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I Received Notice They Have Issued a Warrant for Me and I Am Terrified.

Question: I am unable to pay a $780 bill. I received notice they have issued a warrant for me and I am terrified. They told me that if they receive only part of the money owed they will still put me in jail until the rest is paid off. Can they do this?

Answer: Absolutely not. You may have to appear and answer questions about your finances, but if you provide truthful information they cannot do anything to you. If a debt collector or collection attorney threatened you with jail until the debt is paid, there is probably a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that might allow you to recover money.

In some remote Illinois counties, when a debtor failed to appear and answer questions about their finances, courts would issue an arrest warrant and set bond in the amount of the debt; the creditor would attempt to apply the bond to payment of the debt. This is now forbidden by statute.