U.S. Marshals are being used as private collection agents, arresting people who are behind on their student loans.

FOX's Gary Baumgarten reports: 

Paul Aker of Houston, who owed $1,500 on a student loan dating back to 1987, was arrested by U.S. Marshals in his home:

(Aker) "They took me downtown to the federal court where they put me in a 4x4 cell for about an hour and then about an hour later I was taken before a judge surrounded by seven Marshals."

Texas congressman Gene Green says it's the private sector using the federal government to force people to pay up:

(Green) "A few years ago, Congress allowed the private sector to contract for student loan collections. So you have these private companies who are doing this."

The Federal Marshal Service in Houston says this is a common practice. They're out to arrest up to 1,500 people who have defaulted on their federal loans.

Gary Baumgarten, FOX News.