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Can I be arrested for not showing up to a civil hearing against a creditor in the state of Massachusetts?

Boston, MA |

i received the first notice for a civil hearing and I know I can't pay. I don't have a job or income. On the front it says "attendance required" but can you be arrested for not showing up? And if they get judgement/default can I be arrested for not paying? Could they try and come after personal belongings? I don't own anything in my name, no car, just a savings account with an exempt amount and personal belongings in my apartment. thanks.

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Attorney answers 1


It is unclear from your question what the hearing is for. If you have received a summons for a Supplementary Process (SP) hearing under M.G.L.A. 224 § 15 - where a judgment creditor is allowed to examine the judgment debtor under oath about the debtor's income and assets - then you have to appear if the summons was properly served - i.e., by an officer qualified to serve civil process and served at least seven days before the hearing either in-hand or by leaving a copy at the debtor's last and usual place of abode. Assuming proper service for an SP hearing, then failure to appear by the debtor could result in a bench warrant issuing for the debtor's arrest. If your hearing is an SP hearing under M.G.L.A. 224 § 15, you should not ignore the summons. You might also give some thought to consulting with a bankruptcy lawyer before you do go to your hearing.

The answer to this question is for informational purposes only and is expressly not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this without seeking advice from professional advisers.