Can I go to jail if I do not pay my debts?

No! There are no "debtors’ prisons" in the United States. Owing money is not a crime.

But, if you violate a court order you can go to jail. For example, a judge can put you in jail if the judge ordered you to make child support payments and you do not make them.  If you are summoned to court and you do not go, the judge can order that you go to jail.

Produced by Mariah Jennings-Rampsi, South Coastal Counties Legal Services, with funding from American College of Bankruptcy
Created June 2012

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