I was contacted by Advance America today stating I owe them but I it's been years since I've been to Advance America and I'm not sure but now they have a case against me and they going to issue an arrest warrant and I'm trying to stop it from happening so I need to contact an attorney.
Before you panic, consider that this is a scam. An outright false threat designed to get you so scared, that you will up paying money to someone you don't know for a debt you may or may not owe. The link below is an article I wrote about how to spot phony pay day loan collectors and what to do about them.
I am not your attorney unless you and I have signed a retainer agreement. What I am saying is not legal advice. Do not act on this information without engaging my services, this is for consideration only.
This sounds like a scam; like they are trying to scare you. It is extremely rare for a person to be arrested in these situations. There are a number of things that have to happen first.
The type of attorney you probably want is a bankruptcy attorney; most bankruptcy attorneys, such as myself, also handled collection cases and bankruptcy cases. So we usually have a pretty good idea of whether we can help you by just dealing with this one creditor or if your situation is such that you should consider filing bankruptcy.
Please note that answering this question does not make me your attorney. However if I answer your question I probably handle the type of case you asked about.
Why don't you pull a copy of your credit report and see if it shows a debt to Advance America and when you last paid it? You can obtain a free copy of your credit reports once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com . Debts do not get collected by the criminal justice authorities. Believe me, they have more important things to do than collect debts, like look for the real criminals in our communities who sell drugs and shoot family members and innocent bystanders. Hope this perspective helps!
If it has truly been years DO NOT PAY THEM. My reasoning is that even if you owed them money they have 6 years from the last payment to sue you to collect. If you make any payment now, that 6 years starts all over again.. so simply do not make any payment until you know all the facts.. contact an attorney if you have any further questions. BTW You will NOT go to jail (unless you bounced a check) we no longer have debtors prisons in the US..
Please note that I answered this question with general knowlege of the law and with limited disclosure from you, my answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and I cannot be held responsible for how you, the asker, use the information provided. If you want to contact me directly and retain my services you may through my listing on this site.
I agree with the other lawyers who have cautioned you not to pay anything to these people. Even if this is not a scam and you owe the money, threatening to have you arrested is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Michigan Collection Practices Act. Both of these laws allow you to recover your actual damages (both economic and non-economic, such has the anxiety they caused), plus your costs and attorney fees. If Advance America is one of those payday loan companies, they cannot bring charges against you even if you did bounce a check or did not have sufficient funds in your account for them to withdraw payments. Although a bankruptcy attorney may be helpful if you have a lot of debt, you may be best off consulting with a consumer attorney familiar with debt collection defense and debt collection harassment. Most consumer attorneys will give you an initial consultation at no charge.
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