Recently incarcerated individuals often have significant amounts of debt, including civil and criminal restitution, child support, taxes, personal loans, and ordinary consumer obligations. However, bankruptcy is often unavailable or unhelpful to these individuals. Many of the debts common among post-incarcerated debtors are nondischargeable in bankruptcy, and the problem is compounded by lack of affordable legal services and an economic culture of interpersonal lending that discourages formal discharge of debt. In response, a number of states have created ways of reducing or discharging such debts at sentencing, upon release from prison, or as part of the collections process. These procedures call into question the nondischargeability of debts common to the post-incarcerated population and suggest that bankruptcy should be made more widely available to recently incarcerated debtors.
Luke Herrine∞ Abstract This article argues that, despite being the least discriminatory form of underwriting in history, consumer credit reporting can reinforce and deepen systemic inequalities. Credit reports can create two sorts of vicious cycles, which can contribute to cycles
Ability-to-pay determinations at best reduce court debt burdens and at worse represent a neoliberal racial project that serves to redistribute resources from Black families to state governments in a regressive taxation scheme that exacerbates the racial economic divide.
Though officially deemed unconstitutional, the debtors’ prison scheme consists of jailing low-income individuals for not being able to pay their legal financial obligations (“LFOs”), also known as criminal justice debt.
The kid’s name was Lil’ Yo—well, that’s what all his little buddies called him—and immediately his presence snagged my attention.