CanI go to jail for a debt?

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CanI go to jail for a debt?

I bought a car in 2002 that was repossessed. They said I owe $10,000 with interet. They also said that I can go to jail. Is that true?

Asked on September 14, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not true. People do not go to jail for debt or owing money. Debtor's prison went out about the time Dickens. If you had committed fraud that would be a crime. So, for example, if you tricked people into lending money with no intention to repay that would be different. In fact, neither a debt collector or creditor may threaten you with imprisonment or even the possibility of criminal charges. If they do you could actually sue them. Addtionally, they can not harass or otherwise intimidate, etc. It's the law - the "Fair Debt Collections Practices Act" (FDCPA).


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