Can You be Arrested for Defaulting on a Payday Loan?

Be Sociable, Share!

Handcuffs

The short answer is, “No.”

A few clients have told me that they’ve received phone calls from a collection agency, threatening jail time for not repaying payday loans. The typical caller identifies himself as a “federal officer” who will be coming to arrest the borrower in the next few hours unless payment is made by phone immediately. Another version involves telling the borrower that criminal charges have been filed in a distant state and the borrower must show up “next week.”

If you get one of these calls, don’t try to settle things with the caller and don’t offer to make any payments. The threats violate the law and you may be entitled to sue for damages. However, the callers are usually located in an overseas call center, so attempting to enforce the FDCPA is next to impossible.

It is not uncommon for scammers to make illegal threats in order to collect a debt. If you are a Wisconsin resident who has been contacted by a phony or a harassing debt collector, contact a local attorney for help in dealing with these people.

EDIT:

Here’s a USA Today article discussing this problem.

The FBI is also aware of these scams. Click here or here to see what the FBI has to say.

From the FBI site:

“The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) continues to receive complaints from victims of payday loan telephone collection scams. [T]he typical payday loan scam involves a caller who claims the victim is delinquent on a payday loan and must make payment to avoid legal consequences.

Callers pose as representatives of the FBI, “Federal Legislative Department,” various law firms, or other legitimate-sounding agencies and claim to be collecting debts for companies such as United Cash Advance, U.S. Cash Advance, U.S. Cash Net, or other Internet check-cashing services. The fraudsters relentlessly call the victim’s home, cell phone, and place of employment in attempts to obtain payment. The callers refuse to provide information regarding the alleged payday loan or any documentation and become verbally abusive when questioned.

The IC3 has observed variations of this scam in which the caller tells the victim that there are outstanding warrants for the victim’s arrest. The caller claims that the basis of the warrants is non-payment of the underlying loan and/or hacking. If it’s the latter, the caller tells the victim that he or she is wanted for hacking into a business’ computer system to steal customer information. The caller will then demand payment via debit/credit card; in other cases, the caller further instructs victims to obtain a prepaid card to cover the payment.

The high-pressure collection tactics used by the fraudsters have also evolved. In one recent complaint, a person posed as a process server and appeared at the victim’s job. In another instance, a phony process server came to a victim’s home. In both cases, after claiming to be serving a court summons, the alleged process server said the victim could avoid going to court if he or she provided a debit card number for repayment of the loan.

If you are contacted by someone who is trying to collect a debt that you do not owe, you should:
• Contact your local law enforcement agencies if you feel you are in immediate danger;
• Contact your bank(s) and credit card companies;
• Contact the three major credit bureaus and request an alert be put on your file;
• If you have received a legitimate loan and want to verify that you do not have any outstanding obligation, contact the loan company directly;
• File a complaint at www.IC3.gov.”

Image credit: flickr/.v1ctor Casale

Be Sociable, Share!

To leave a comment, please either log in with your Facebook or Google+ account, or enter the captcha code and use the default comment system below.

352 Comments

  1. I was contacted by a caller who identified himself as an attorney assistant and that there was an arrest warrant for me and that I could pay 456.89 to avoid going to jail is this possible or even legal. I did default on a payday loan but can’t afford to pay it right now

    • Thanks for reading. Those calls are usually scams. Debt collectors cannot charge you with a crime; that’s the D.A.’s job. If a creditor has a legitimate claim, its remedies are limited to suing and obtaining a judgment in state court.

      Such tactics violate state and federal laws, but it’s almost impossible to prosecute because the callers are frequently from overseas.

      • I had a lady call and told me I was going to be home the next day to get served civil court papers on a payday I took out in 2005 but I could be told about it if I called this number. So I did call and a lady answered and I gave a case number that the lady before gave me and told me to hold on so she can the the person that was handling my account. He told me that I have a choice to pay $400 now or pay $806.60 in 4 installments so he ask me for a debit card number. So I gave him a prepaid card debit I don’t use anymore and he sent me a pdf and I had to verify it with a third party. Can they do anything to me after 8 years? I live with my mom, I am unemployed, and I don’t have anything to give right now until I get a job. Can they put me in jail or take anything I have? I live in Pennsylvania.

        • Please read the original post carefully. Absent fraud, you cannot be arrested for merely defaulting on a loan. Many times, the callers aren’t actual debt collectors, but scammers hoping to scare you into giving them money. If you’re concerned, you should speak to a local attorney. I don’t give legal advice on this blog and am not licensed to practice law anywhere other than Wisconsin.

