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Thread: Can you be jailed for debt?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Can you be jailed for debt?

    Is it true that I could be imprisoned for failing to pay a debt? That sounds like something out of a Dickens novel, not something that could really happen in 2010.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Yes, in some circumstances you can be sent to prison for failing to pay a debt. For example, if you fail to pay child maintenance or taxes despite having the means to do so, the relevant enforcement authority can apply for a ‘judgment summons’ requiring you to pay.

    If you fail to comply with the judgment summons, the court can send you to prison for up to six weeks – essentially on the ground that by failing to comply with the order you are in contempt of court.

    Read this article to learn more:
    • [URL="http://findlaw.co.uk/law/bankruptcy/debt_relief/12.html"]When you can be sent to prison for your debts[/URL] (FindLaw UK)

    -FindLaw Moderation Team

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Can you be jailed for a debt?


    Due to the family reasons, I have to leave UK without repaying 2 contract phones and 1 home broadband contract. Can I be jailed for this? I was born outside of the UK and I am not UK citizen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Hello axaliaxali,

    Not paying debts is not a criminal offence. It is a civil matter and therefore up to the creditor to take the debtor to court. However, please be aware there may be consequences of leaving debt behind, should you wish to return to the UK.

    -FindLaw Moderation Team

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