Law Firms Are Some of the Dirtiest Debt Collectors

Hamilton Nolan · 08/04/14 10:22AM

When most people think of shady, predatory "debt collectors," they probably imagine a dingy, smoke-filled boiler room with workers haranguing hapless victims on the phone. In fact, there are law firms that are every bit as perfidious.

Hamilton Nolan · 02/05/14 10:51AM

The good news: underwater homeowners are getting $1.5 billion in debt relief. The bad news: the government is taxing that money as income. "Happy debt relief. Here's some more debt."

Scandinavians: Debt Whores

Hamilton Nolan · 01/14/14 12:04PM

Those precious Scandinavians, with their reputations for probity and craftsmanship and good working order. Do not be fooled. Behind the veil of Scandinavian tidiness lies a region rife with DEBT ADDICTS.

Hamilton Nolan · 01/02/14 01:25PM

How hard is it for a broke woman taking care of bedridden husband with cancer to discharge student loans in bankruptcy? Hard. "Educational Credit said Ms. Schaffer was spending too much on food by dining out... that was a reference to the $12 she spent at McDonald's."

Time to Bring Bankruptcy Back for Student Loan Debt

Hamilton Nolan · 08/21/13 12:02PM

Thanks to some misguided moral philosophy and some excellent lobbying work, it is now almost impossible to discharge your student loans in bankruptcy. They haunt you forever, like the souls of those you've killed. As our national student loan debt balloons further into crisis territory, it become ever clearer that we need to change that rule.

One in Five People Can't Repay Their Federal Student Loans

Hamilton Nolan · 08/06/13 11:30AM

In 2010, the federal government stopped guaranteeing private student loans and started issuing student loans directly. This policy change was designed to, in some way, help alleviate the student loan crisis. How's that going?

Getting Sued by American Express Led Me Out of the Ruins of My Life

Nathan Rabin · 06/20/13 03:53PM

An unexpected ring on my doorbell awoke me early one Sunday morning and I stumbled bleary-eyed to my front door and was greeted by a tall, strapping, sunglasses-wearing sheriff with an incongruously chipper expression clutching a sheath of papers.

College Grads Are Too Broke to Become Good Little Entrepreneurs

Hamilton Nolan · 06/06/13 12:43PM

Besides forcing young college graduates into a decades-long penurious existence as veritable indentured servants to institutions of higher learning, there's another downside to our nation's $1 trillion student debt: it's stopping young people from starting business. Businesses! The lifeblood of Republicanism!

How Doomed Is the U.S. Postal Service?

Hamilton Nolan · 05/28/13 08:02AM

Those who enjoy slow-motion disasters have spent years watching the travails of the gallant United States Postal Service, which is kind of like FedEx if it was run by the Three Stooges. Just how existentially challenged is our nation's mail service?

Hamilton Nolan · 05/10/13 12:03PM

Barack Obama wants to help repay your student loans. Thx bro.

A Sloppy Excel Error Might Have Messed Up the Way We Think About GDP

Maggie Lange · 04/16/13 01:46PM

A new study reveals that one of the most cited economic principles regarding GDP and debt is most likely based on a "sloppy Excel coding error." According to a 2009 book by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time It's Different, countries with a high debt to GDP ratio have slow economic growth. But three economists at the University of Massachusetts have published a critique of Reinhart and Rogoff entitled: "Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth?" They found a major and embarrassing error in the original calculations.