Since there is no debtor’s prison in the US, in general, a borrower cannot be arrested for credit card debt. It is also illegal for the lender to threaten the debtor with an arrest for nonpayment because of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. However, some collectors may try to intimidate the borrower in an attempt to scare him until he finally agrees to pay his debt.
It would be advisable to familiarize yourself on this particular law because if the collectors violate some of its provisions, you can sue them yourself. You can also issue a cease and desist letter to them if they try to phone your employer, family or friends. If the creditor files a case in court and you do not appear, the judge issues a judgment ruling against you but this only serves as an acknowledgment that you really owe the money. However, the next step for the creditor is to a get a writ of execution. If you are subpoenaed for this and you fail to appear in court, a warrant for your arrest could be issued against you for contempt of court.
It is also possible for the debtor to go to jail if he obtained the debt through fraudulent means because fraud is a criminal offense. There is also possibility that the debtor will go to prison if it is proven that he had really no intention of paying after accumulating thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Of course, these are all legal matters and it is always advisable to consult a reliable lawyer regarding your particular situation.