Grant Thornton logo



Home  >  Blog

Will I Go to Jail if I Don't Pay My Debts?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The only debtors' prisons you'll find today are in Charles Dickens's novels. The simple answer is - no, you won't go to jail for failing to repay your debt. But, there are a few situations surrounding your debt that might land you in jail.

Violating a Court Order

Anytime you willfully disobey court orders, you run the risk of fines or jail time. In reference to money and debt, the most common court order is for child support payments. If a judge finds that you have not been making payments, the court can order you to jail.

The court doesn't generally submit orders to pay debt. However, in some provinces, the court can order you to make payments on a debt. Jail time could be ordered if you disregard the payments. Generally, if you can work something out, you can avoid jail.

Bottom line: Your willingness is key. It's when you refuse even if you could make some effort to pay that might get you into trouble.

Missing a Debtor's Examination

A debtor's examination occurs when you are ordered by the court to appear and answer questions about your assets and finances. If you fail to show up, you may go to jail. Some creditors are beginning to use examinations as a tactic to send debtors to jail.

Bottom line: Show up to an examination when you are ordered, and preferably take a debt-relief professional with you.

Refusing to Pay Taxes

There is very little wiggle room when it comes to income taxes. If you receive any kind of income, you pay taxes. That's the law. If you refuse, it's considered a crime, and jail time is a possibility.

Bottom line: Pay taxes willingly and work out a plan to pay back taxes in a timely fashion. Cooperation will benefit you in the long run.

Abakhan & Associates can help you avoid problems with your debt. Call 1-877-308-8877 for help today.

Back to blog