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.