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Has a debt collector or creditor threatened to have you arrested if you did not pay?


Has a debt collector or creditor threatened to have you arrested if you did not pay?

You generally cannot be arrested for not paying a debt and since collectors are not allowed to threaten to do anything they are not legally able to do, they are not allowed to threaten to have you arrested for not paying. The FDCPA does not allow debt collectors to make false or misleading representations, and telling a consumer they could be arrested for not paying a debt is almost always blatantly false.

Debt collection is a civil process, not a criminal, one and debtors usually do not go to jail for not paying a bill. However, if you write a bad check and do not make good on it, it could become a criminal matter for which you may be arrested and charged. Unpaid child support and criminal fines, such as court costs, restitution, and fees resulting from criminal charges are also debts for which a person may be arrested for not paying. Another way a consumer might end up in jail after not paying a bill is to ignore a lawsuit and fail to appear in Court after being issued an order to appear.

Fake debt collectors have recently been threatening consumers across the country with arrest if they do not pay bills that do not even exist. These fake collectors oftentimes leave a pre-recorded message threatening to contact local law enforcement and have your arrested if you do not call them back immediately to make payment arrangements. The fake debt collectors are usually calling from a call center where incoming calls are answered with an automated system thanking you for calling the Internal Revenue Service or other law enforcement agency. When connected with a live person, the “debt collector” will then identify him/herself as “Agent Robinson” or use some other official title such as officer, to imply they work for a law enforcement agency. Law enforcement agencies do not double as debt collectors and will not telephone you to collect a debt. If you truly owe a debt to a government agency, such as the Internal Revenue Service, California Department of Revenue, or a local court, you will be contacted by mail.

If a debt collector or creditor has published threatened to have you arrested if you do not pay a bill, please contact us for a free, no obligation consultation at 1-800-219-3577.  

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