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Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34411
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients.
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My 19 yr old was involved in a traffic incident in December

Customer Question

Hi. My 19 yr old was involved in a traffic incident in December 2016. He tried working with he insurance company, but did not receive response. He received a bill from a collections company for approx $40 thousand. He was told as he tried to make payment arrangements that he could be sent to jail for not making the payments they want of $500/month. Is he in danger of going to jail? Does he have any recourse? thanks.
JA: Was this discussed with a manager, HR, or an attorney?
Customer: He said he called the number on the collections letter. Just talked to who answered.
JA: What state are you in?
Customer: NC
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: We're just trying to figure out his options. He wants to make some kind of payment, but something he can handle. He figured he was put at fault because he was driving his friend's truck. I was curious if bankruptcy would be a help.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

I am Loren, a licensed attorney for over 30 yrs. Thank you for your patience as I review the question. I will post my response shortly.

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

This is a civil, not a criminal matter. The US does not have debtor's prison and your son can not be jailed for failing to pay a collection matter stemming from a car accident. It is illegal for a debt collector to suggest otherwise.

Merely driving someone else's truck does not make him liable for the damages, in and of itself.

Unless they have a judgment against him, they can not force payment or attach any assets to force payment.

If he is liable and they get a judgment against him then bankruptcy could be a viable option to discharge the debt completely.

Please remember to leave a favorable rating (click 5 stars in the rating section on this page). It is the only way that I am credited by JustAnswer for answering your question.

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Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

If you have no further questions please remember to rate my service (5 Stars) so that I am credited by JA for answering your question and also so that I may close the question.

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Thank you!