Friend of the show Caveat Emptor has advice on how to not get thrown in jail for your debts. (Yes, this is happening in America).
Essentially what it boils down to is READ YOUR MAIL.
Nearly everyone who gets thrown into jail over money they owed ignored correspondence sent to them about the lawsuit. What can happen is if you ignore the summons and complaint, the plaintiff can win the case by default. Now they have a judgment against you and they can ask the court to issue an order making you show how much money you have. If you ignore that court order, the judge can issue another order to make you come in and explain yourself. If you then also ignore that order, the judge will issue a bench warrant and the sheriff can come and arrest you.
So face up to the facts and read your mail. Being in debt is not a “CD of the month club” you can’t just change your address and hope they go away.
How to Avoid Ending Up in Jail for Debt [Caveat Emptor]
And for more on the phenomenon of debtors being tossed in the clink, check out, “Debtors Increasingly Thrown In Jail. Wait, What?“