Can I Go Jail if I Owe Money?

Debt Collection Harassment

Contact from debt collectors can be stressful and intimidating, especially if they threaten you. Debt collectors sometimes use abusive tactics, like threatening a lawsuit when none is intended, or threatening IRS reporting or tax consequences.

Collectors may also tell you that you can go to jail for owing money. This is a tactic that is used to intimidate, but that has no legal standing. You can’t go to jail for owing money.

Debt Collection Under the FDCPA

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is the main federal law that governs debt collection practices. It prohibits debt collection companies or law firms from using abusive, harassing, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect debt from consumers. Whether you owe the debt or not, collectors are never allowed to intimidate, harass, threaten, or abuse you.

Seek Legal Help

If abusive collectors continue to contact you, send a Cease and Desist letter. Contact a debt collection attorney for an evaluation of your case. If you are being represented by an attorney, the collector is not permitted to contact you. If you receive collection calls or letters, you should inform the collector by sending a letter with your attorney’s name and contact information. You may be able to sue the collector for violations of the FDCPA at no cost.