There are not supposed to be debtor’s prisons in the United States. That’s what bankruptcy is for. However, debt collectors have found a legal dirty trick to send a debtor to jail. Though it doesn’t happen often, this is a technique they are using that you should know about, especially if you have succumbed to the allure of payday loans. This dirty trick is called a “body attachment.”
Body Attachment Defined
A body attachment, also called a “writ of bodily attachment,” is a type of court order that is usually used for people who are guilty of contempt of court. It is a lot like an arrest warrant. The rules for how a body attachment can be used depend on local laws. As an example, if someone is in contempt of court for missing a court date, a court can order a writ of bodily attachment. Once this order is issued, the court can authorize a sheriff to physically force a person to show up in court. Unfortunately, debt collectors have found a way to use body attachments to harass debtors.
Body Attachment Abused
A debt collector cannot threaten to throw a person in jail. However, debt collectors have been able to use body attachments to do just that. For example, they might get a judgment against a debtor. The collector can then summon the debtor to court. However, the debt collector will then summon the debtor to many, frequent hearings, or worse, they might even fail to notify the debtor of the hearing. As a result, the debtor misses their appointment, and the court issues a body attachment. The debtor then ends up in jail and often pays much more than he or she owes in bail money. If they don’t pay the bail money, they must sit in jail until the court date.
A Bankruptcy Filing Ends the Abuse
When you file for bankruptcy, debt collectors can no longer directly contact you. They must always go to your Minnesota bankruptcy attorney. In other words, when you hire a bankruptcy lawyer, you have an advocate to stand up for your rights. If you’re being harassed and abused by debt collectors, call the bankruptcy attorneys at Behm Law Group, Ltd. We’ll end their unwarranted abuse and work diligently to protect your legal rights.