By: Daniel Stone
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Can I go to jail for not paying my debts?
I am often asked by my clients if they can be sent to jail for not paying their debts. While some may laugh at such a question, the question is often asked because a local police officer serves a client a lawsuit or the client receives a letter from the sheriff’s office to contact them in regards to a lawsuit. For most debts, prison time in South Carolina is not an option for an individual failing to pay credit card, medical, finance, student loans, or basic contract debts. While these creditors may have various forms of collecting on their debts, a threat of having you go to jail is not one of them. One final note is that if a creditor obtains a judgment against you and follows this up with a Supplemental Hearing in Equity Court to enforce their judgment, failing to appear in this Court could be viewed as a contempt of court.
There are a few debts that if go unpaid could lead to jail time. Taxes, child support, and bad checks are a few examples. If you have a creditor threatening jail time, call me for a free consultation.