Walmart Debtor Threatened with Jail Time

If you’ve ever written a bad check before, the future may hold harsher penalties than a simple bounce. For Angela Yartz, a California single mom, that was just the case.

A $48 check Yartz had written to retail giant Walmart bounced. Later, Yartz received a letter from the county district attorney calling for $280.05 or face up to a year behind bars. The move marks the latest step in a string of debt collectors and district attorneys working together to cut down on bad checks. Over 300 prosecutors’ offices have teamed with debt collection agencies, and with the advent of the threat of jail time, it is clear that they are stepping up their tactics.

“I thought it was just someone trying to get their hands on my information and trying to get me to pay more than what was necessary,” Yartz said. But after several phone calls, she learned that the threatening correspondence was indeed authentic.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 30 million people are being targeted by debt collection agencies, so this brings up the question: what should we make of this? Do you think these methods of debt collection are overreaching? Or is debt collection something to be taken extremely seriously?

Posted by Tyler Thurston on Nov 16, 2012


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