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Can you get arrested for being late on a payment over a hospital bill?

Louisiana, MO |

My husband went to court over a hospital bill about a month ago and set up a payment plan with the hospital, he only owes about $80 a month he has already paid $100 the first month but he lost his job and I am the only one with an income at the moment. We are late paying his monthly payment what will/going to happen?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Absolutely not. There is no debtor's prison in the US. I would just contact the billing office of the hospital or the debt collector and explain the hardship. If a collection agency makes a threat to prosecute your husband criminally, that would violated the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and subject them to statutory damages and attorney fees. Because of the nature of arrest threats, it may also provide actual damages. Good Luck.


  2. No you can't get arrested for not paying a debt. It sounds though like there might already be a judgment against your husband and if so the hospital could probably start attempting to collect the debt from your husbands non exempt assets under any state collection laws. Mr. Feagle is right that the best thing is to contact the hospital, explain the situaton and see if they will forebear collection until your husband finds another job.

    I am not your lawyer and an answer on AVVO is not intended as legal advice but is provided for general informational purposes only. If you desire legal advice, please consult a lawyer and form an attorney client relationship.


  3. You can not be arrested. They can attempt to garish you wages.

    This answer does not create an attorney client relationship between you and I. I am not your attorney unless we both sign a written contract that describes our relationship and terms of the representation. Any information provided to you here is not a substitute for the advice you need to pursue any legal matter. I advise you to retain the services of a local attorney before taking any legal action in this matter.


  4. No way José. We have no debtors' prisons any more.


  5. Absolutely not. If the a 3rd party debt collector has told you that you can, that is a violation of the FDCPA and I suggest that you contact a local FDCPA attorney immediately. These cases are usually done on contingency basis and you should get a free consultation.

    The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as forming an attorney-client relationship. No attorney-client relationship between the reader and Abbas Kazerounian has been formed.