NO!! You cannot be arrested for not paying your debts. I am talking about credit cards, mortgages repossessions deficiencies etc. I am not talking about any debts that were fraudulently obtained – only about debts that you can no longer pay. Debt Collectors have recently been calling people and threatening arrest if you do not send them money immediately. When they do this they are violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. (aka FDCPA) You cannot be arrested in a collection action. You cannot be arrested for ignoring a lawsuit against you (although many other bad things can happen if you ignore the court process.)
You can only be arrested in limited circumstances – if you have lied to the IRS, if you bounce a check on a closed bank account or write it knowing that you have no money in the account and there will be no money in the account, If you write a check without the account owner’s permission or take out a credit card in using another person’s name.
A creditor is allowed to sue you and get a judgment against you, report it to a credit reporting agency, or try to collect following the rules that are set up in the FDCPA . (go here for information on what debt collectors can and can’t do http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre18.shtm).
If you get enough information regarding the collector (name, address who you are talking to) you can sue them under this act.
If you ignore a lawsuit a court will enter judgment against you. Once judgment has entered the creditor can garnish your wages, take money out of any bank account with your name on it or put a lien against any real property that you own. Once the creditor has the judgment they can ask the court to bring you in for a Examination of a Judgment Debtor (EJD). If the creditor has subpoenaed you to an EJD and you ignore the subpoena then a court can issue a capias. This capias is a civil arrest warrant. A marshal can arrest and bring you to court to answer to the judge as to why you did not respond to the subpoena. You are being arrested not because you owe someone money but because you ignored a court order(the subpoena). This is the only way that a creditor can have you arrested. The subpoena must be served by a marshal and almost all judges insist on the marshal giving it to you personally. Do not ignore subpoenas and you will be fine.
If you have any questions contact the
Law Offices of Gregg W. Wagman at:
70 Howard Street Suite C
New London, CT 06320
Serving the Eastern Connecticut region including the Northeastern towns of Thompson, Putnam,
Brooklyn, Colchester, Willimantic, Marlborough, Lebanon and Plainfield and the Southeastern towns of Old Saybrook, Old Lyme,East Lyme,Waterford, New London, Groton, Salem, Ledyard, Montville, Mystic, Norwich, Voluntown, Preston, Stonington, North Stonington and New London