It’s now getting to the point that debtors prisons are growing. People are being put in jail for not being able to make payments on time or owing too much money. Two Atlanta women have a story that is a cautionary tale and nightmare for anyone who has ever borrowed anything on credit. It might also make you think twice about going to Aarons for anything.
A woman who doesn’t want to be identified, says that when she couldn’t make payments on a washer and dryer that she’d bought from Aarons, they had her arrested.
“They should think of the consequences it’s going to have on your life on your family,” the Loganville woman said, asking not to be identified.
The woman says that she knows she fell behind and accepts the responsibility. But one thing she says she didn’t deserve was to be taken to jail over something like a late payment. When she offered to give the appliances back, the company refused to take them. That’s when she was hauled off the jail.
Shantel Jackson has filed a civil suit against Aarons for false imprisonment.
“It was traumatizing. I cried a lot. I spent most of my time crying,” Jackson said.
Jackson says that she was attacked by Aaron’s after she stopped making her payments on a television that was broken. She says that the company refused to replace the TV, but demanded high payments anyway. Aaron’s makes its money by charging high rates of interest on consumers who can’t afford credit. Many of these consumers are African American. The woman also called the company to tell them that the TV was stolen during a burglary.
“They told me I was lying. They know the TV was in my home,” Jackson said. Jackson’s attorney Cary Wiggins, said it’s a civil matter not criminal.
“You do not have them arrested. There is no debtor’s prison in this country. Hasn’t been that way since the 19th century,” Wiggins told Artz.
Aaron’s released a statement on the matter, “Aaron’s, Inc. cares about our customers and for 58 years has been building solid relationships with our customers and communities. Our culture is to work with each and every one of our customers to ensure that every effort is made to bring them to full lease-ownership of our products. We cannot comment on specific customer situations, but we do work diligently with all of our customers and undergo exceptional efforts, fostering communication with them to understand individual situations.”