Jail Time for Past Due Debt, Is it True? - Debt Settlement

Jail Time for Past Due Debt, Is it True?

Jail Time for Past Due Debt, Is it True?


Debt Jail

Yes, it is.

You land in jail not for your actual unpaid debt, but for your failure to comply with the legal process that actually leads to your imprisonment.

It is definitely an important difference.

There was a time when debtor’s prisons were legal in the U.S. and they really could imprison you for not paying your debt dues. In 1833, the United States abolished debtor’s prisons by passing a federal law, making them illegal.

This means that for more than 18 decades now, having an unpaid debt has not been a crime in the United States.

So, the vital question arises here is that if debtor’s prisons are illegal, then

Why Are People Being in Jail For Debt?

The answer is simple. “Legal Technicalities”. While there are roughly 2% of clients’ accounts that go to a court case, there have been special circumstances where people have gone behind the bars. Just remember, you can’t jail because of unpaid debt, but just like avoiding a traffic ticket, if you ignore the summons, there is a possibility that you could face jail time.

Scammed by Debt Collectors

Although both debt collectors and creditors are needed to abide by the law, countless times they stretch the truth and give the impression – aided by stories in the media – that you can instantly be jailed for a past due debt. Simply, don’t believe this, as it’s not true.

Unfortunately, some debt collectors use every trick in the book to frighten the debtors and scare them into paying the outstanding debts. They “conveniently” exclude critical details of procedure that could lead to imprisonment, knowing that an average person does not know his/her legal rights or the legal process.

Don’t you think such debt collection methods are immoral and unethical? Absolutely yes.

Are they illegal? Technically, yes.

But the law is hard to implement and many debt collectors push the limit thinking they won’t get wedged. Consumers are now becoming more and more aware of this tactic and gradually exposing the debt collection abuses.

For the past few years, there have been a large number of complaints registered with the Federal Trade Commission against debt collectors.

Apart from this, some judges, lawmakers, and regulators have taken action in an attempt to eliminate the exploitation of the court system.

There is no doubt that creditors reserve the right to go legal against you for not paying your debt, but this must be done under the supervision of the law, and numerous well-defined steps must be taken before one could ever be imprisoned for a past due debt.

How To Protect Yourself And Stay Out Of Jail

1. Abiding by the court order

Laws may vary from state to state and some states treat debtors more insensitively as compared to others. It is totally possible to spend the nights in jail for failing to comply with a court order, or not showing up at the court in regards to your debt.

  • In case you receive a court notice, whether it’s delivered through the mail or a process server, make sure that you read it without delay. This is important because most of the court notices adhere to a deadline, and if you don’t act in response to that deadline, then a legal action can be taken against you.
  • It doesn’t matter whether or not you identify the name(s) included in the court document. All you need to look out for is your name on that document. If it is there, then you need to respond, otherwise, face a legal action.
  • In case you do recognize the name(s) written in the court document, but you don’t feel that you owe the debt, you still need to respond. According to the court system, even if you’re innocent, you will lose by default, if you choose to go in the other direction and don’t respond.
  • When in doubt, always consult an attorney. Yes, a competent attorney does cost a few dollars, but it will be money well spent. Don’t just try and figure this out all by yourself to save money because the legal process can be complex and confusing. Investing a small amount of money in good legal advice will be beneficial for you.

2. Concentrate on the underlying problem

The bigger issue here is the debt hanging over your head. You should keep in mind that it’s not going to disappear on its own and also the creditors are not going to go away either.

It’s not easy to address a debt problem, but it makes much more sense to be in charge and address it on your own terms instead of debt collectors, attorneys, and the Court system.

Take action before it’s too late. We’re here to help you tackle this matter head-on.

Daisy Settle

Daisy J. Settle is a passionate writer and her career has taken her from newspapers to television news stations. She loves reading novels and enjoys finding new ways to save money for traveling.

1 Comment

  1. […] If you legally obtained credit cards, loans, utility bills, store cards and other types of debt that were applied for honestly, then it is a civil matter and you cannot go to prison, even if you refuse to disburse them. You can rather get help with debt relief. […]

Leave a Reply