In Kansas, people going to jail over unpaid medical bills (1 Viewer)

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JimEverett

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coldseat

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That guy, Michael Hassenplug, sounds like a real piece of work. He's like a tax collectors from biblical times.
 

superchuck500

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The OP video did not work for me. Here is an article about it, and it is God-awful


Also: https://features.propublica.org/med...-decide-who-gets-arrested-coffeyville-kansas/
Am I missing something? It says they go to jail for missing two court hearings on the collection. That's not the same as going to jail for unpaid bills.

And you can go to jail (contempt) for ignoring subpoenas in all sorts of contexts.
 

Sandman

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Technically, they aren't going to jail for medical bill debt. They are going to jail for failure to appear at a court proceeding (contempt of court).

With that said, I don't think that failure to appear to declare you are broke to a judge should be contempt. If you don't appear then the consequence is that you can't claim you are too broke to pay. Sounds like the lawyer for the bill collectors is using a loophole to strong-arm people into paying. He may be literally tarred and feathered if he doesn't watch himself. The judge needs to use some common sense on this as well. Sure, he could find them in contempt, but I think the better course is to just say that they lost the ability to claim they can't pay.
 

coldseat

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Am I missing something? It says they go to jail for missing two court hearings on the collection. That's not the same as going to jail for unpaid bills.

And you can go to jail (contempt) for ignoring subpoenas in all sorts of contexts.
Yeah, but they have to show up in court every 3 months to proclaim they're too poor to pay. It was a scheme set up by the attorney Michael Hassenplug , to apply pressure and basically have the city work as bill collectors for the various clients of his. Thereby forcing jail time if, they miss court because they can't show up every 3 months or get tired of having to go to court every 3 months and ignore it. It's just shady as hell.

Also, the attorney shouldn't be getting a cut of those court fines. That's complete BS.
 

JimEverett

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Am I missing something? It says they go to jail for missing two court hearings on the collection. That's not the same as going to jail for unpaid bills.

And you can go to jail (contempt) for ignoring subpoenas in all sorts of contexts.
Right. But at least two problems, imo
1 - it is clearly a scheme to make debt a criminal offense: they get around the civil contempt rule of jail time being allowed only when the person threatened with jail has the ability to cure by setting up these quarterly "Debtor exams"
2 - the debtors are unrepresented.

Probably more
 

Maxp

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That Kentucky law is one of the worst laws I've read. I don't understand how it hasn't been struck down.
 

efil4

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Right. But at least two problems, imo
1 - it is clearly a scheme to make debt a criminal offense: they get around the civil contempt rule of jail time being allowed only when the person threatened with jail has the ability to cure by setting up these quarterly "Debtor exams"
2 - the debtors are unrepresented.

Probably more
and 3- the attorney makes a cut of the bail if its applied to the debt.

This is nuts. How are they getting around debt collection laws???
 

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