Just recently a debt collector starting calling my job for an unpaid pay day loan that was made 6 years ago in when I used to live in Arizona. I live in Hawaii now and I want to pay them back but I don't want to give my credit card info over the phone. I've asked them to send me a letter and they said they are not able to, the only type of payment would be over the phone. They also said if I dont call them back, they will send the DA and have me pay not $500 but $3000 for court fees and double the amount of my actual loan. What can I do about this?
Family Law Attorney
This is a debt collection scam, pure and simple. First, they can't get the "DA" involved - owing a debt is not a criminal act. Assuming the SOL hasn't run on the debt (it depends on a few factors), they certainly can sue you, obtain a judgment, and try to collect. Other than that, there isn't anything else they can do. If you tell them you cannot be contacted at work, those calls should stop as well. Demand their address and send them, in writing, a letter demanding verification of the debt. If they won't do that, then they are in violation of federal collections laws.
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If the debt is more than EXACTLY six years old, you owe them nothing. Your remedy then is the federal Fair Debt Collection Act, which bars harassing people over uncollectable debts. Under no circumstances should you pay this over the phone.
As for the criminal charges, it is illegal to threaten someone with criminal prosecution to collect a debt., collectable or not collectble That is already a FDCA violation, and there are statutory damages of $1,000 per violation, plus any actual damages. Contact me if you want to consider demanding money from them.
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