Did you know that sometimes debt is criminalized? This doesn’t mean that having your debts pile up is a crime. However, there are ways that debt collectors and federal laws can use litigation procedures to get you arrested for your debt.
This is why it’s essential for you to understand when you can get arrested for debt. Most importantly, why you should get criminal lawyers when your debt is criminalized. Knowing the legal premise of your debt is important.
There are times when you even have a legal claim against debt collectors if they fail to adhere to certain statutes while trying to recoup the debt that you owe. Having this information easily available to you is important. Read on to find out when is the right time to get a lawyer to help you when your debt is criminalized.
Can You Be Arrested for Debt?
There are certain instances when debt is criminalized, but it’s important for you to understand how this happens. Most importantly, to know what your rights are should you find yourself in this situation. This way you can decide when you should hire a criminal law attorney.
First things first, it’s essential for you to know that you can’t be arrested for any of your consumer debt. Debt collection agencies don’t have the legal authority to threaten you with an arrest. However, there are certain instances when your debt can lead to your arrest due to other charges such as defying a court order or fraud.
Even though criminal law clearly states that debt collectors can’t threaten you with an arrest, they can still use the legal system to sue you for failure to pay your debt. So, if you’ve ever wondered if debt is criminalized, then this is your answer. Being sued for what you owe is a very effective legal recourse for debt collectors.
Under legal terms, this is known as a civil suit over debt. If you’re one of those people who don’t take such a lawsuit seriously, you can land up in a dire situation. For example, if you get sued, and you don’t show up in court, then you’ll end up with a default judgment that can lead to garnishment and/or bank levy.
When You Can Be Arrested for Debt
There are certain loopholes that debt collectors usually exploit to get you arrested when your debt piles up. When any of these three scenarios happen to you, it’s essential to have a criminal defense lawyer on stand-by.
- When you lose your lawsuit by not showing up and complying with your court judgment.
- If your paycheck bounces, debt collectors can claim that you’ve committed intentional fraud.
- If you fail to return a rented item such as furniture according to the stipulated terms.
Kinds of Debts That You Can Go to Jail For
There are times when debt is criminalized, and you can find yourself going to jail for failure to comply with your debt obligations. Consumer debt isn’t the only type of debt that can get you in trouble when you don’t pay it. When you refuse to or underpay your federal taxes and child support, you risk serving jail time.
A federal criminal defense lawyer will tell you that federal debt is criminalized when you not only deliberate about not paying federal taxes. But, when you also have a pending charge and conviction of a tax-related crime. This can be anything such as not filing your tax returns.
In other cases, debt is criminalized when you fail to keep up with your child support payments. Federal law states that you can spend up to two years behind bars if you fail to make your child support payments on time. When it comes to child support matters, a judge can even send you to jail if you don’t obey a court order that requires you to pay.
What About Student Loan Debts?
Although there are certain instances when debt is criminalized, you shouldn’t worry about the possibility of getting arrested or needing criminal attorneys for not paying your student loan debts on time. The main reason why this kind of debt doesn’t warrant jail time is because it’s only considered as a civil debt. You don’t have to worry about going through a list of criminal defense attorneys to defend your case.
Even though you can’t go to jail for your student loan debts, you should know that student loan debt collectors will still exhaust various avenues to get you to settle your loan. One such avenue is collecting the debt via litigation. Once they hand over your file to the Department of Justice, you should know that you face the possibility of a court appearance.
Reasons to Hire a Debt Defense Lawyer
The moment that you fall behind on your debt payments, you start thinking of how and when debt is criminalized. Creditors won’t wait too long until they come knocking to collect what you owe them. If you can’t pay your debts, and you keep on missing your payments, the next thing that creditors will do is to hire debt collectors who can legally sue you for non-payment.
If you find yourself in this difficult situation, you require experienced guidance from a reputable criminal law attorney or federal criminal defense lawyer. It’s important for you to find a debt defense attorney that can help you to work through your debt issues. Consulting with a criminal defense law firm is good for you for these four reasons.
1. They Know What Will Happen
The thing is, once debt collectors decide to sue you, you’re no longer on equal footing. What having a defense attorney does is that it levels the playing field for you. A lawyer will have the kind of information to have an idea of what the process is once debt is criminalized.
