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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Rodriguez

CAN I GO TO JAIL FOR NOT PAYING A CREDIT CARD BILL?

At least twice a month I get a phone call asking me this question. At first, I was surprised. I thought everyone knew the answer to this question. Now I realize that many people don’t know the answer, so I will break it down for you.

 

Can you go to jail for not paying a credit card bill? The answer is NO. The Police will not come looking for you because you did not pay your credit card debts. Even if you had a credit card with First Premier or Capital One, went on a buying spree, paid only the minimum every month until you couldn’t pay the minimum anymore. The police will not come looking for you even if a collection agent or lawyer calls you on the phone to threaten you. Credit card debts are civil matters not criminal matters.  As a result the only thing they can do to you is sue you for money and mess up your credit rating. The police cannot arrest you for CREDIT CARD DEBT. 

 

For you the following WILL happen. You will be harassed by a collection agency through the telephone and by mail. They will call your place of employment.  If you continue to ignore the letters and calls the matter will be handed over to a law firm or lawyer who specializes in collections. He will prepare documents for the “Plaintiff” (the person suing you). Thereafter a States Marshal (In Connecticut papers are served by a State’s Marshal, in other States they have Process Servers) will show up at your door to serve you papers in the name of the Plaintiff. You are the defendant.

 

There are two types of documents that will be served on you. One is called a summons; the other is called the complaint. These papers will tell where the courthouse is, who is suing you, who is representing the credit card company, when you need to file your appearance in court and what you are being sued for. If you don’t file any response to these papers or appear in court the Plaintiff (the person suing you) will get a judgement against you. The judgement will not only have the amount you borrowed but it will also have the interest, late fees, attorneys’ fees, costs of the lawsuit and anything else the credit card company can get away with charging you. That means that if you borrowed $500 dollars from them, don’t be surprised if you now owe them over a thousand dollars.

 

With that judgment they can garnish your salary, levy/tap your bank account, put a lien on your home. They can really hurt you financially. The court doesn’t care if you lost your job, have babies to feed and your partner left you. All they care about is how much you owe. Then one day you will get your paycheck from your job and you realize that 30 or 40 dollars is being taken out every week to pay that credit card.

 

But this does not have to happen and you do not have to be in this mess anymore.  I can help you make all this go away by filing for a CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY.   I will help guide you every step of the way. Then you get to have a fresh start and move on with your debt free, worry-free life. 



 

 

 

 

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