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If I recieve a summons to court over a GE Money debt, do I have to attend court? Can I be punished by jail time?

Pigeon Forge, TN |

I am from Tennessee.
I am 23 years old.
I am a female.
I don;t really know how old the debt is.

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Attorney answers 5


If you do not show up in court, you will lose the case and be responsible for the debt. You cannot be jailed for not paying a debt. The worst case scenario is that your wages or you bank account will be garnished after the court enters a judgment against you.


If you have any defenses and do not show up, you waive them. The statute of limitations for judgments is much longer. If the plaintiff is a debt collector, you can beat the debt by making them prove that they have a right to come after you.

Jail time is not a punishment for civil suits.

Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.


Agreed they cannot throw you in jail for owing money. If you don't show up they will get a default judgment against you for the amount in the lawsuit. They can go after wages or other assets once they have a judgment. If they do whats called a citation to discover assets in Illinois you should show up for that as a judge could issue a bench warrant for failure to appear. When it says you must appear you have too. If it says you may appear then it is not mandatory.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Illinois. Responses are answers to general legal questions and the receiver of such question should consult a local attorney for specific answers to questions.


GE Money Bank is very unlikely to be the Plaintiff in this case. It is most likely a debt purchaser such as Asset Acceptance, CACH LLC, Gault Financial, Portfolio Recovery, Midland Funding, etc., that is the assignee of GE Money Bank; i.e., the debt purchaser bought it from GE Money.

These matters can be defended and there is the potential for counter-claims as well. However, yes, you must appear or a default will be rendered against you. You will not go to jail, but wage garnishment, bank levy, and attachment to real and personal property can happen.

You would be right minded to consult with a consumer protection attorney that is used to the General Sessions Courts of our state.

Jason Barnette
Barnette Law Offices
309 Hollow Tree Court
Nashville, Tennessee 37221

I am not your attorney nor is any answer I may provide legal advice. You may contact me directly for legal advice only if you are a resident of Tennessee insofar as I only practice in Tennessee.


No jail. Not for a civil debt. If the Bill Collector threatens you with jail, you probably have a good claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

But you need a lawyer, or this thing will haunt you for a long time.

If you go to court yourself I am more than 90% sure GE Money will get a judgment against you just because you aren't familiar with how to defend yourself.

I suggest hiring Attorney Matthew Duggin in Knoxville. (865) 357-9988.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Brent Steven Snyder

Brent Steven Snyder


I just wanted to chime in that I also represent debtors in bankruptcy as well as consumer protection and FDCPA etc.