My husband got an online payday loan in July of '07 and just spoke to a "middle man" threatening with court and saying court papers were already filed but they're giving an opportunity to pay so we don't have to go to court. This item isn't showing on his credit report and this is the first I've heard from them. As soon as I told them I'd have a lawyer contact them they hung up on me.
If you have no record of this company or servicer and there is no indication of them on your credit report it could be a scam. Next time they contact you, you should request an invoice or disclosure of the amount they are claiming you owe, as well as who the original lender was. They are legally obligated to give you this information. If they refuse, it is a good indication the the collection is illegitimate and you can file a consumer complaint with the Attorney Generals office in your state. Remember to document all the communications you have with the debt collector- get the persons name , phone # and company info in as much detail is possible.
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The fact that they hung up at the mention of a lawyer indicates that you are in the right. Statutes of limitation generally prohibit lawsuits filed more than 4 or 6 years after the event giving rise to the lawsuit. Still, to give a definite answer, a lawyer would need to see the contract and to know what states you and the lender are located in.
My response is not to be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship and it is not offered as legal advice. Hopefully, this discussion will steer you in the right direction if you choose to hire an attorney.
You may have a claim against the payday loan company and the middle man. Did you happen to get the name of the company calling you. In California, debt collectors and creditors are subject to the state's fair debt collection act. One of the things a debt collector or creditor cannot do is threaten you with a lawsuit if they can't file one (i.e. statute of limitations has passed) or don't intend to file one. What claims you may have also depends on what the contract says. You must keep track of all calls, contacts, and phone numbers. This information is very important to an attorney evaluating a case under the state and federal debt collection statutes. You should contact an attorney in California familiar with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Rosenthal Debt Collection Practices Act. Don't wait too long, though. There is only a short amount of time within which you can file such a case!
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