Can I be arrested for not paying a car repair bill?

Work was preformed on my car totaling $2500. I did not pay the bill however was permitted to take my car. The repair shop carried a previous bill of mine for over 3 months. When I didn’t make payment the following day I was threatened with being turned over to the authorities. I paid $250 towards the balance and said I’ll try to pay the rest in a week. What can the repair shop do?

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Maryland


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have possession of your vehicle but have not paid the full amount owed, the automobile repair place can bring a legal civil action for the full amount owed if you cannot make an agreement for an installment payment.

Legally, the automobile repair place cannot threaten a criminal action to get leverage in a civil dispute. From the circumstances that you have written about, I doubt that you will get arrested since the auto repair place allowed you to take your vehicle without the bill being paid in full. Good luck.

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