Contact a consumer affairs attorney in your area for a consultation. These payday loan companies often resort to tactics that are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other consumer protection laws. A loan company cannot file criminal charges against you, nor can they threaten to do so. You may have legal recourse against the company.
This information is provided for general purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created with the furnishing of this advice. Attorney licensed in North Carolina only.
Pay Day Loan companies often commit a host of state and Federal collection practice violations. For example, they threaten criminal action, ignore requests to cease collection calls, and charge predatory interest rates. Note, there are no debtor prisons in the United States (i.e. you can’t go to jail).
You should begin the process of protecting yourself by sending a certified mailing to the payday loan company asking for validation of that debt which includes a copy of any contract and an accounting of all charges and payments on the account. Also demand that they cease and desist from any collection communications. Finally, if you dispute any portion of their debt (e.g. the interest rate), inform them in that mailing that you dispute the debt. You can find sample debt validation/dispute letters on the internet.
A word of caution, this validation/dispute letter won’t eliminate any debt obligation (it might even incur further penalties and interest) but, in theory, it should stop the debt collector from harassing you. At a minimum, the dispute/validation letter will serve as a basis of identifying future violations in collection laws. Note, however, most payday loan companies rely upon a self imposed belief that they have immunity from collection laws due to their status as sovereign Native American nations. They also invoke arbitration laws at their whim. I would contact an attorney for further assistance in circumventing their contract language. You can also try the state attorney general’s office and consumer advocacy groups.
I am personally licensed in Pennsylvania, other attorneys in our office are licensed in New Jersey.
Stew Crawford Jr., Esq.
Crawford Law Firm
A Full Service Law Firm Serving Pennsylvania & New Jersey
223 North Monroe Street
Media, Pa 19063 (Philadelphia Area)
All information provided in this comment is intended for informational purposes only and does not, by itself, create an attorney client relationship. If you wish to consult with an attorney, or have any questions concerning this comment, please feel free to contact our offices through any of the above contact sources.