Q:

Can you be jailed if you owe a bank money and do not pay?

A:

Quick Answer

On the federal level, the U.S. government made it illegal in the 1800s to imprison someone just because they couldn't repay a debt. However, more and more often, courts in some states are jailing individuals who fail to repay a creditor when they are court ordered to do so.

Know More

Full Answer

The aforementioned practice is not widespread. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act, debtors who do not pay civil debts (like to a bank or other company) should not be imprisoned, and creditors and debt collectors are specifically forbidden from threatening debtors with jail time. Nonetheless, willful failure to pay debts to the government (such as taxes) can land you in prison. It's worth noting that some of the signatories on the Declaration of Independence spent some time in now defunct debtor's prisons.

Learn more about Debt Law
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Can debt collectors call on Sundays?

    A:

    If it is inconvenient for a debtor to receive a debt collection call on Sunday, and the debtor has specifically told collection agents not to call on Sundays, then debt collectors are not legally allowed to call. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors who call on Sunday after being advised not to can be held in violation of the law.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Can a debt collector take my car?

    A:

    According to LawNY, a debt collector can repossess a car if the debt is secured. A secured debt has something that is used as collateral for the loan. In this case, the car is collateral for the loan and it may be repossessed if the loan is not paid.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Can a debt collector enter a debtor's house?

    A:

    A debt collector does not have the right to go inside a debtor's home without their permission as of 2015, according to CTLawHelp. A debt collector also cannot contact friends, family or neighbors regarding a debtor's debt, however, as noted by the Federal Trade Commission, they can be contacted at least once in an effort to locate a debtor. Threatening a debtor with jail time is also prohibited under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happens to debt when a person moves out of the country?

    A:

    The results of moving out of the United States and leaving debt behind vary from lawsuits filed on behalf of the debt holder to poor credit for the debtor. Depending on the length of time out of the country, there may be no result.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore