Can an arrest warrant compel debt payment?

Utah debt arrest warrants

There are many misconceptions about whether or not an arrest warrant can be issued by a court of law for failing to pay debt. A recent article from the Standard Examiner entitled “Utah courts increase use of civil bench warrants to compel debt payments” shows how easily some of these misconceptions are spread. And that isn’t the first time the Standard Examiner misreported the issue. In 2016, it reported incorrectly that Rex Iverson died in jail after being arrested for failing to pay debt. If the media won’t report it right how can the average consumer be expected to know whether failing to pay debt can result in their arrest?

Arrest warrants in consumer debt cases are for failing to appear, not for failing to pay

The truth is that, for most debt, the courts may not issue warrants for arrest to compel debt payments. Courts can issue orders allowing creditors to garnish your wages, place a lien on your home, and seize your non-exempt personal property but they cannot have you arrested for failing to pay. The misconception arises because courts can, and justice courts in Utah often do, issue arrest warrants to debtors for failing to appear in court.

But that is a critical distinction. Merely failing to pay debt under normal circumstances will not result in your arrest. True, you can be arrested for failing to pay child support, court fines, or for writing bad checks, but as long as you appear in court and cooperate with the creditor’s efforts to discover your financial assets, you cannot be arrested simply for failing to pay a credit card account or other consumer debt. When you don’t appear at a court-ordered hearing for a supplemental order, however, the court can, and usually will, issue a warrant for your arrest.

The warrant is basically an order for contempt. The court issues the warrant for failing to obey the court’s order for you to appear, not for failing to pay the debt.

These arrest warrants arise in debt cases after the creditor obtains a judgment against the debtor and the debtor fails to appear at a supplemental hearing. These supplemental hearings are court proceedings in which the debtor is required to provide the creditor with details of their assets. That way the creditor can discover the debtor’s bank accounts, employment, and personal assets it can use to satisfy the debt.

An arrest warrant requires personal service

An arrest warrant for failing to appear at a supplemental proceeding is not automatically ordered by the court. Creditors are required to directly serve the debtor with notice of the supplemental hearing before the court will issue a warrant for arrest for failing to appear.

And it is not sufficient to serve another person living in the debtor’s household. For supplemental proceedings the creditor must serve the actual debtor directly. That differs from service of process of the original complaint which is effective upon service of someone else living in the debtor’s household.

In cases where the debtor did not receive direct personal service the court will request an order to show cause and request to continue the hearing to another future date. That way the creditor can try again to serve the debtor.

That doesn’t mean debtors should necessarily avoid personal service, however. Each time the constable attempts service it costs money and that money is added to the debt.

A debtor’s appearance at a supplemental proceeding can be avoided in some cases, but proceed with caution

When debtors are served with notice of a supplemental proceeding to collect a judgment they are provided with a list of questions. The questions relate to the debtor’s assets such as bank accounts, income, and personal property. If the debtor responds to those questions in sufficient detail to satisfy the creditor, the hearing for a supplemental order can be cancelled. Debtors should proceed with caution however, because unless they receive notice from the court the hearing is cancelled they must still appear.

Many times the creditors will still want the hearing to occur if only to put on the court record that the debtor satisfied their requirements. This is good practice for the debtor as well because it can prevent arguments of failing to appear from creeping up later. If the debtor answers the questions prior to the hearing, the court may still want the hearing to occur for the same reasons. Either way, it is best to appear and cooperate to be sure the creditor cannot request an arrest warrant.

The bankruptcy stay can prevent issuance of an arrest warrant

In some cases debtors may be insolvent and simply cannot pay the debt because their living expenses far exceed their income. In these cases, failing to appear will still result in an arrest warrant. One approach to resolving the debt may be to seek protection by filing bankruptcy. Many debtors don’t have enough debt to justify bankruptcy, but in truly desperate situations it can be an excellent tool for starting over. 

Once a bankruptcy is filed and notice is provided, the creditor is required to stop any further attempts to collect the debt. That includes hearings for supplemental proceedings. Again, debtors should exercise caution here because the bankruptcy stay will not automatically recall an already outstanding warrant. If the creditor has already obtained an arrest warrant but it has not yet been executed, the debtor who filed bankruptcy could still be arrested and have to pay the amount indicated in the arrest warrant to be released from jail.

Payment plans

Many creditors will accept payment plans to help debtors pay judgments. They will still likely require the debtor’s appearance at a supplemental hearing but if there are any assets or wages to protect, reaching an agreement with the creditor can be a good way to resolve the debt and avoid bankruptcy.

