Can I Go to Jail If I Don’t Pay My Debts?

Authored By
Education for Justice

You can’t go to jail just for owing money in Minnesota. But if there is a money judgment against you and you don't follow a court order or an order to appear in court, you can be arrested for contempt of court.

Many people don't know there is a money judgment against them. If you move a lot you may not have gotten the papers. Or you may have ignored them because you didn't know what they were.

If you owe money and are behind in your payments, it might be a good idea to keep in contact with your creditors. “Creditors” are the people or companies you owe money to. You might be able to work out a payment plan and avoid the money judgment.

It is very important that you check your mail carefully! Usually debt collection is handed over to other companies and you might not know the name of the company on the paperwork. If you get court papers to fill out, make sure you do it and do it carefully. Keep copies of everything.