Skip to main content

Can I go to jail for owing a loan from 2007?

Shakopee, MN |
Filed under: Summons and complaint

I received a summons from a sheriff. I am being sued for owing a car loan from 2007. Could I possibly go to jail for this?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. No, the sheriff is just acting as civil process sever to make money on the side. It's not a law enforcement matter.

  2. Hello. Barring some unusual circumstances which are not posted, it appears you are not facing jail due to a lawsuit for a loan. Such a lawsuit is a civil, non-criminal matter. Also, the sheriff's office makes 'civil service of process', meaning, serves people for civil lawsuits as a part of its daily operations. Oftentimes private process servers are used, but the sheriff's office performs that duty as well. Please do contact a private attorney for assistance and legal advice. Facing a lawsuit is a highly stressful event. If finances are an issue, some attorneys, myself included, will provide you with reduced fee for need. All the best.

    Tricia Dwyer, Esq., Civil Law, Criminal Law, 14 Qualified Neutral, Minnesota Supreme Court Roster Mediator, Tricia Dwyer, Esq. & Associates PLLC, Phone: 612.296-9666. See

  3. You can't be jailed for a debt. The only time a civil court can jail a person is for contempt of court. If the paper served on you were an Order to Show Cause, then you would have to do something to avoid being held in contempt.
    You will have a money judgment entered against you is you don't Answer the Complaint. You might have defenses that you don't know about, so it is worthwhile to consult any attorney who practices consumer law. The first question i would ask is whether this loan was arranged by the dealer, or did you get a loan and then go to the dealer? When a car loan is financed by the seller, it is subject to a four-year Statute of Limitations rather than the six-year Statute of Limitations that governs a loan directly from a bank. The statute of limitations typically runs from the last payment you made.
    If you have been sued for a debt after the statute of limitations has expired, you can sued the attorney who brought the case under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

  4. No. You received a civil summons for a lawsuit - the sheriff simply served you with the complaint. This is civil, not criminal.

    We can be reached at 507.334.0155 (Toll Free: 888.777.5009). Our web address is: www. Answers on Avvo are not to be considered a response to a specific legal issue in a specific jurisdiction - they are to be considered only general responses to hypothetical scenarios posed by the questioner. For specific legal advice, please consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. No information contained herein should be construed as a solicitation for business, an offer to perform legal services in any jurisdiction in which the attorneys of Corbin Law Office are not licensed, or the dissemination of legal advice. No creation of an attorney-client relationship should be assumed or implied. We are a debt relief agency. Corbin Law Office helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the bankruptcy code.

Lawsuits and disputes topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics