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One state AG says debt collectors are abusing laws to detriment of debtors, P 2

In the last post, this blog began a discussion about a recent trend in using warrants for failure to appear in court for debt collection lawsuits that some collection agencies appear to be using to lock up debtors across the country. One woman, highlighted in an NPR story spent four days in jail before her father could amass the $500 dollars to secure her release from a warrant.

The woman says she never received the court summons ordering her to appear for the debt collection lawsuit. Nonetheless, the judge apparently granted the creditor's request for a warrant when she did not show up.

Sending someone to jail for a debt is illegal and many critics of the new trend say that the practice should be halted. The collectors say that the debtors are not going to jail for the debt, but merely for failing to appear on the court-ordered summons.

The attorney general in the state where the woman spent four days in jail under the debt collector's tactics says she is investigating the situation. She says that her state thinks that creditors are abusing the laws by seeking warrants in debt collection lawsuits.

She also thinks that the courts need to be more adamant in ensuring that they have the correct information. Many debtors advocates say the court summonses are often not being delivered to the debtor. The Midwestern state AG says judges need to become more aware of the issue to reduce the practice of essentially sending debtors to jail.

Cincinnati debt relief attorneys know that the bankruptcy laws can stop all types of collection practices. Filing a bankruptcy petition can stop wage garnishment, foreclosures and many other forms of collection activities.

Source: NPR, "Unpaid Bills Land Some Debtors Behind Bars," Susie An from WBEZ, Dec. 12, 2011

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