About a year ago, I had to take a payday loan - I was in a financial mess then, robbing Peter to pay Paul, taking a $1500 payday loan to pay off a 401(k) loan so that I could (again) borrow from my 401(k). It all seems to stupid now, especially as I'm writing this out and admitting how dumb I was...
I got a call this morning from the fraud division of "Central Check Processing" saying they were filing check fraud charges with my county. It turns out it's for the payday loan company, and they're saying because my account was negative when they tried to collect (before my 401(k) loan was processed), that I've committed check fraud. I'm not sure who to pay now! I am soon going to be trying to rent a new home, and I am worried this will definitely prevent that from happening. :-(
You need not worry about these illegal threats. This type of calls are happening frequently. They violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I am also guessing that the entities or individuals involved in these calls are criminal organizations often based outside of the USA. Many calls appear to be originating from South Asia (India or Pakistan). I believe advances in technology are allowing these entities access to information about you and ways to make telephone calls inexpensively. I am of the opinion that law enforcement agencies in the US are almost helpless to do anything about these organizations. A strong federal consumer protection legislation or regulation is needed to stop the flow of information. I suggest you contact the FTC and your legislators, tell them what happened and urge them to enact such a law or regulation.
If you intend to engage in transactions where someone will be reviewing your credit history, you should obtain your credit report and review it carefully. You can get a free report at annualcreditreport.com. You should only deal with the creditors listed in your credit reports. Even then, you should not always take everything at their words. if you have any questions, you should look for a consumer protection lawyer at naca.net.
My answer is purely for general educational purposes for the benfit of public that view this website. Please do not construe my answer as a legal advice to a specific person. Before any specific legal advice can be given, I must obtain more detailed information, review all pertinent documents, research the facts and law. This response shall not be in any way construed to form an attorney-client relationship.
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2 lawyers agree
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Threatening someone with criminal charges to collect a civil debt is a criminal offense called extortion. "Central check processing" sounds like a made up name to me - a name designed to frighten people into paying in violation of all legal and moral standards. I would obtain the contact information about this company before filing my own complaint with the authorities as a victim of extortion. In some states, payday lenders can file a report of a bad check which the authorities may chose to prosecute, but in most places, the authorities will not prosecute.
To know for sure, I am moving your question to the field of criminal defense so you can get a local answer. Hope this perspective helps!
Criminal Defense Attorney
I agree with my colleagues; however, if you are contacted by the police, you need to contact an attorney immediately to assist you. It may be a good idea to have one on retainer just in case. Do not speak to anyone about these offenses further unless it is your privately retained or court appointed attorney. Good luck.
Kaitlin Verdura, Esq.
Verdura Law Group PLLC
Debt Collection Attorney
In my experience, sketchy lenders use sketchy collectors. Even if there are FDCPA violations, as my colleague points out, many are off shore or otherwise untouchable via civil remedies. In my state, payday lenders are specifically not protected by bad check statutes that protect other merchants. Check to see if that is also the case in your state. That might help you feel better in the short term.