2. They Can Determine the Best Course of Action
Let’s face it, it’s easy for your case to get complicated at any point. Creditors can sell your debt to a number of debt collectors and this can cause confusion with the facts. When this happens, your defense lawyer can easily get to the bottom of the issue, and determine what the best course of action will be.
3. They Know If You Have Any Legal Claims
Did you know that the facts of your matter can determine if you have any legal claim against the debt collector who’s suing you? For example, harassment from phone calls and failure to verify the debt by the collector may give you a cause of action. Certain legislation such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act give you a chance to have a legal claim against any debt collector who doesn’t follow due process.
4. Help You Identify the Best Defense
Sometimes there’s no way for you to get out of being sued by debt collectors. Especially, when your claim still falls within the ambit of the statute of limitations. If this is the case, you need to have a well-thought-out strategy by your lawyer to help you.
How Can You Get Out of Debt?
When you feel overwhelmed by your debts, it becomes impossible to find a solution as fast as you need it. Even though there aren’t any quick fixes for you to get out of debt, you should think of a strategy to make it easier to get out of debt. These are some ideas that you should consider to help with your plan.
1. Pay More than the Minimum
Nothing slows your debt repayment as much as paying the minimum balance. It takes longer which means that you end up paying more interest. When you can, pay more than what you agreed on to reduce the amount of time and interest that you should pay back.
2. Revamp Your Budget
Your budget is a crucial part of ensuring that you stay on course before your debt is criminalized. If you can’t keep up with your debt repayments, there’s a chance that you can free up some money when you restructure your budget. Once you have an idea of where your money is going, it’s easier for you to come up with better spending habits.
Once you’ve saved from revamping your budget, you can take the additional money and use it as a down payment towards your debts. Once you start working with a budget, you’ll be surprised to find out how simpler it is for you to handle your debts. The great thing about having a budget is that you can use it even after you’ve paid up your debts to save for the things that you want.
3. Create a Debt Payment Plan
When your budget has indicated where you’re wasting money, it’s easier for you to come up with a debt repayment plan. You should start off with a target for your debts and find effective ways to stay on track. The most commonly used strategies to simplify your debt repayments are the debt avalanche and debt snowball methods.
What these methods suggest is that you focus on paying extra on one debt and pay the minimum on the rest. This helps you address your debt according to its priority. The most essential thing is to ensure that you stick to your plan and use as much help as you can to reach your financial goals before your debt is criminalized.
4. Ask for Lower Interest Rates
Did you know that you can qualify for lowered interest rates when you’re a good customer who pays their debts on time? If this is you, you can rest assured that your creditor might be willing to listen to you when you negotiate lower interest rates. When you lower your interest rates, you can have more money that you can use towards reducing your debt sooner.
Interest rates aren’t the only thing that you can negotiate. You can also look at lowering the cost of some of your bills. For instance, your internet bill can be reduced to a cheaper plan.
5. Consider Debt Consolidation
Sometimes, you might be able to consolidate your debt if your debt hasn’t reached the default judgment stage. You can consider getting a personal loan to pay off all of your debts. When you choose this option, you’ll end up with one debt to focus on each month.
What debt consolidation does is that it bundles your debt to make it more manageable. It also saves you time by reducing the number of debt payments that you need to make. The other benefit of choosing this option is that it saves you money on the interest that you have to pay overall.
6. Track Your Progress
The fact of the matter is that you don’t want to find yourself back where you started. The main thing is for you to stay motivated as you make all of these changes. You should make sure that you track your progress to see that your new habits work.
If you find that there are things that need to be reassessed, you should go back to the drawing board. You will see results when you commit towards making the changes that you want to see. If you’re still struggling to make the changes alone, seek help from a debt lawyer or casino crime lawyer to ensure that you do the best to avoid your debt being criminalized.
In summary, not all debt is criminalized, but you can still end up getting arrested for certain kinds of debts and failure to comply with a court order. This is why it’s important for you to keep up to date with all the debt that you owe. When you can’t make a payment, you should make an arrangement with your creditors until you are able to make timely repayments again.
Finding ways to manage your debts before your debt is criminalized is important. So, have a look at your budget again and see what you need to downsize on. This guide gives you different ways that can help you stay on course with your debts in a legal way.