I’m sorry, is this 1811 or 2011? Back in the day, say the 1800’s, the use of debtor’s prisons was widespread; signatories to the Declaration of Independence, James Wilson and Robert Morris were both later incarcerated, as were 2,000 New Yorkers annually by 1816. Henry Lee III, better known as Light-Horse Harry Lee, a Revolutionary War general, former governor of Virginia, and father of Robert E. Lee, was imprisoned for debt between 1808 and 1809. Sometimes, imprisonment would result from less than sixty cents’ worth of debt.
That was then, this is…then or now?
Last week, The Wall Street Journal published an article about Debtors’ Prisons in 2011. Currently, several U.S. states allow borrowers who are behind on credit-card payments, auto loans and other bills to be jailed. However lawmakers, judges and regulators are beginning to crack down on this practice, which Foreclosure Defense attorney Roy Oppenheim calls “illegal, unconstitutional and un-American.” In this video, Oppenheim explains how that happens and how to make sure that that doesn’t happen to you.
So how can Florida homeowners avoid becoming a part of this debtor nation? Roy Oppenheim says, “Don’t put your head in the sand, by ignoring the situation. If you’re in foreclosure, for example, make sure that deficiency judgment isn’t entered against you. Get legal counsel and make sure you know your rights.”