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Consumer Debt
Personal debt owed by individuals.

Consumer debt is a personal debt owed by an individual to a business or corporation, typically a bank or credit union. It does not include debts owed by a business or corporation to another business or corporation or by an individual to the government.

Consumer debt allows people to better themselves through a purchase without the requirement of paying the full purchase price up front. Consumer debt includes, for example, store credit cards, credit cards, medical bills, auto loans and student loans.

You CANNOT be arrested or go to jail for failure to pay your debts. But you CAN be sued in a civil lawsuit for payment.

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Protection

Debt Collection FAQs

Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts - Bankruptcy Basics

If you want to find an attorney, you may contact the State Bar of Arizona. If you are in Maricopa and Pima Counties, the local Bar Associations offer lawyer referral services and will direct you to a lawyer for a small consultation fee. For more information call (602) 257-4434 in Maricopa County or (520) 623-4625 in Pima County.

Depending on factors such as your income and the kind of legal problem you have, you may be able to get free help for non-criminal cases from Community Legal Services or a Legal Aid organization in your area. For a list of resources in your area, go to http://www.azlawhelp.org.


Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 32, Chapter 9, Collection Agencies

ARS § 32-1001 through ARS § 32-1057

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p

Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona

Arizona Tax Court Rules of Practice

Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure

Rules of Small Claims Procedure

United States Bankruptcy Code, Title 11

Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure