Skip to Content

Jailed Over a Default Judgment?

Silhouette of man sitting in a jail cell

You may have noticed that money seems to cause stress no matter what. Even if you have lots of it, the bills generally just bigger. For most of us, however, the problem is that we never have quite enough to begin with. Millions of Americans in the US struggle to keep up even when they have good jobs—so it is easy to see why delinquencies, lawsuits, and judgments pile up so quickly.

In the face of feeding a family (or even just yourself), paying for health care and prescriptions, battling the burden of student loans, rising utility bills, and more, you may find yourself having to prioritize which bills to pay after groceries and serious essentials—and that may leave very little. Credit card payments may be the first to go. While you certainly are not a rarity in defaulting on a credit card or other loan, having to do so may really get you down. Most of us have worked years to establish a good credit rating, and to see it go down the tubes can be difficult. Heaped on top of that are calls from debt collectors. As they hurl figures and threats at you over the phone, it can be difficult to keep an optimistic outlook.

Eventually, if the bills are not paid, the threat of lawsuit comes into play, and very well may become a reality; in fact, credit-card companies file hundreds of thousands of lawsuits against delinquent cardholders every year. It is not always a certainty that you will be sued, but you should be prepared for the worst. Some companies file staggering numbers of lawsuits, while others are more moderate. If you are concerned or have already been served a summons and complaint, this is the time to consult with a law firm experienced in collection lawsuits, as well as judgments—if the process has gone that far.

As financial stress increases, you may become worried about the possibility of going to jail over debt. While debtor’s prison is of course a thing of the past, debt collectors may have hurled out threats of incarceration (this is popular, believe it or not), or you may have heard horror stories of others being locked up due to massive debt. The good news is that you cannot be put in jail for not paying your debts. The bad news is you could find yourself behind bars if you ignore the court order to appear and answer questions regarding your finances. Ignoring family support payments or debts to the IRS could feasibly result in jail time as well.

Silhouette of man sitting in a jail cell

Questions like these, along with the many others you will inevitably have should be answered by an attorney skilled at handling such matters. If you currently have a creditor lawsuit or default judgment weighing on your mind, let us review your case and discuss what would work best for you. We are here to help! Call Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC today for a free consultation at (844) 431-3851, or email us at

Share To: