Can I go to jail for not paying a debt?

The answer is almost always NO.

A judge will not put you in jail for not paying most debts. You can go to jail for not paying child support and for money owed to the IRS if there is criminal fraud involved.

Usually, if you owe money, a creditor can take you to court and ask the judge to issue a judgment against you. This includes unpaid debt on credit cards, medical bills, student loans, car loans, and home loans.

After a judgment is issued, the creditor can request that your assets be garnished or seized. Certain assets are protected from seizure.

Are you a Hillsborough County renter having housing problems? Help is available!

The Hillsborough County Housing Stability Program provides Hillsborough tenants the knowledge, resources, and services to effectively, efficiently, and amicably solve their disputes with their landlords outside the court system.

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The Legal Information Center is a free program to provide information to people who are representing themselves in Family Law cases in Hillsborough County. Get the information you need to make an informed decision about your case.

Legal Information Center

Apply for Services

If you live or have a case in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas or Sarasota counties, we may be able to help.

How do I apply? Am I eligible?