SWAT Team Maybe Sent to Collect Student Loan

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There is not, at this point, going to be a clear resolution at the end of this story about a Stockton, Calif.,  man whose door was broken down by a SWAT team looking for some defaulted student loans. I wanted to tell you that ahead of time because I know that I, for one, hate ambiguous endings when I haven’t prepared for them.

What we do know is this: Kenneth Wright found himself handcuffed and in the back of a police car after a SWAT team broke his door as part of serving a search warrant.

The warrant, put into effect by the U.S. Department of Education (who also, by the way, called for a SWAT team — and let’s put a pin in that to come back to later), was actually for Wright’s estranged wife. She’s the one with the loans, and she’s the one whose name was on the warrant. Wright just made the mistake of being at home.

The Office of Inspector General has released this statement about the case:

“The Office of Inspector General does not engage in the collection of student loans. Our mission is to conduct criminal investigations related to the programs and operations of the U.S. Department of Education, which include the student financial aid programs. We can confirm that we executed a search warrant at the residence, however our policy is not to discuss details of our on-going work.”

The statement makes it pretty clear that this isn’t just a matter of several months’ worth of missed student loan payments. insideARM.com has covered student loan collections in the past — and this struck most of us here as unusual. SWAT teams aren’t on the list of acceptable means of collecting a debt. Usually letters and some phone calls.

Because of the on-going nature of the investigation, neither the Office of Inspector General or the Department of Education can comment fully on the particulars of this case — or even if poor Mr. Wright will get a new door out of all of this. As more details become available, however, we’ll update you.

Be sure to watch the video associated with the story. It’s b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

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Posted in Department of Education Collections, Featured Post, Student Loan Collection News, Student Loan Collections .

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  • avatar Walter Steele says:

    Based on my long standing experience in the student loan industry and the extreme measures that were taken by the US Department of Education in this instance, I would have to guess (and that is exactly what it is, a guess based on this story) that this was the culmination of an extensive investigation into a student loan fraud ring. Student loan fraud rings cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars every year and are investigated by not only the originating entity but also the US Department of Justice and the FBI. Again, I am speculating here, based solely on the contents of this article, but I cannot envision any scenario where this situation plays out as it has, that does not involve some significant level of criminal activity.

  • avatar Rosemarie Rogers says:

    How can the SWAT Team come in and take someone to jail? I thought they would get a judgment against the person and then do a garnishment on the person. Why would you want to take some one to jail?

  • avatar Mike Bevel says:

    @ Rosemarie:

    That’s not quite what happened in the story. And as Walter Steele pointed out above, and as I said in the story, this is probably going to turn out to be something more nefarious — and maybe even SWAT-worthy — than what appears to be, at first blush, a story about a defaulted student loan.

    Thanks for reading!

  • avatar hansen fuller says:

    I never heard A SWAT team to collect a default student loans. It’s a weird thing to hear. Studying for college is really costly, few can only go through it without a student loan. A number of students depend on student and apparently a number of graduates often get a heart attack though not literally after knowing their accumulated debts and interests. Most are wondering whether college is worth it. I found this here: Value of college questioned with high loans and unemployment, personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog.

  • avatar Kenny says:

    Reading everyones responses happy to see there are others who see this same as myself.
    Please, I could be wrong but the U.S. Department of Education isn’t the dept that coordinates with SWAT in the first place. The individual named was hancuffed and placed in the vehicle either to protect his safety or because a warrant was found with his name on it.
    People are jailed for not paying child support so why wouldn’t someone who obtained education monies from tax payers fraudulantly not be?

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