Hi... I have gotten myself and my husband into payday loan hell. I live in PA and we have loans with the following companies: Mobiloans, Plain Green Loans, The Cashline, USFastcash, 500 Fast cash, One Click Cash, White Hills Cash, Blue King Loans, TargetCashnow, OPD, Discount Advances, and United Cash. On most of these I have paid the principal amount but could no longer afford the constant withdrawal of money. So I sent an ACH revoke letter and closed my checking account. I intend to pay uuthem back however I cannot pay them all at one time and companies are threatening legal action. Can they sue me or take me to court for this? Or will they just continue to call from their collections department. I need some advice on what to do!
Sorry to hear you've been caught in the debt trap that is "payday loan hell". But, I urge you to ignore the advice given by the out of state lawyer below; it is highly unlikely you will be sued and bankruptcy is an extreme option based on what you posted.
While you technically can be sued, you will probably not be sued on any of these loans in Pennsylvania. If you do get sued, you will likely have a counterclaim under Pennsylvania's usury and consumer protection laws for exorbitant interest rates. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that PA's interest rate cap of 6% for unlicensed lenders applies to loans made over the Internet to Pennsylvania borrowers. (I’ll bet you a nickel your APR is at least 10x that). The internet payday lenders know this and probably would not sue you here; nevertheless, they continue to make these illegal loans to PA residents. If they do sue you, call me or another consumer protection lawyer; you can find one here: www.naca.net.
(I add that PA's republican legislature, heavily lobbied by the payday loan industry, is trying to make these 300% + interest rates legal. Visit this site for more info on internet payday loans in PA and the industry's fight to make their obscene interest rates legal here: http://www.stoppaydayloanspa.com/. )
That said, the lender can still try to collect the debt from you through the mail and over the phone. Unfortunately, their collectors are vicious and totally disregard federal and state fair debt collection laws. Hollow threats of suit are their calling card. They get away with this because they are hard to track down and sue as they are located in another country, on an Indian reservation or some deserted island.
I commend you for paying the principal amount and intending to pay them; but these bloodsuckers won’t stop, it was probably a smart move to stop the ACH transfers. Contact the PA Attorney General's office and their Bureau of Consumer Protection to lodge complaints about their tactics. Good luck.
I am a local attorney (butler county) who practices in the area of bankruptcy. As others have noted, the interest rates that you are being charged are likely over the PA limits, so they probably will try to intimidate you by threatening legal action. However, the chances of them successfully winning an action against you could be slim. To specifically answer your question, technically they CAN sue you. Anybody CAN sue anybody. A lot of times these companies initiate a lawsuit with the hope that you won't respond or put up a defense and they will win by default. So, you should always watch your mail and don't be afraid to get certified mail because you would need to be aware of any court filings. I am a bankruptcy attorney, and I don't know if that would be right for you. I have to take into account your income, assets, your ability to repay, etc..., however if it was in your best interest to pursue protection under the bankruptcy code, these unsecured debts would be completely dischargeable.
I agree with Mr. Milz. You are dealing with the lowest form of lender. Payday loans are essentially illegal in Pennsylvania, and these creditors will have tremendous difficulty trying to collect in this state. Just to explore all of your options, it may be worthwhile for you to consult with a local attorney who handles debt matters and bankruptcy.
Be prepared for some aggressive collection tactics. It is not uncommon for payday lenders to impersonate attorneys, threaten debtors with criminal prosecution, and worse. Such threats are nonsense and violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Pennsylvania Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act.
Yes, the can and will sue you over the debt. You either can negotiate with each creditor on a payment plan that both of you can accept (I suspect they will demand something you cannot afford) or you can file for bankruptcy.
Please speak with a consumer law or bankruptcy attorney about options and your rights. Also, if a debt collector contracts you and makes various threats (the standard being that you will go to prison if you don't pay), you have various legal rights. If you cannot afford an attorney see if you qualify for legal aid. Good luck.