Can your Creditor Arrest you for Non-payment of Debts?

Very often, debtors call inquiring whether they can be arrested if they have not been paying on certain debts.  They continuously receive hostile phone calls from creditors threatening them if they are unable to make their payments.  In fact, many of these creditors, especially payday loan companies, threaten to have debtors arrested.  The creditor will state something along the lines of issuing a warrant if no payments are made immediately, sometimes within a few hours. Often, this threat is only used to scare debtors into making payments.  The information given by the creditor attempting to collect the debt is almost always incorrect or misstated.

In order for a debtor to be arrested for a civil matter, such as an issue involving non-payment of a debt, there is a process within the legal system that must be followed.  In other words, a creditor cannot arrest you immediately for not paying a debt.  What they can do is summon you to court to attempt to receive a judgment against.  If you appear for this court date, you can buy yourself more time to avoid the judgment by asking for a continuance, or you can decide to enter into a consent judgment, where you will set up a repayment plan.  If you choose not to appear at the court date, your creditor can enter a default judgment against you, and begin to garnish your wages.

If you have written a bad check recently, the place it was written to can turn the check over to the prosecuting office, and then they CAN decide to pursue legal action against you, such as issuing an arrest warrant.  However, if this does happen, you will receive notice of the arrest warrant from a sheriff or other police agency. Your creditor cannot issue arrest warrants themselves.

If you are being threatened with being arrested for a particular debt, and are unsure of what your options are, contact a St. Louis bankruptcy attorney today!



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