Will I get arrested for failure to show in court for a debt? 17 Answers as of April 18, 2011

I got sued by a credit card company for debt I owed to them. Will I get arrested for not showing up in court? What if I file bankruptcy? Will that help?

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Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
In most states, failure to appear can result in a contempt finding and subject to arrest to appear and answer for said contempt. Filing for bankruptcy will stay any related proceedings.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 4/18/2011
Gus Johnson Attorney at Law
Gus Johnson Attorney at Law | Gus Johnson
If youhave been subponead to appear and do not, you could be arrested. Otherwise, I wouldn't think so. You could most likel extinguish the debt by filing for bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: South Dakota
Replied: 4/18/2011
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
If there is an Order of Examination (sometimes called an OEX) failure to appear can cause a bench warrant for arrest. Bankuptcy will not solve the problem of showing up for an OEX.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/15/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
No, you will not get arrested for not showing up to court. However, if a judgment is entered against you, the creditor does have the right to serve you with a subpoena and requires you to show up for a supplemental proceeding. If you do not show up to that hearing, a warrant may be issued against you.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/15/2011
California's Largest Family of Attorneys
California's Largest Family of Attorneys | Doan Law Firm
You cannot be put in jail for your credit card debts. There is no criminal law for failure to pay credit card debts; however, should the credit card companies obtain a "writ of execution" to garnish your wages, levy your bank account, etc., and you do not appear before a sheriff, there may be a warrant for your arrest. Please contact the Doan Law Firm to help you resolve your debt problems.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/15/2011
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    Debt collection lawsuits are civil in nature. Therefore, failing to show up for a hearing may result in a money judgment against you. You can file bankruptcy in order to prevent the suit from progressing any further. The automatic stay nullifies any subsequent actions in state court to collect on most obligations arising prior to the filing date of the bankruptcy petition.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/14/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    No. They will just enter a default judgment against you. Depending on the debt, you can bankrupt it.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/14/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    You can't get arrested for failing to show up for your trail. However, once they have a judgment, they can demand you come to court to answer questions like where is your bank account so we can garnish it. Thousands of people are arrested for that every year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 4/15/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    The only time you can be arrested for not showing up in court is when the judge has ordered you to appear personally. Usually that happens when the creditor has a judgment against you and has requested that the court issue an order of examination. You are then are ordered to appear in court personally to answer questions about your income and assets. If fail to show up then the judge issues a civil bench warrant for your arrest and the police either comes to your house to get you or whenever they stop you for any other reason and find you are wanted then you will be taken into custody and delivered to the courtroom of the judge that issued the civil bench warrant (unless the judge allows you to post bail if arrested). Otherwise, if you fail to show up the judge simply rules against you and gives the creditor whatever the creditor has requested, including costs, interest, attorneys' fees, punitive damages, etc. It is assumed that if you do not go to court then you are not contesting whatever the creditor has requested. This is called a judgment by default.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/14/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    You should never skip a court hearing. Failing to attend Court can have serious consequences like having a warrant for your arrest issued. If you cannot pay the debt it is better to be honest in Court then hide. In some cases, if you qualify for Bankruptcy, it could be an option to stop a Court proceeding or eliminate a judgment against you.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 4/15/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    No, you won't get arrested (unless you were ordered by the judge to be there, in which case you would be jailed for contempt of court). If you don't defend yourself in a civil action, the likely result is a default judgment against you. Yes, bankruptcy can generally discharge judgments, but I wouldn't simply ignore a pending case against you. If you are looking for an attorney and are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    You will not be arrested. The credit card company will obtain a default judgment against you and will have the right to collect on the debt through garnishment. A bankruptcy could possibly discharge the debt. You should speak to an attorney to determine the best course of action before deciding not to show up in court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2011
    Law Office of Eric Ridley
    Law Office of Eric Ridley | Eric Ridley
    You won't be arrested for failing to appear, but you will automatically lose the case, and there will be a judgment entered against you. And, depending on circumstances, yes, a bankruptcy filing should eliminate your credit card debt. Not in all cases though, so you should talk to a bankruptcy attorney about your specific details.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    In California if you fail to show up for a "Order on Judgment Debtor Exam" the court will issue an arrest warrant. This is a post judgment procedure requiring your appearance so the creditor can ask you about your assets. You will *NOT* go to jail for simply failing to respond to a summons or trial date.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/14/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    You get arrested if you are suspected or charged with a crime, not consumer debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/14/2011
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    There is no debtors' jail in California. Las Vegas, I hear, has one for Casino patrons who skip out on the bill (like Charles Barkley). If you file for bankruptcy relief, the lawsuit by the credit card will be frozen for a while and ultimately dismissed once you give notice of your bankruptcy filing and get your bankruptcy discharge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    That depends on what the court hearing is for. If you were ordered to appear and don't show up, that is contempt of court and a warrant can be issued for your arrest. If you're talking about responding to a civil lawsuit, there is no requirement that you "show up" to court or even file a response. Filing bankruptcy will stop any civil lawsuit in its tracks, but that doesn't affect any criminal actions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/14/2011
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