Texans Are Being Arrested by US Marshals Over Student Loan Debt
In February, seven U.S. Marshals showed up at Paul Aker’s home in Houston and arrested him. His crime? Failing to pay a nearly three-decades-old student loan debt. The story went viral, and caught the attention of Fusion reporter Rob Wile. He and his colleagues were curious: if this was happening in Houston – where there were 25 arrest warrants for outstanding student debt in 2015 – how prevalent was it elsewhere?
Well, not at all, actually. Fusion launched an investigation into some of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas and found that Houston was the only place where these arrests were happening.
“We checked in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami – where I’m based – and Boston. We found zero arrests that were occurring in this manner. Zero. Which was shocking,” Wile says.
They found that all of these arrests could be traced back to one man: Judge Lynn Hughes. He’s the United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas, who’s made headlines before for his less-than-delicate words aimed at prosecutors. The Reagan-appointed judge wanted to make sure that those people that were delinquent on their loans would show up in his court and took measures to make sure they did.