Falling behind on paying the bills can happen to anyone. Certainly it has happened to most of us at one time or another. The question then becomes, what do you do when money is in short supply and creditors are breathing down your neck?
The question is the same even if you have some money and don’t particularly feel like parting company with it, especially if the party requesting payment is the United States government.
You can try doing what Steve Martin suggested in a comedy routine many years ago. When you are hauled before a judge for nonpayment of taxes, throw your hands in the air, shake your head a few times and say, “Your Honor, I’m terribly sorry about all of this but the fact is I forgot.”
A worthless defense
That defense has been tried on numerous occasions and unfortunately it isn’t worth a damn.
Neither are most of the other scams offered up by anti-government conspiracy nuts who think they have found a loophole in the Constitution that exempts them from paying taxes. By and large those schemes aren’t worth a tinker’s damn either.
Just ask a South Carolina couple who recently pleaded guilty in federal court to fraud charges.
Those folks are apparently of the belief that they can discharge debts by submitting a check written on a closed account. Their “clients” are instructed to write some nonsense on the front and back of the worthless check and that supposedly lets you off the hook even though no money has changed hands.
The people who spread this crap must be very fast talkers because it is sheer stupidity. It has nothing to do with being for or against the government or recognizing or not recognizing its authority.
Cheating gullible people
It has everything to do with cheating unsuspecting, gullible people out of a fee. It’s a con game, plain and simple.
It supposedly has something to do with the magic words Paid in Full. Those words are there to deceive the creditor into thinking a real payment has been made.
Anyone with half a brain should steer clear of this idiotic swindle. It accomplishes nothing and gets people deeper in debt and in trouble with the law.
The Carolina couple will learn their fate once the presiding judge has received a pre-sentence report.
Better to pay your bills if you can. If not, borrow some money or work out a payment plan with your creditors that gives you sufficient time to set things right.