buying it.  I think it is wrong that debts are dischargable in most cases at all.  As some one who was severely financially damaged by some one who defaulted on their contract by declaring bankruptcy,  I am not going there.  It is against the 13th Amendment for a person to be able to file for bankruptcy and put me in debt.  If you fail to pay back your student loan you are taking my tax dollars because the bank will always get paid,  that is the meaning of backed by the government.  So no.  Too bad.  The education in your head cannot be returned.  I say indentured servitude would be good.  Thousands of hours of community service as a pro bono lawyer for failing to pay those loans.  I wanted to go to law school but I was afraid of that debt.  Why should I have to pay for the fact that you got to go?

[/quote]

Wow. So you’d bring back debtor’s prison? The damage of a default can wreck someone’s life for 7 years. Most people wouldn’t do that unless they were desperate. 

Debtor’s prison was abolished for moral reasons. And you want to bring it back?

  • Sun, Mar 07, 2010 - 03:21am

    #9
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Non dischargeable student loans violate the 13th …

[quote=bearmarkettrader]

You older folk fail to realize the predicament facing the younger generation. Young adults listened to their parents and society, studied hard, went on to higher education, incurred unprecedented debt, and are now finding themselves in a desperate situation. At least the boomers that went on a home buying frenzy have the option of walking away. Generation Y cannot walk away from student loans. Not only Gen Y, but the most recent graduates that also happen to carry the largest debt loads are the ones having the toughest time getting a job. No generation ever had it this hard, absent the civil war folks. Not even the great depression youth were subject to this. Some attorney told one of my fellow grads that “if i was in your shoes id shoot myself in the head”.

By and large the comments that I get every time i speak about the plight of my generation are haughty and cruel. If society will punish their youth and treat them the harshest out of any class of people in this environment, then there really is no hope for the future. We grads deserve to have our wages garnished to fund your social security benefits becuase we elected to pursue a higher education? No, in the end you will get what you deserve when the entire system falls apart.

[/quote]

This older generation person worked his ass off from the age of 12, worked 24 hours a week carrying an 18 plus credit load at an academically demanding East Coast university, pulled the grades to get a full scholarship working on a second degree, lived in a ghetto apartment going to school to save money, didn’t have a car or even a phone to save money, ate a lot of rice and beans to save money (and sometimes even fasted), etc., didn’t have to get any loans as a consequence, and didn’t whine about it to anyone.

What I see in many (but thankfully, not all) of your generation is that if someone disagrees with that, tells them something they don’t want to hear, or makes them feel the least uncomfortable about themselves (even if it’s for their own good), that person is “mean” or, in your instance, “cruel and haughty”.  Maybe, it’s time for some self reflection and contemplation to assess why everyone is so “mean” to you.  I mean, it must always be them, right, and not your actions … couldn’t be your actions, could it?

My 20 year old daughter got a job at the university she’s at and in the summer, cleaned the bathrooms and hallways in the commercial building I own, babysat, AND also found herself a full time summer job paying $17.82/hour (thank you, President O’Bummer for one benefit of your stimulus package).  My 17 year old also does the same janitorial work, shovels snow, mows lawns, and coaches soccer and will be working a full time job in a greenhouse this summer as well .  Both of them have earned significant university scholarships as well.  Frankly, if they whined as much as you, my wife and I would verbally kick their butts from here to next year and they know it and act accordingly. 

No generation ever had it this hard!?!?!?  Go back and study your history.  You think you have it tougher than the GIs in France in WW I or those in the Pacific or Europe in WW2 or those in Korea or even those in Vietnam.  Your a** is high and dry and lead free sitting back in the nice comfy USA and you’re having it worse than they did?  Get real!

And furthermore, I paid in for my Social Security benefits with many years of 50-60 hour work weeks but I’m also prepared not to get it.  And if and when the system falls apart, we will get exactly what we deserve.  We’ve prepared well and have the physical and mental capabilities to handle anything that comes our way.  Bring it on, I say. 

Frankly, you seem like a nice guy with a promising future ahead of you but you’re spending WAY too much time wallowing in self pity.  Get past it and move on and make your future.  

  • Sun, Mar 07, 2010 - 04:54am

    #10
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Non dischargeable student loans violate the 13th …

My great grandmother was born in Port Chester, New York in 1898.  She went to work in a textile factory at the age of 11.  Her husband died of typhoid fever when my grandfather was one year old.  Over the course of her life she lost three of her fingers working the looms, and she was still so poor that she had to pick up coal that fell from the railroad cars just to heat her house in the winter.  She would have leapt at the chance to wear nice clothing and shuffle papers around a desk, even if she still had to scrounge for coal to heat her house.  But then again, she wasn’t the sort of person who asked others to fork over money to cover for her life’s mistakes.  When her attention wandered for a moment after 12 hours at work, and she lost another finger in the machinery, she didn’t look for a handout.  Her and people like her built this country, and those people deserved a break.  The break that you are turning your nose up at.

Any informed person who takes federally-backed loans knows that in exchange for the low interest rates and extended repayment terms, they give up the right to discharge the debt in bankruptcy.  You knew that.  If you had found this arrangement disagreeable, then why didn’t you get your financing elsewhere?  Of course:  where else could you have borrowed $100k+ with no collateral?  No private lender would be crazy enough to lend tens of thousands of dollars in unsecured money to a penniless student, no matter what interest rate you offered to pay.

The federal loan program is a tool that is available to any student should they wish to take advantage of it.  And it has helped a lot of people obtain very satisfactory educations and employment that would have been completely out of reach without federally backed loans.

You made a business decision.  Now when you find that your contractual obligations have become burdensome to you, you want to weasel out of the agreement that you entered into with full knowledge by making silly arguments about the 13th amendment.  I’ll tell you what slavery is.  Slavery is never having a choice.  Slavery is living generation after generation doing nothing but manual labor because you do not have the money to roll the dice on a better life.  Slavery is not being able to afford to leave the neighborhood that you were born in.  Slavery is not having a choice

Now I’ll tell you what slavery is not.  Slavery is not having the luxury of choice, exercising that choice, attending the mediocre school of your own choosing, and then claiming that “freedom from slavery” means the freedom to weasel out of contractual agreements when you don’t happen to like the outcome.  I suspect that if you had landed a job making $95,000 you would not be complaining so much about being given the chance to attend the school of your choice with no questions asked, rather than spending a lifetime flipping hamburgers.

Would you rather that the loan program was not available at all?  Or do you simply want the United States of America to pick up the tab whenever a student borrows heavily to attend a mediocre school (of their choosing) and then is displeased with the wages waiting for them upon graduation?  Wages that your ancestors would give their eye teeth for, and wages which you could have discovered before attending school.

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