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Can a internet payday loan file criminal charges against me?

Arlington, TX |

I had took out a payday loan back in 2007, just last week someone called and said I had to pay the loan or else criminal charges will be filed against me. I told them that I could only pay $50.00 a month. Right now they want the full payment of $900.00 what are my options?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Best answer

    As others have said, this is likely a scam. First of all, obtaining and not paying back a payday loan is not a crime, unless it was done originally for the purpose of fraud. Secondly, if you took out the loan in 2007, likely it is no longer legally enforceable because Texas' 4 year statute of limitations for suing on a debt has run. Third, there are numerous reported instances of pure scammers calling from who knows where impersonating attorneys, law enforcement personnel, courts, and other government employees in an attempt to collect on old pay day loans. The FBI has a press release from last fall on this topic. I personally have had instances of my clients being called by someone claiming to be from my law firm attempting to get money from my clients for pay day loans. Unfortunately, this criminals are likely overseas using internet phones and probably beyond the reach of civil attorneys like myself to sue them. But, you can take steps to let them know that you are on to their scam, that you will not be intimidated, and that you are not going to pay this debt without written validation from them that they are the owner of the debt and how much is owed. Likely they will eventually go away.

    Good luck to you.

    I am licensed only in Texas. Offering information of a general nature in response to a question is not intended to be legal advice in your state.

  2. Only a public prosecutor can file criminal charges. Others have to bring suit in civil suit to collect. I would contact your state government to find out who regulates debt collectors & find out who is falsely claiming to be a law enforcement officer in order to collect a debt.

    The fair debt collection practices act is the federal law that regulates the conduct of debt collectors, but many states have their own laws as well. A claim to be able to bring criminal charges to collect a debt is a violation of the federal law.

    I suggest you obtain the contact information about your mystery caller - no wonder s/he didn't leave his/her name!

    Hope this perspective helps!

  3. Attorney Bunce's answer to your question is correct (as usual). Additionally, I would note that this happens ALL THE TIME and that most of these online payday loan people are SCAMS based overseas and they use these empty threats all the time. If they call back, get as much DETAILED information as you can and tell them that pursuant to FDCPA, DO NOT CALL ME AGAIN. They won't listen, because they're in Panama, but that's pretty much it.

    Advice on this forum is for informational purposes only and should never be mistaken as a substitute for legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, you should consult local legal counsel.

  4. The Statute of Limitations may not have run, as it will be four years from the last payment being overdue. Be sure to start recording your incoming calls, and try to get a name and number so you can sue for violations of the FDCA when they tell you they'll put you in jail.

    I'm not your attorney; my answer to your question includes assumptions. If you want me to be your attorney, I'm easy to find.