Payments can also be useful in reducing the debt in some cases. For example, when the debtor has no assets or disposable income creditors may be willing to accept an amount lower than the amount of the judgment. In many cases the creditors only accept less than the amount due when the debtor can make one lump sum payment but some creditors will accept less with monthly payments over time as well. 

In most cases, it is better to seek a payment plan before a judgment is entered. That way the creditor will still have to request a judgment from the court before it can garnish wages, garnish bank accounts, or seize unsecured non-exempt assets.

Consent judgments

The creditor may require a consent judgment in negotiating the debt to avoid the problem of having to obtain a judgment before it can seek garnishments and property seizure to collect the debt. A consent judgment, also referred to as a stipulated judgment, is entered when both parties consent to entry of the judgment with the court. Debtors often enter into consent judgments because they do not understand the consequences of doing so or because they have little to no choice in the matter. There are numerous ways to lose a debt collection lawsuit so debtors can be easily backed into a corner and feel they have no other choice. Overall, it is better to avoid a consent judgment either by prevailing in the lawsuit or by reaching a settlement agreement that doesn’t require entry of a judgment.


It is truly tragic that Rex Iverson died in jail but an arrest warrant was not issued against him for failing to pay a debt. Like other cases in the Utah courts, the arrest warrant was issued because he failed to show up when ordered to appear in court. To Mr. Iverson’s friends and family that distinction is almost certainly irrelevant, but to the average debtor the difference is important.

Debt collection lawsuits do not normally need to result in the issuance of an arrest warrant. Even if you cannot pay you should still appear throughout the proceedings. If you have assets you want to protect negotiate a payment plan or find out if bankruptcy is appropriate for your situation. Either way you should appear in court and cooperate.




Booted by Parking Solutions? Fight back!

Sue Parking Solutions

Parking Solutions, a Salt Lake City, Utah based company, issues tickets and immobilizes vehicles for various businesses around the Salt Lake valley. In some of these cases, they are doing so illegally.

Parking Solutions’ deceptive practices

One typical scenario occurs in the parking lot on the corner of 600 East and 400 South in Salt Lake City, Utah. In that lot, Parking Solutions issues tickets or immobilizes vehicles with a boot when one of the occupants goes to Jimmy John’s which is technically not a part of the parking lot served by the surrounding businesses like Cafe Zupas, Tonyburgers, or Jamba Juice. The problem, however, is that does not automatically constitute a violation of the posted parking rules.

Parking Solutions Salt Lake posted rules at Jimmy Johns

Think about it. If you go to Jamba Juice, a company for which that parking lot is intended, and your friend who drove with you goes to Jimmy John’s, you did not violate the parking rules that are posted on the property. You patronized Jamba Juice as the rules allow. No problem then? Wrong. Parking Solutions has an agent lying in wait to ticket or boot your car because one of the occupants went to Jimmy John’s. He, in his blissful ignorance, believes the patently illogical idea that none of the occupants can leave the property even if the others actually patronize the intended businesses.

Until you use [one of these businesses] you are trespassing.

Daniel Graves, Parking Solutions

Parking Solutions’ past criminal conduct

This problem has grown so bad that Parking Solutions employee Daniel Graves was actually charged with interfering with an officer in discharge of official duties for booting a Salt Lake City Fire Department emergency vehicle and his subsequent refusal to remove the immobilization device under direct orders by the police department. Ironically, Daniel Graves even claimed the police were extorting him when they demanded he remove two boots from their emergency vehicle. Justin Bird, Parking Solutions owner, seems to completely support such ridiculous conduct by Daniel Graves on behalf of Parking Solutions as he personally participated in refusing to remove the boot from the emergency vehicle, has been known to deny valid requests for refunds, and may have lied to government officials in a recent investigation over his deceptive business practices. Justin Bird even plead guilty on behalf of Parking Solutions to criminal charges of operating without a proper business license.

Parking Solutions Salt Lake City, Utah

In any event, Salt Lake City consumers should not be deceived by Parking Solutions’ unlawful and deceptive conduct and they should not pay any extortionate amounts. Instead, save your receipts to show you patronized one of the businesses the parking lot serves and contact a consumer protection attorney who can sue Parking Solutions on your behalf. Under Utah law you may be entitled to a refund of the $75.00 you paid to Parking Solutions and in some cases may even be entitled to a much higher actual damages award if Parking Solutions illegally tickets or boots your car and you can prove you patronized one of the businesses served by that parking lot. Either way, don’t be a victim.

