Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Business & FinancePersonal Finance · 1 decade ago

Can criminal and/or civil charges be pressed against a person with outstanding debt?

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    There is no such thing as civil charges, it would be a civil action. It is possible for a judgement to be entered against without you appearing in court. A creditor simply has to serve you with the paperwork, and if you do not appear at a court date a judgement can entered against you.

    Criminal act can be taken in the case of fraud, check kiting and writing checks on a closed account.

    There are several reputable debt counseling agencies that can assist you.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Nonpayment of debt is generally a civil law issue. Usually, a person who has not paid (or paid on) their debts is sued in court, after the debt has been turned over to a collection agency and the collection agency has been unsuccessful in collecting this debt. It's possible that a person can have debts "garnished" from wages. That's where a company contacts the employer of the person who owes them and requests a certain dollar amount be taken from their pay until the debt has been satisfied. Often, if a company learns that a person has certain personal property like a house or car, they can take out a lien against that property so that when it is sold, they will get the amount owed them before the title can change hands.

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  • 4 years ago

    You are certainly free to go to civil court and sue anybody who owes you money and won't pay up. As for criminal charges, generally no, unless they got into that debt by committing some type of fraud. Debtor's prisons were abolished in the U.S. more than 200 years ago. Deadbeat parents who fail to pay child support, however, can and often do go to jail. Which doesn't really make much sense to me, because nobody would risk going to jail if they were truly able to make the payments, and it would be pretty much impossible for somebody to get a job and be able to pay off any debt if he's locked behind bars.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It depends what kind of debt it is. Anyone, government, a business, and individual, can sue you in civil court to collect on a debt. Sometimes if you owe back taxes you will be charged criminally for not paying them and part of your punishment wil be to pay the back taxes plus interest and penalties. Also, owing child support can be a criminal issue (felony non-support). There IS a statute of limitation on civil suits.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The only criminal charge would be fraud. This would only apply if the person obtained credit under false pretenses. Technically, there is no such thing as 'civil charges'. That said, if you don't make the required payments on time, the creditor can file a civil lawsuit and obtain a judgment against you. Once a judgment is obtained, they can take certain assets to satisfy the judgment.

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  • 1 decade ago

    We never have had debtor's prison in this country, that is one reason we split from jolly old England. You can be sued and have judgments and garnishment of some of your wages, etc. is all. Good luck.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    you can be taken to court and sued for you past debts so i would consider that a civil charge!!!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Civil charges can. Criminal can only if you fraudulently took something, that is much harder to prove.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think there's a statute of limitation on civil, but there is on criminal...the only thing in criminal that doesn't have a statute of limitation is murder. Try looking up your local state laws on it.

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  • Fran J
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    depends what it is but yea you could. send as much as you can afford to show your trying.

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