No, fortunately. A person cannot be thrown in jail just for having unpaid bills, loans, or credit card debt. But, if a Nebraska debtor has received a court order or subpoena to appear in court for a debtor's examination hearing, and fails to appear – the debtor could end up behind bars. You see, the court will probably find the debtor in contempt of court, issue a bench warrant, and the debtor could eventually go to jail. How, you ask? Well, imagine being pulled over for a routine traffic stop and the officer discovers that a bench warrant has been issued for your arrest. You will be arrested on the spot, and taken to jail, because you did not obey the order to appear in court.

Keep in mind, however, while you might end up in jail, as in our example, this will only occur if you fail to obey the court's order to appear for a hearing, not because you didn't pay your bills. In Nebraska, there is no "debtor's prison."

To collect a judgment, the creditor can subpoena you, the debtor, to attend a hearing where the creditor's attorney can question you under oath. The attorney will ask you many questions, including where you work, bank, and what property you own. The attorney might even ask how much money you presently have in your wallet or purse.

  • Is a "debtor's exam" related to the "Order in Aid of Execution" (which you no doubt have received)?

Yes. The order requiring you to appear at the debtor's exam is called an "Order in Aid of Execution."

For those who have never been summoned to court for a "debtor's exam," it can be a frightening experience. Rather than avoid the hearing, call the lawyers at Steffens Law Office to become better informed and prepared to attend your debtor's exam. We can supply you with a free "Debtor's Exam Questionnaire" that lists all of the questions you can expect to be asked. A little preparation can go a long way in calming your nerves and avoiding serious legal trouble. Call us today at (308) 872-8327 and let us give you peace of mind.

William V. Steffens
Nebraska Personal Injury & Bankruptcy Attorney With 34+ Years Of Experience
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