November 20, 2017

New Debtors Prisons?

This article from the Wall Street Journal seems to indicate that people are being sent to jail for failing to pay debts.  I practice law in Texas, and I know that in Texas a person can not be jailed for failing to pay a debt.  However, people can be jailed for failing to comply with a court order, such as an order to appear in court at a hearing, or to hand over certain documents requested by the creditor.  Most states allow garnishment of wages (Texas does not), so I guess in most states you could be jailed for failing to follow a court order to hand over a percentage of your wages.  But, to my knowledge, no state allows people to be jailed just for not paying debts.  I think there would be a Constitutional problem with that.

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704396504576204553811636610.html?mod=WSJ_hp_editorsPicks_3

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