Please note that the listing of any specific company or individual is not meant to state or imply that they committed any illegal or improper act; rather only that an investigation is or was being conducted by private attorneys to determine whether legal rights have been violated. The statements expressed herein are statements of our opinion only.

Identity Theft Protection Company LifeLock Fined $100 Million for Deceptive Sales Practices

Identity theft protection services company LifeLock® has been in trouble for deceptive practices and misleading consumers in the past but lately have been taking even more heat than before.

Prevent Computer Records Access Identity Theft
Computer Records Identity Theft Protection

In 2010, LifeLock entered into a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission after it was accused of making false claims regarding the effectiveness of its identity theft protection services. Under the agreement, LifeLock paid $11 million. Now, after violating that agreement, LifeLock has been ordered to pay an additional $100 million in penalties and refunds. The money will be deposited with the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona but will be paid directly to consumers harmed by LifeLock’s violations.

“This settlement demonstrates the Commission’s commitment to enforcing the orders it has in place against companies, including orders requiring reasonable security for consumer data,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “The fact that consumers paid Lifelock for help in protecting their sensitive personal information makes the charges in this case particularly troubling.”

This settlement comes at bad time for LifeLock since it was recently revealed that LifeLock was used by a man to stalk his ex-wife in Gilbert, Arizona. The woman, Suzanna Quintana, had her financial life monitored by her ex-husband using LifeLock’s identity theft protection services. The kicker is when LifeLock found out about the stalking, it stonewalled the Arizona woman and refused to help her clear up the matter. They even refused to provide the Arizona woman with information when she involved the police. Eventually, LifeLock gave in but not before making Quintana suffer needlessly.

“They didn’t listen to me. It’s almost like they didn’t believe me,” Quintana said. “They did not want to admit what they’d done. Since they are an identity-protection company, it was not in their best interest to admit my identity wasn’t protected. They tried to shift the blame to me.”

LifeLock allowed Quintana’s ex-husband to track her financial accounts, credit scores, credit reports, and public records as if he was the subject of the records. Quintana discovered the intrusion when one of her sons found a five-page spreadsheet on her ex-husband’s computer that documented her bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial activity using a LifeLock account in her name.

Kelley Bonsall, LifeLock’s Vice President of Media Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility, said in a public statement, “We’re distressed that someone was able to use our service to victimize his (ex-)wife. There’s often little a company can do to stop someone who is intent on causing harm using the personal information of a partner, but we owe this victim an apology because we did not assist her with the speed and care that the situation required.”

LifeLock® is a trademark of LifeLock, Inc.

Used Car Buying Tips

Utah Auto Fraud Attorney

Bill Gephardt posted an article on KSL warning consumers of the dangers of buying a used car.

Gephardt’s warning arises mostly because Utah has no lemon law that applies to the purchase of a used car. Buyer beware is the watchword. Gephardt is right that if you purchase a used car and its engine explodes five minutes later, you are usually stuck. There are car dealers that will repair such damage when it occurs so close after the purchase, but most won’t so don’t count on it.

What can you do to protect yourself when buying a used car? Here are a few tips:

Research Used Cars

Your first step when purchasing a used car is to research your available options. Consumer Reports is a good place to start. Consumer Reports publishes a Used Car Buying Guide every year and it will help you quickly pinpoint which cars are historically reliable and which cars are less reliable. Don’t let your unreasonable desires for a particular car convince you to buy one that has spotty reliability. You will regret it. Poor reliability costs you more than just increased costs for repairs. Periodic maintenance is more expensive and most, but not all, historically unreliable cars suffer from poor resale value as well. You lose money every step of the way if you buy an unreliable car.

Research Used Car Values

After you have narrowed your used car search down to a few options, go online at check the values of the cars. Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds are two excellent ways to compare cars and check current pricing. I particularly like Edmunds’ True Market Value (TMV) page. It allows a real-world comparison of all the costs of used car ownership. With TMV you can see just how much that dream car is really going to cost you over the years. It is eye opening to say the least.

Research the Local Used Car Market

Once you have decided on a particular make and model to buy start looking on the Internet and local newspapers to get an idea of what is available and where the original asking prices are set. Don’t use this to determine value or the price you should pay however. Sellers are notoriously unreasonable in their advertised prices because they expect to haggle down. Many of the ads are also scams. Browsing the ads however is crucial to understanding what else is available and may lead you to the perfect used car.

