Is it possible to be arrested for nonpayment of a car loan?

That depends on the lender and how long you've gone without paying. Usually the process is that you are contacted by the dealership. Then it may be turned over to a collections agency and a lawyer. Then you may be sued for payment. If its a small private dealership and you have the car loan in your name and you're not paying for it, it's theft, after all. I'm pretty sure the dealership can't call and have you arrested but after awhile of contacting you for payment and the court trying to get you to pay, if you don't show up for court they can serve you with papers and/or have you arrested, yes. I appreciate your response, Yinzer. The situation is just an unfortunate series of events. I got the car loan at a small bad credit/no credit dealership (I have a history of unfortunate events.) I was struggling to make the payment, but remained more or less caught up. Then I moved across country with the anticipation of a better job. The better job never happened and in 4 months I have been unable to make the payment. My ultimate intention is to return the car to the dealership and face the music, but right now I am unable financially to make the trip back to the state where I came from. They are unaware of the move and I suppose that is how I have managed to avoid actual reposession until this point. I would contact them to be upfront about the situation, but they are going to want the car back and I have no way to get it back to them at this point. That's the story - thought it might help anyone else who has an answer to this question. Thanks again. You cannot be arrested for nonpayment of a car loan period.It is a civil matter between you and the lender.The police handle criminal matters.If you are stopped by the police they don't know and they don't care its not their problem. Indirectly, yes. Not for non-payment, but if the lender goes to court and gets a court order directing you to return the collateral and you still refuse, you can be jailed for contempt of court. But you must have really PO'd the lender if he will go to that trouble and expense.