If this happened like you state then you may have a cause of action against the collection agency. It appears that this company is violating the FDCPA. I suggest you speak with a local attorney.
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Many states have an entire agency that regulates debt collectors, and I would urge you to contact your state government to find out if this debt collector is licensed. Attorneys are also licensed by either a state agency or a board, and you can find out whether the caller is an attorney or not, which I doubt. What you are describing isn't the way lawyers acting in accordance with the law handle their cases, but is a classic description of an illegal debt collection practice. Hope this perspective helps!
In SC, you cannot go to jail for failure to pay a consumer debt, outside of writing a bad check (not including checks written for a payday or "delayed presentment" loan) and in some instances, deliberately disposing of property used to secure a loan. In the last instance, a judge must make such a decision, after giving the consumer an opportunity to defend.
By threatening jail when such a remedy is not available, a creditor can violate The SC Consumer Protection Code, as well as the FDCPA mentioned by one of the other attorneys. A violation of The SC Consumer Protection Code can result in penalties up to $1,000.00 payable to the consumer. With a telephone number, this is an issue that you may want to report to the SC Department of Consumer Affairs. For personal and specific advice, you are strongly advised to consult personally with an attorney.
I wish you well with resolving your legal issue.
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