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People trying to afford college, young couples trying to buy a house, etc. There are good reasons to go into debt, primarily when it will pay off in the long run.
So, I've been thinking: what if a significant portion of the US population refused to accept Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs). At this point, there is no law that says you *must* accept FRNs, only that they are legal tender. So, you have enough people that want to get rid of the Fed, they could agree that the best course of action is to make FRNs worthless if no one wants them. Large groups of people demand to be paid in something other than FRNs (gold, silver, Bitcoin, whatever.) Stores that refuse to accept FRNs. That sort of thing.
The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," which states: "United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues."
This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.
State Law May Require a Private Business to Accept Cash
Although as a general rule a private business may restrict or refuse to accept cash payments, at times states will mandate that a business accept cash or limit any restrictions a business may impose on cash payments. For example, some states require that a landlord accept rent payments in cash. Many states require that a private impound lot accept cash payments by an owner seeking the release of a motor vehicle.
When acceptance of a cash payment is required by state law, the state will often impose a penalty or other consequence on a business that refuses to accept cash. For example, in California a landlord's refusal to accept cash payment of rent may cause the payment to be deemed excused. The failure to comply with state law subject a business to possible investigation by the state, and to possible fines for its non-compliance with the law or in some contexts even to a potential criminal penalty.