Could I go to jail if I cannot pay a judgment? 14 Answers as of August 25, 2015

I am in debt settlement and am being sued. If I cannot pay the judgment, can I go to jail? I have little or no money and could not come close to paying the judgment, if the debt settlement people cannot negotiate a settlement. What happens?

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GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
No. We have not had Debtors' prisons for a couple of hundred years.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/20/2015
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
File for bankruptcy. Why are you screwing around with a debt settlement company???? ,(and no you can't go to jail for not paying a judgement).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/19/2015
Freeman Law Group, LLC
Freeman Law Group, LLC | Derek Freeman
Debtors' prisons are a thing of the past. You won't go to prison for not paying a debt. What happens once a creditor gets a judgment is they can start garnishing wages, levying bank accounts, and possibly place a lien on your house. But a creditor cannot put you in prison.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/19/2015
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
No, as long as you follow court orders, you will not go to jail for non-payment.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/18/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
You can not go to jail for not paying a credit card.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/18/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    That would be a no.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2015
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
    No the most is they can ask you to pay money.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/18/2015
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW | Carl C Silver
    The only way to go to jail for a debt is by failing to appear in response to a subpoena for a discovery exam after the judgment is entered.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/18/2015
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    This is a common threat made by unscrupulous debt collectors, but it is not true. A judgment gives the creditor 10 years to try to collect from you in any way they can, such as attaching assets or garnishing your wages or your bank account. The grain of truth in this threat is that the creditor can send you a subpoena to appear for a debtor's exam where they interrogate you about your assets and income. If you fail to appear, then a warrant for your arrest may be issued simply to compel your appearance at the hearing. If it's a large enough judgment, it may be worthwhile to file bankruptcy so that they can't continue collection activities against you.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/18/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Sure, you can go to debtor's prison together with your whole family where you all will have to work off your debts at a few pennies a day. Oh wait, that was Dickens. America doesn't have debtor's prison (which is why Donald Trump is a free man after his four bankruptcies). They can garnish your wages, seize your bank account or other assets. Bankruptcy can stop the lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/18/2015
    Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
    No. We do not have debtors prison. If you are ordered to appear and answer questions about your assets and income, you must comply, and can be arrested for disregarding an order. But you cannot be jailed for not being able to pay.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/18/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally you will be subject to various collection activities, but those do not include generally being jailed. One of your other options may be a bankruptcy. Lastly, most creditors are quite aware that if you cannot collect it is not worth their time to spend additional monies and therefore, some form of resolution can be reached or payment program agreed to. An attorney would most probably be helpful post was just you in understanding your rights and potential problems, and, hopefully, to resolve them altogether.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/18/2015
    Law Office of Joshua R.I. Cohen
    Law Office of Joshua R.I. Cohen | Joshua Cohen
    Connecticut judge will not send you to jail for not paying your debt. I think you're bigger issue is the debt settlement company. If they aren't offending you in the lawsuit you are wasting your money. Find a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/18/2015
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Not unless the judgment is for child support or a criminal restitution. America outlawed debtors prison after we fought the British and won.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/18/2015
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