In general, the failure to pay a payday loan is not criminal, even if you gave them a check. In most states, no postdated check can ever be considered criminal because there was no money in the account at the time the check was given and the lender knew that. If they have knowledge that you had no ability to cover the check when you wrote it, the it is a LOAN, and not an NSF, bounced or hot check. They know this. They know that you don't know this. That is why they make the threats. And this issue is even more compounded when it is done of over the internet and there is no check involved. Normally it involves an electronic debit agreement. It is a loan pure and simple and the actions to collect this type of debt are governed as any other loan. Under the FDCPA, an original creditor is not considered a collector, but Utah may have state debt collection laws that cover original creditors. Even if a creditor is not a collector under these laws, a threat of criminal action to try and coerce payment of a debt can be considered criminal back against the lender and may be impermissible under debt collection laws. If you feel threatened, then may want to consult with a consumer law attorney there.