Got Creditor Harassment? Take Your Debt Seriously: Jail is a Real Possibility

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The fate of many households around America hangs in a balance between living off of credit and simultaneously digging themselves out of debt. If they slip, they may be shocked to find themselves facing time behind bars.  

It IS Possible to Go to Jail for Private Debts

Initially, incarceration was only imposed upon those with unpaid state and federal government obligations like fines, child support, overdue tax debt, etc.. If debt was owed to a private organization, then punishment did not include confinement. However, collection industries have found it to be quite lucrative to use the court system to their advantage. This is a very real development that those in debt must be aware of, because the truth is it isn’t particularly rare. Hundreds of lawsuits are started by collection firms each day.

If Debtors Are Pursuing You

If you find that you have been contacted by one of these collection firms or if you are being sued, then the best thing you can do is contact a bankruptcy lawyer immediately. They can be the very one to make the difference between you finding some way to get your life back on track or finding yourself imprisoned. If you ever face allegations, you absolutely must respond in a timely manner.

No matter what, if you receive the interrogatory or notice to appear, do not blow this off. It is during this time that the creditor’s attorney will likely push for a warrant for your arrest due to your failure to respond to discovery. If this happens, then police systems near and far are updated, and if you should ever encounter them for any reason, they will arrest you and take you to jail. If you go to jail, you will be forced to remain incarcerated until your debt is paid. Usually, that means your bail is at least the amount that you owe, but it is typically more.

How Can They Do This?

The truth is, many of these collection firms are counting on the average of 90% of lawsuits that typically go into default. When lawsuits go into default:

  • There is no contest to the allegations, so the collection firm  automatically wins, and therefore the court begins to side with them about money that you owe them. Unfortunately, it is often simply assumed that if you didn’t show, then you must not intend to pay your debts.  
  • When this happens, the unsecured debt that you promised to pay becomes a secured debt.  Also, the collection firm is upgraded, so to speak, into a higher position of judgment creditor. Then things can get very difficult because now they can demand collateral. Your wages can be garnished to pay debts, a lien can be placed upon your property, and even your bank account can be seized. It’s likely that you will receive a post-judgement interrogatory or a notice to appear at a deposition where you will be questioned about your income and assets.

For times like this, there are simply too many things to consider, and it is in your best interest to have a qualified and devoted bankruptcy lawyer on your side, since they have already spent years on this subject.

Many human rights orgs, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have called out collection firms for their aggressive tactics, and this issue has been compared to the debtors prisons that were made illegal in 1833. This is a controversial subject because many believe that there is a lack of understanding about the struggle of the poor as well as signs of corruption in the criminal justice system. They are pushing states to change their laws as well as filing lawsuits for change. In the meantime, there are ways you can protect yourself and get your financial life on track.  


Support for Debt Resolution

Even if you are sued or can’t afford to pay back your debts, know that you are not backed into a corner. With legal support from a knowledgeable lawyer, you still have the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act on your side. It isn’t uncommon for mistakes to be made by collection agencies and their lawyers, either, so sometimes this can turn in your favor. Still, sometimes the best option is to just file for bankruptcy. The fact is that you are not alone and you have opportunities to make things right.  

Most lawyers in this field of practice do not charge for a consultation and offer an affordable payment plan option. Don’t assume that you cannot have access legal counsel because of cost. The cost of not having a lawyer could be far higher, and you could miss out on one of the most crucial elements that you will need to succeed through this difficult time. Take charge of your financial situation today, and click here for a qualified bankruptcy lawyer near you.