Have an Inspection Performed

Once you find the car you want, drive it, closely inspect it yourself, and have it inspected professionally by an independent mechanic. I cannot stress this enough. No matter how good the car looks, runs, and feels, it may have hidden problems that can only be revealed by taking off the wheels, checking the compression, checking the electrical system, and performing dozens of other inspections that you cannot do without the proper equipment and tools. Get an inspection! If the seller won’t let you take the car for a few hours to do one, RUN away from the deal. They are hiding something.

Get Everything in Writing

When you are ready to make your purchase keep in mind that you will probably be buying the used car on an “as-is” basis. That means once you sign for it anything that goes wrong is yours to fix. If the seller makes any specific claims of recent work, reliability, or dependability get those claims in writing. If you don’t and he lied, his claims are very difficult, if not impossible, to prove in court. Get everything in writing.

Extra Used Car Purchasing Tips

There are other tips you should also follow to get the best deal. For example, when buying a used car from a dealer always obtain outside financing from your bank or credit union before going to the dealership. Don’t discuss financing until the price of the car is set and don’t take financing from the dealer unless you want to overpay for both.

Failing to come prepared with prearranged financing can also subject you to a common car dealer scam known as a yo-yo sale. In yo-yo sales, unscrupulous car dealers let you take the car home before the financing is finalized. They wait a few weeks and then call with a demand for you to either sign more expensive financing arrangements or return the car. You lose money no matter which option you select and in many cases, you also lose your trade-in vehicle.

You should also never give your trade-in to the dealer without a spare set of keys on hand. A well-known dealer trick is to keep you captive by pretending to lose your keys when you want to walk away from a bad deal. Bring the extra set and don’t play that game.

Perhaps my best advice to follow when buying a used car is to always be willing to walk away from the negotiating table. If the seller is being unreasonable, walking away is the best way to bring him back to reality. Never fall in love with a particular car so much that it clouds your judgment. If you do, the seller will make you pay more.


Hopefully these tips will help you next time you purchase a used car. Be cautious and walk away if anything seems wrong. Do your homework, bring outside financing, and get an inspection for the best deal on a used car.

Fight Telephone Scams and Stop the Calls

The local news recently reported that a new telephone scam is running in Utah. The telephone scam is not actually new at all but does raise the point that consumers need to be aware of these telephone scams and how to fight back.

Here are a few tips to avoid becoming a victim of a telephone rip off.

Telephone Scam Tip 1: Recognizing a Telephone Scam

You must first learn to recognize a telephone scam. This is actually the easy part. Anyone calling you and asking for your personal, private, or financial information is a scam. Legitimate companies NEVER call to ask for your social security number, date of birth, bank account number, or other similar information. NEVER. If anyone calls for that information they are attempting to scam you.

Telephone Scam Tip 2: Hang Up

Once you recognize a telephone scam, hang up. Don’t give any information and don’t push any buttons on the phone if it is a recording calling you. Just hang up. If you have a call block feature on your telephone you can then block that number from ever bothering you again but even if you don’t, simply hanging up prevents the caller from getting any private information from you.

Telephone Scam Tip 3: Record the Call

If legal in your state and the state of the caller you should record the call. In Utah, it is legal to record telephone calls as long as one party consents to the recording. Recording the telephone rip off call is an excellent way to prove your case if litigation ever becomes necessary.

Telephone Scam Tip 4: Ask Questions

If you really want to tick off a telephone con artist, ask him questions. They hate inquisitive consumers. Indeed, they hate smart consumers so much that asking questions will almost always result in the con artist hanging up on you. In fact, I once had a telephone scam artist so irritated by my questions that he threatened to kill me. That is another excellent reason to record the calls.

If you ask questions you are unlikely to get any actual answers from the con artist but some will give you useful telephone numbers, names, or even addresses. It is rare to get information from a con artist however. Most will simply get mad that you aren’t falling for the scam and hang up on you.

Telephone Scam Tip 5: Don’t Waste Your Time

Don’t waste your time filing a complaint with the FBI. Let me be clear on this point. The FBI is supposed to investigate and prosecute people for committing telephone scams but they will not do it. At least not in Utah. I know because when I tried to report the con artist who threatened to kill me, the FBI outright refused to take a report. To say the FBI agent I spoke with was corrupt and incompetent would be kind. The lesson here is don’t waste your time dealing with the morons at the FBI to stop the morons perpetrating telephone scams. It won’t happen. The FBI is just too ignorant and corrupt to help you.

