Is debtor’s prison making a return to Massachusetts?

Money maven Clark Howard has just posted an interesting article on the return of debtor’s prison to some states.

Howard writes that “the Wall Street Journal reports that more than one-third of U.S. states allow borrowers who can’t pay a debt to be jailed. Capital One is among the companies having people locked up for not being able to pay their credit card.”

The scary thing is that this is even happening to people who don’t owe a debt. As the Journal writes, “Arrest warrants generally can be issued if a borrower defies a court order to repay a debt or doesn’t show up in court.”

Could it happen here? It could. Both Massachusetts and New Hampshire have procedures on the books for issuing a “capias,” which is an arrest warrant on a bad debt case.

Fortunately, no one needs to be locked up for credit card debts, however. Filing a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy case will stop this nonsense before it starts, or if it has started, “freeze” any legal action pending against a debtor before anyone gets hauled off to jail.

If credit cards debts are troubling you, and you want to explore a bankruptcy case as a way of ending the problem, give me a call at my office in North Andover. Your problem can be eliminated in a matter of days (and before any pending court appearances), without the need to pack a toothbrush for a trip to the big house.

 

By Doug Beaton

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