by Jeff Sovern
Years ago, I heard the puppet Lambchop (Shari Lewis) sing The Song That Never Ends:
This is the song that never ends
Yes, it just goes on and on my friends.
Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was.
And they continue singing it forever just because,
This is the song that doesn’t end.
And then it repeats. I was reminded of that song by Ryan Felton's Jalopnik article, The Car Loans That Never Die about loans like Richard Parker's 1991 subprime auto loan for $9,198. It's been 27 years and he's still paying it off after he became too ill to work and so defaulted. The car was repossessed in 1994. Here's an excerpt from the article:
On April 22, 2005, the court again sided with the lender, ordering Parker to continue paying back a judgment that had by then grown to $27,315.
Credit Acceptance didn’t let up. In October 2012, it filed another request with the court to garnish Parker’s income taxes. At that point, he’d had $17,575.32 garnished—nearly double the amount of the original loan—but due to the interest costs accrued from the original judgment, records show, he still had $9,781.96 to go.
Actually, on second thought, it's not at all like a cute children's song.