Jail for Debtors in Minnesota?

Although our founding fathers allowed redress of debt (bankruptcy) through Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which effectively stopped debtors prison, debtors can still end up in jail.

A recent series in the Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/video/94499314.html#/94499314/video/1/sb has followed individuals who have been put in jail partly as a result of owing debts. The owing of money cannot cause the punishment of jail, but the failing to follow court orders can.

Many individual get lost in the legal morass and are unsure how to proceed. Instead of looking for help with an attorney they choose to ignore the problem. By ignoring the problem (not answering calls, not opening mail, not responding to court documents) these individuals have ended up in contempt of court.

Contempt can be purged if the debtor provides the disclosure of assets as required on the demand for disclosure, pays the bond (usually the amount of money owed to the creditor), pays the amount of the debt owed plus attorney fees and costs, or files for bankruptcy.

The key is to contact an attorney to discuss your situation. Never ignore documents from a court or creditor even if that creditor is harassing you.