Though debtors' prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century, some Minnesota residents who have credit card debt have found themselves spending time behind bars, according to the Star Tribune.
While it's not illegal to owe money to a credit card issuer, many are being routinely thrown in jail for failing to pay off debts. In Minnesota, instances of debtors being arrested are increasing - in 2009 alone, 845 arrest warrants were issued for failure to pay debts, a number that has increased by 60 percent over the past four years.
Some of these debtors spent up to 48 hours in confinement, locked in cells with other criminals. Other states, such as Arkansas, Arizona, and Washington, are increasing such arrests, in part due to the bad economy and high consumer debt, the news provider reports.
"They have no right to do this to me, not for a stupid credit card," said Joy Uhlmeyer, who was arrested while driving home from an Easter visit with her elderly mother because she had missed a court day to settle a debt of $250.
Those who have credit card debt should focus on paying off their owed amounts as quickly as possible. According to MSNBC, it is important to put all bonuses and extra income toward credit card balances.