June 3, 2016
PhD Graduate Uses “Pseudolegal” Tactics To Avoid Paying Debt
Knowledge of the legal system is a powerful tool, and a dangerous one in the hands of the wrong person. Equipped with the right vocabulary of legal language (otherwise known as “legalese”) and certain tricks, a person can make the legal system jump through hoops for years on end.
Take Angela Greter, for example, a one-time PhD in Animal Science student at Guelph University. Solely through the use of cunning set of legal phrases, Greter was able to evade paying her student debts (which totalled $64,000) after graduation for three full years.
How did Greter accomplish such a task without a law degree? Well, the internet and the use of pseudolegal tactics.
After the province of Alberta reached out to Greter regarding the money she loaned for her education, Greter took to online resources that had templates and prepared questions when facing creditors.
Apparently, Greter only wanted to find out if Alberta had sold the securities to her debt, which would have meant the province would have gotten paid, notes the National Post. So, not wanting to pay someone twice, Greter used her newly acquired set of legal lingo to find out about the status of her loan.
Except the websites Greter visited showed the types of questions and phrasing a con artist would use. Asking whether the province had evidence that they were the “current holder of the original debt” and a “True Bill inked in blue with ‘Bill’ and ‘Value’ marked upon the face,” Greter basically asked unanswerable questions that stalled her repayment, a tactic known as using pseudolegal tactics.
Later on, Greter said she would charge Alberta for all time wasted in correspondence, then going as far as to ask if the province had any tangible evidence of a loan agreement held with the “flesh and blood name of Angela Marissa Greter (NOT the legal name).”
This back and forth lasted from December 2013 to April 2015. By that point, the province of Alberta sued Greter for repayment (interest included) and by May 2015, it was found that Greter was essentially trying to get out of paying her student loan.
To be precise, Greter’s methods and demands (specifically the one asking Alberta to provide a distinction from her physical and legal self) were deemed “absurd,” and were ultimately just “pseudolegal” techniques created to “frustrate the administration of justice.”
At the end of it all, Greter still pleaded ignorant, stating it was never her intent to evade her repayment, she just wanted to know if the government truly needed to be paid or not. After speaking with a government lawyer only several weeks ago, Greter saw that Alberta’s request for her to pay them back was entirely justified and a repayment plan was established.