First of all, I’m not sure what forum this belongs in, so I’ll put it here and let the mods move it to wherever they deem most appropriate.
Secondly, let me give myself a pseudo-Pitting.
I am an idiot. I am financially irresponsible. I am lazy. I am disorganized. I done, bad, and now must pay the piper. I am not, however, out to screw anybody. Even though it seems the Federal Government is acting like terrorist thugs, I am not trying to be some fugitive from the law. I also realize that when people screw up they must make amends. I screwed up, and I am more than willing to make amends.
I realize that I was an idiot on the phone the day before yesterday. I got the call early in the morning, I had not yet put on my skeptic’s hat, and I was easily intimidated by a phoned in threat on behalf of the Department of Justice. My bad for answering the phone before having my first hot cup of Don’t Trust Anybody. Before I knew it, I had given a complete stranger my employer’s name and phone number, my parents’ names and phone number, the name of my bank, a rough estimate of my balance, and details on my salary.
I was an idiot, and I deserve whatever consequences I get.
This does not, however, mean that I have to take this lying down.
Having said all that, here is my situation: I have student loans that have been outstanding for quite some time now. They are in default. The call I got was from a collection agency, and they told me that if I don’t pony up X dollars by tomorrow, the Department of Justice will not only garnish my wages, but sieze all of my assets. (Yeah, let’s see them try to take moldy cheese and dust bunnies. They can try to take my cobweb collection, but not without a fight.)
While at first I was intimidated, I started to think that this was merely the strongarm tactics of a dishonest collection agency. I thought a mere five minutes of web research would get me enough information to have these jerks closed down for good. However, it seems that student loans are another animal altogether. All I have found is support for what Ms. Evil Collection Clerk said. It seems that I have no rights, and jackbooted gummint thugs can run roughshod over me at their whim.
That’s how it seems. But surely, I must have some rights here. Any lawyers care to comment? Anyone else in a similar situation? Any advice, good, bad or ugly? Is the weather in Zurich good at this time of year, and can the Evil Claws of the US gummint reach me there?