Is it illegal for a Creditor to threaten jail for not paying a debt?

Asked over 1 year ago - Houston, TX

I know that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act regulates Debtors. But what about Creditors? My Courier delivered some documents for me and is threatening a Warrant for me Theft Of Service if I do not pay her by a deadline. Is it illegal for a Creditor to threaten me with a Warrant and/or jail for failure to pay?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Dorothy G Bunce

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    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Sounds like you are very confused. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not regulate debtors, it regulates creditors, primarily third party creditors, such as collection agents. It may be a good idea for you to actually read this law in order to understand it. And yes, it is illegal to make threats of criminal prosecution or to make other kinds of threats. Moreover, debt collectors are not government officials and have no authority to act as if they are law enforcement officers. In some states, state law also regulates both the original creditor as well as debt collectors, so you may want to check out the laws in your state, and most states post their laws on the state website. Hope this perspective helps!

  2. Lu Ann Trevino

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    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act only applies to third party debt collectors not the original collector. The Texas debt collection laws do apply to original creditors. It is unlawful to threaten arrest for non-payment of debt.

    This comment is given for educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship exists between us.
  3. Leroy Brenardo Scott

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . The Texas Debt Collections Act regulates both creditors (the company that made the loan) and third party debt collector. If what you did was indeed a crime, your creditors can legally tell you that they will file criminal complaints against you.

  4. Tregg Robert Lunn

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . You should visit with a qualified consumer attorney in your area. My colleagues are correct, the FDCPA protects consumers from third party collectors in matters concerning consumer debt.

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