Is it possible for me to go to jail if I cannot pay my medical bill due to being jobless? - Debt Resolution Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Is it possible for me to go to jail if I cannot pay my medical bill due to being jobless?

I cannot pay a medical laboratory bill. I got a letter from a collection agency saying they are going to sue me. I have no money and no job. Will I have to go to jail?

Answer By Alexis Plunkett
Law Office of Alexis Plunkett
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There is no chance that you can be jailed for the unpaid debt. Regardless, you should seek counsel if they are going to sue you. The best chance of resolution is a lump-sum settlement, so if the debt is a reasonable amount you should save some money and try to take care of it.

Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 10/30/2013

Answer By Craig Friedman
Craig Friedman
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No. If the medical provider or collection agency sue you and obtain a judgment they can attempt to collect on the judgment by garnishing wages, auctioning property, and other means, but you cannot be imprisoned for failure to pay.

Answer Applies to: Arkansas
Replied: 10/19/2013

Answer By Kirk Miller

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No, you cannot go to jail for inability to pay a debt.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 10/17/2013

Answer By Darren Aronow
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
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No, you don't go to jail for not paying a medical bill, and if your letter says they are going to sue you, you may have a lawsuit against them for a FDCPA harassment violation for which you can receive money.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/17/2013


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No. We do not have debtors prison any more.

Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 10/17/2013

Answer By Mark Cherry
Mark S Cherry, Attorney at Law, PC
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Inability to pay is not subject to jail. The only risk of jail you may have is after they obtain judgment you must cooperate with the process to collect. If you fail to respond or ignore them they can ask a judge to find you in contempt which can get you arrested.

Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 10/17/2013

Answer By Richard Winkler

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Definitely not. They also cannot get blood out of a stone.

Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 10/16/2013

Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
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No such thing as debtor's prison.

Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 10/16/2013

Answer By Kevin H Pate
Kevin H Pate
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No, you won't go to jail over a bad debt. You can not stop them from suing you, but they have to follow the rules for debt collectors. If you feel they are not, or are certain they are being abusive, contact an attorney who represents debtors.

Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 10/16/2013


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The only way in which a person can be jailed in connection with nonpayment of a debt in Illinois is if (a) a judgment is entered against you and (b) you are served with a court order requiring you to appear in court to answer questions about your income and assets and (c) you fail to comply with the court's order, which may result in your being found in contempt and a warrant issued to bring you before the court to answer the questions.

Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 10/16/2013

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