No matter what a debt collector tells you, you cannot be arrested in NJ for not paying a debt. There is no debtor’s prison here. Collection is a civil, not criminal, matter and people that end up in debt do not end up behind bars.

Unless . . .

There are always exceptions to every rule, however. The first is where you pay for something with a bad check, then do not make good on it within 10 days of a demand to do so by the creditor. That is, essentially, "check kiting," which is a crime.

Even then, the tendering of the check in payment must be simultaneous with the purchase of the good or services. It does not apply if it happens when the check fails to clear in payment of a pre-existing debt, like a credit card balance.

The second is where you fail to respond to a New Jersey Information Subpoena. In this situation, you were sent a court document demanding that you reveal your assets to that creditor for the purposes of eventual levy. If you do not respond, you are in contempt of court and can be arrested for that. But once you are arrested, the judge will simply insist that you fill out the form and only throw you in jail if it is necessary to force you to do so.

Debt Collectors Lie

The truth of the matter is that debt collectors tell you that in order to scare you into paying. If someone says this to you, they are lying and are violating federal law in doing so! This is not only because of what I have just said, but also because collection agencies can’t send information subpoenas. They are only sent by law firms that have obtained a judgment against you by bringing a law suit!

The key is to know your rights and stand up to the debt collector bullies. They lie, and when they do, they can be sued for violating your rights. It is called the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and it is a powerful shield. Don’t let them push you around.

I Can Help

If you live in the Gloucester County, New Jersey, area, and you are being threatened by debt collectors, I may be able to help. Please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment to come in. I have represented creditors for many years and am familiar with the collection industry and how it ticks. Put my experience to work for you!

Want more information on how to fight back with your creditors? Then download my free book, The Biggest Secrets Your Creditors Don't Want You to Know. Become empowered and protect your rights!

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.