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Is There Such A Thing As “Debtors Prison”?

It is a scary thought to have to spend any amount of time in jail, but if you are charged with a crime it is a real possibility that you may see the inside of a jail cell. Periods of incarceration are generally saved for criminal cases, but there is a lot of talk about “debtors prisons” when people are not able to pay their debts. This may have been the case in medieval England, but you would be hard pressed to find a Judge today, in this country, that will order a person to serve time for not being able to pay their bills. That said, there are some instances where a civil case, even one for debt collection, can result in a jail term. The most common example is the case where you are sued for a debt and are ordered to appear in Court concerning the debt or your assets, but fail to appear. In that instance the Judge may have the authority to issue a bench warrant for your arrest, but that is done more as a contempt matter for not showing up to Court and not for failing to pay debts. If you want to avoid this possibility, you can make sure to appear in Court when ordered to do so, or you can find another way to deal with your debts.

One good way to deal with debt is to file for bankruptcy. When you do, you get these benefits:

● Court cases for collections have to stop, so you can rest easy in the knowledge that you will not be ordered to appear and perhaps forget to show up, which might result in the type of contempt that includes a bench warrant.
● Depending on the type of bankruptcy case you file, you will be able to eliminate all of your unsecured debt. This frees up your money to put towards other needs, and gives you a little bit of breathing room.
● When you owe less, you can save more and this gives you the chance to start a savings account so when emergencies come up down the road you are better prepared to pay for the expense.

We understand how difficult it can be to juggle work, bills, and family; especially if you are stressed about not making enough money to make ends meet. When you are overwhelmed it is easy to ignore your financial problems, or take your chances by not answering a lawsuit or showing up to Court. But these actions only make things worse, and you are better off tackling your finances head on. Bankruptcy is a good way to get back on track with your money, and keep you from having to come up with creative ways each month to get by. If you have more debt than you have paycheck, call us for help.

For answers to your questions about debt and bankruptcy, and what it means to have the discharge of your debts objected to, contact us at

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