General Question

Ponderer983's avatar

What happens to the things you owe money on when you are in jail?

Asked by Ponderer983 (6406points) June 6th, 2012

Not in the case of a life sentence or a quick under a month type stay, but let’s say you get 1 year in prison, and you are a single adult. What happens if you own a house? Do you have to sell it? How does the mortgage get paid? You have student loans to pay? Cell phone bill (that may seem insignificant)? Credit card bills (assuming you have balances on them)? Do things like this just get put on hold until you are released, or are you required to keep paying somehow while in jail? And if you have no saving for it to come out of, then what?

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20 Answers

FutureMemory's avatar

Pretty sure you’re not given any sort of pass by your creditors if you end up in jail.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

“Do not pass go do not collect $200.”

All payments or bills are valid and continue to be due.

Ask your lawyer or counsel.

Ponderer983's avatar

@Tropical_Willie I’m not going to jail lol. I’m just curious.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

All bills and mortgages still are in force.

Should have added a ` ~ ’ or two or three

Most spouses or S/O end up with the “short end” of the stick.

Judi's avatar

Your bills are still due and your credit gets screwed. Your home gets foreclosed.

lillycoyote's avatar

You still everything you owed before you went to jail. House payments, credit card debt, etc. What you would need to do, if you aren’t married, would be to have some sort of Power of Attorney drawn up that would allow someone to act on your behalf in financial and legal matters. If you had assets, savings, etc. that person would be authorized to access your bank accounts and sell assets in order to and be able to pay your bills for you while you were in jail. If you have no assets and can’t work because you’re in jail, and your bills don’t get paid then you’re kind of screwed if you can’t make your mortgage payment, e.g.. You’d lose your house. .

FutureMemory's avatar

It would be pretty sweet if your bills did get put on hold…

“Hmm..time to get locked up for a few months…I’m out of money for my mortgage.”


lillycoyote's avatar

@FutureMemory That would be pretty f’d up world, wouldn’t it? If you slaved away in a factory for twenty years, then lost your job because the company shut the plant and you still owed on all your bills, but someone could commit a crime serious enough to get jail time and your creditors just let you slide. “No worries! Just let us know when you get out, O.K.?”

gorillapaws's avatar

@lillycoyote I fail to see how they would be better off, it’s not like they wouldn’t be in exactly the same situation when they got out, except they would have an even harder time finding a job with a criminal record.

filmfann's avatar

This is what they mean when they give you some time to put your affairs in order.
And keep in mind that anyone who makes payments on your house will be considered a co-owner.

lillycoyote's avatar

@gorillapaws I think, actually, you failed to understand exactly what I was saying above. It was a little joke; a bit of sarcasm. The idea that someone might think your responsibility to meet your financial obligations might be “put on hold” if you go to jail but not if a person loses his or her job. That would be pretty f’d up.

trailsillustrated's avatar

If you get more than 30 days they give you a period of time to settle your affairs. If it’s a serious offense you do this while out on bail. Everything continues to pile up. Hopefully you have someone to hold down the fort while your’e away. If not, you get rid of it. Anyway you can.

LuckyGuy's avatar

We paid our friend’s bills while he was incarcerated – house, car loans, legal fees, wife’s car repairs, etc. We made a spreadsheet with all the expenses we incurred on his behalf and together made a 4 year repayment plan. When finished his sentence he got his job back and has been paying us back every month. He’s never missed a payment.
Our current system makes it extremely difficult for anyone coming out of prison to become a productive citizen. No matter what the crime was, they often lose everything by the time they ‘graduate’.

Judi's avatar

@LuckyGuy ; You’re a good man.

Paradox25's avatar

I knew people that went to jail, so the answer to this question is very simple actually: it sucks to be you. Most of these people had family help them through their ordeal, but some lost everything.

Ponderer983's avatar

@LuckyGuy Wow…great friends you guys are. Will you be my friend?

blueknight73's avatar

My brother was incarcerated for 10 months. And while he was in, my wife and I helped his wife with all their bills. I know things that can be repossed will be if payments aren’t made.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Judi Thank you for the compliment. Actually he is a good man too.
He was over 21 and had consensual sex with a 16 year old a few days before her 17th birthday. In NY, that is Rape 3rd – a Class E Felony.
They had been dating for 6 months but because she was 16 at the time, she was deemed incapable of consent in this State. Even though all agree she initiated it, he is the rapist.
Life as he knew it is over.

Judi's avatar

Did she push it or her parents?
I know it’s a different world but a lot of my boyfriends in the ‘70’s could have gone to jail if todays standards were applied today.

FutureMemory's avatar

When I was at the tender age of 15/16 I had a girlfriend that had just turned 20. Funny how no one ever said shit to us about the age difference, specifically her being a ‘criminal’ with the whole statutory rape thing. Double standards are interesting.

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