Telephone Scam Conclusion

The best way to fight back against a telephone con artist is to be able to recognize when a caller is a scam. The next step is to ask questions or hang up. Don’t waste any time with the idiots at the FBI, just hang up and keep your personal information private.

Seven Peaks Pass of All Passes Complaints

I just read an article about the famous Seven Peaks Pass of all Passes. Apparently consumers are filing complaints about not receiving these passes in a timely manner. Consumers are even contacting Get Gephardt to try to get help. Fortunately, there is no need to contact Get Gephardt or even me in this case. Seven Peaks is responding to these complaints favorably and taking care of its customers as it should. No real drama needed.

Seven Peaks Pass of all Passes

What is the Seven Peaks Pass of all Passes you ask? Well, simply put it is an awesome pass you get that gets you into the various Seven Peaks Water Parks in the Salt Lake and Provo areas very cheaply. My wife got them so she and the kids could play all summer and they are indeed awesome passes for summer fun in Utah.

Pass of All Passes Complaints

The Pass of all Passes complaints consumer have are not about the passes themselves at all. The complaints about the passes is that the passes are not getting delivered in a timely manner. The complaints seem to stem more from early purchasers than those who bought the passes recently however. My wife for example, bought our passes sometime in April and received them just three or four weeks later. As far as I can tell complaints about these passes seem to be already resolved by the time you read this. Summer fun here we come.

Obtaining Your Seven Peaks Pass of all Passes

Since Seven Peaks now seems to be delivering the passes pretty quickly now I wouldn’t worry too much about it if you haven’t received yours yet. It will probably come soon. If not, don’t worry. Just go to a Seven Peaks water park and have them process the passes there. They have agreed to let pass holders who have not yet received the passes come in anyway as long as you have your receipt proving you ordered the Seven Peaks Pass of all Passes.


Seven Peaks has very nicely handled the Seven Peaks Pass of all Passes problem. Take your receipt in and have a good time. Frankly, if all companies handled complaints and glitches as well as Seven Peaks has handled this problem I would be out of a job. No, there is no need to call me if you haven’t received your passes yet. And certainly don’t Get Gephardt. Just let Seven Peaks sort it out for you. The summer heat is here. Get your Seven Peaks Pass of all Passes and go play.

Super Dell Kicked a Bird?

Super Dell, a local celebutard here in Utah is lighting up the news again. This time with video footage of him possibly kicking a bird in flight. The video may be fake so don’t come crying to me if you Super Dell haters don’t get to hang him on this one.

For the record I am not a Super Dell hater but I am concerned about his levels of maturity and intelligence. The simple fact is that most people don’t kick birds. Get with the plan Super Dell; don’t kick birds.

More importantly, however, is that I want this guy for a client. Super Dell seems to get in trouble with the law in fairly regular intervals but for decidedly irregular reasons. Interesting clients with interesting legal claims makes my law practice more interesting.

The most interesting aspect of this particular case, for example, is the footage itself. Legally it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to authenticate. To even admit the video in court the prosecuting agency would have to prove that the video is what it purports to be.

First the prosecuting agency would have to prove that the person in the video is actually Super Dell. That is going to be very difficult given that the videographer is also the perpetrator. In that case Super Dell himself would have to verify the date, time, and subject of the video. Hopefully, he isn’t going to say or do anything to authenticate this video.

Also critical to successfully prosecuting Super Dell for kicking the bird is proving that he actually kicked the bird. The video is unclear on this point. Yes, it appears that he kicked the bird but the lack of quality on the video makes it legally questionable.

The voice on the video also needs to be authenticated. Yes, it sounds like him but anyone can do a Super Dell impression. Just talk in your best whiny voice about how awesome you are and you are 90% there.

At this point the only real chance the authorities have of convicting Super Dell for kicking the bird is if the other pilot comes forward. If that pilot testifies that he was with Super Dell that day and that after the flight Super Dell bragged about kicking the bird, Super Dell’s goose is cooked. Pun intended. That witness could sink this case for Super Dell.

Unless that mystery witness testifies or Super Dell himself admits to kicking the bird I doubt very much that he will be prosecuted or convicted in any court of competent authority. As for the court of public opinion I think that conviction is already in.

Nonetheless, in the hopes of getting Super Dell to hire me I will offer him this advice for free. Please Super Dell, keep your mouth shut. Don’t talk to anyone about the video and stop kicking birds.

Call me.

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