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I took out unsecured payday loans and I missed one payment and they are threatening to put me in jail for it. Can they do that?

Plainview, NY |

I received a call yesterday stating that I was going to be put in jail because the payday loan company thought i was not going to pay them back because i haven't returned their emails. I am scared and do not know what to do.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, these types of threats from creditors are not allowed. As a debtor, you have certain rights, such as being notified that a debt is due, but not in a harassing or threatening manner. The company can indeed seek a civil judgment against you for the unpaid debts, but there is no debtor prison to where they can seek jail time due to a failure to pay.

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Posted

Not paying back a loan is typically only a crime if your fraudulently obtained the loan. (i.e. lied on the application) It is usually a civil matter. You can contact the New York Department of Consumer Affairs and file a complaint against the debt collector.

Richard Southard
212-385-8600
I am a former Deputy Bureau Chief with the Kings County DA’s Office and adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, with over 15 years experience specializing in criminal law cases. I offer free in-person, phone and video consultations.

All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication. For a privileged private consultation, contact me at 212-385-8600 or via my website www.reasonabledoubtny.com

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Posted

It is not a crime to miss a payment. Paying back a loan is a civil obligation and the most they can do is sue you in court (presuming you obtained the loan legally and there never was any intention of disappearing with the money). if they threatened you with jail they violated both federal and state laws and you can actually sue them. Good luck.

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Posted

It is unlikely you will be jailed right now. It sounds like a civil matter you cannot be arrested unless they can prove fraud. You would be well served to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for information purposes. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions.

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