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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

Posted

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

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Posted

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 www.dwyerlawfirm.net

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Posted

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.

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Asker

Posted

The car loan was financed through the dealer. It was like six years ago that the last payment was made. Can I fight this?

Paul H. Weig

Paul H. Weig

Posted

Yes you can fight this. If there is an FDCPA claim that you can bring, you may even be able to get your attorney's fees paid by the debt collector. I wouldn't know until I saw all of the documentation and so on, but it sounds very much like a case I have fought and won. Sometimes these are sold to debt buyers who don't even know that it was a car loan, let alone where the financing was done. They think they are collecting bank loans, when they are collecting dealer loans assigned to the bank. I've seen them just go away, and I've seen them pay my clients. I've also seen them come up with documentation that the client made a payment within the 4 years before they were sued. So, I couldn't tell you how it will come out, but I can say for sure that there are always defenses. Paul Weig Weig Law Firm, LLC (612) 501-4841 paulweig@email.com

Posted

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

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