Let’s End Debtors Prisons in Maryland

Debtors prisons – a Dickensian vestige of the 19th century – live on in the Free State despite the Maryland Constitution’s explicit proscription: No person shall be imprisoned for debt. Sec. 38.

Fortunately, Delegate David Moon has re-introduced legislation to end this travesty. HB 127 is scheduled for hearing Wednesday January 25th in the House Judiciary Committee at 2:30pm.

Judges are empowered to imprison those found to owe monies if they fail to answer interrogatories or respond to subpoenas to appear at a deposition.

Demand an End to Debtors Prisons in Maryland here!

The ostensible reason for locking up debtors is facilitate collections.


  1. Creditors can obtain information on assets held by debtors through modern technology and do not need to rely on so-called “body attachments.”
  2. Permitting the imprisonment of debtors exacerbates our two-tiered justice system which incarcerates the poor and struggling at the highest levels in the world while winking at all manner of criminal behavior by wealthy defendants.
  3. Locking up debtors weakens and can even destroy families and ironically reduces the likelihood that the creditor will ever be made whole.

Here are two ways you can help Delegate Moon’s bill pass:

  1. If you are a debtor or former debtor or a creditor who supports the bill, please consider submitting written testimony to the House Judiciary Committee by 3pm Monday afternoon. It’s not hard and there’s an online form that walks you through the process. Feel free to copy and paste the arguments made in this email or you can download and personalize this sample written testimony, provided by our allies at Economic Action Maryland and then submit it.
  2. Email the members of the House Judiciary Committee in support of HB 127 by clicking here. We have included sample text that you can customize if you wish.
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