      • Hey Bret I was contacted today by a phone number in Texas. No company but I was told I had until 10am tomorrow to go to my local Walmart and money gram them money or he would electronically have me charged and my local sheriffs dept would pick me up.’i live in CA and he said he does it for 38 states. When I google the number it comes up Houston Locksmiths. It’s supposedly,for,a,pay day loan and writing a fraudulent check for it. Please help! I want to save embarrassment. Thank you!

        • Please re-read the original post. Anyone threatening arrest for a simple default is either a scammer or a legit debt collector violating the FDCPA. You cannot be arrested for defaulting on a payday loan, absent fraud. And a simple default is not fraud in any jurisdiction of which I am aware.

      • I did received a call about two weeks ago from a legal officer of FBI, “Federal Legislative Department,” for a payday loan i took from US Cash, totally, $648. At first i taught it was legit since i did took some pdl some 3-4 years ago. The encounter was pressure cooker, i was only able to say that i would see what i can do the following Friday. I did observed the accent is not American and I sensed that something was not right about been arrested and going to jail for a mere $648. I just couldn’t pinpoint it.

        After one week, I got the calls again. I tried to explain to the guy that I just started working after some two years of unemployment. I had other bills that i’m just managing to pay off bit by bit. I even explained to him about my back taxes with the IRS, that the latter decided was noncollectable because i was unemployed.

        All my plea seems to be met with threat of going to jail if i don’t pay off the loan. Then i just decided to get tough with these guys. I told him I can only do a $100 dollars on friday. He could either take it or leave it and I reminded him that our conversation is been recorded and that at least, who ever will be prosecuting me will know that i did offer a payment plan (I stll taught it was legit)

        The guy got angry and said he’s sending me my notice etc. that i’m going to be arrested and spend today in jail. About 2 hour later, i saw a call with “911″ caller id on my phone, I picked the call and i heard someone with similar accent saying that “this is the sherriff” He asked if I have a fax number so he could send me the notice for the arrest and that he is coming to arrest me.

        I responded that if for defaulting on a pdl leads to be treated like a criminal, then i was ready to go the full length of the law. I banged the phone. I saw the number the second time, but i did not pick it because i just deduced that its not from a true law enforcement officer.

        However i later decided to call the 911 number, but of course, it rang the emergency number and a true officer came on asking if everything was ok. I said its ok and I then asked about the number that shows up when they call people. he said it’s usually a 3 or 4 digit number, but it will not be the 911 number. That settles it with me.

        But at work i just google the issue and i did got a lot of education on these scams. thanks to you all for the enlightenment.

        • Thanks for sharing your story. Information can be a great defense to scams!

        • Thanks For Posting This I Got A Call Today Saying THat I Didn’t Pay A Loan App Fee And The Web Site never said I Had Too Do SO then A Guy Called Saying He Is With The US Gov Telling Me That I Was Being Sued And If I Paid The 400 They Will Not Take This Too THe Mississippi Court I Was Confused Because I Never Took Out Any Loans And Never Receive One

        • I’m glad you didn’t send those scammers any money.

          Keep in mind that simply defaulting on a debt may result in a law suit, but not jail time. Anyone that calls and says they’ll have you thrown in jail unless you pay them money is not legit.

      • Thank you so much for ALL of your posts!! I had someone call and tell my very sick mother my license was going to be suspended as of today and an arrest warrant was going to be out unless I show up to court a week from today.. They said it was for a payday loan from 2008 that I defaulted on.. Of course I couldn’t remember it and they had my address from about 6-7 years ago.. They terrified my mother and myself and I almost paid! Thank you again! Great help on this site!

        • Thanks for sharing. I’m glad the info here helped save you some money and worry!

      • I live in North Carolina and I do owe on a pay day loan and I’m was not able to pay it just yet. Can I be taken to court? or put in jail?

        • I’m not licensed to practice law in North Carolina and can’t give legal advice regarding NC law. However, in most jurisdictions you can be sued if you default on a debt, but you cannot be jailed. See this post for more info.

        • I also live in N.C. and received a cOl from Rothman mediation services. The phone number showed up restricted..She informed me I would be prosecuted for a hot check from VIP Loanshop. I did cancel that card because they were taking out payments too early. I had until 2pm tomorrow to give my bank information or she would let them process this case. will they sue me or is this a scare tactic?

        • If you actually defaulted on the debt, they may sue. But most D.A.’s won’t prosecute such things, unless the lender can prove some kind of intent to defraud. Again, I’m not licensed to practice law anywhere but Wisconsin. For legal advice specific to your individual situation, you need to contact a local attorney.

    • I applied for a loan but i never received the loan but this “so called” law offices of jonny dean called me and told me i have 3outstanding warrants out for my arrest..i was confused! I calledback to let her know she has the wrong person..then she told me their would be an officer at my door in the next two hours and hung up on me!so i called them back and went off on her! I called back about 12 times and left on their voicemail..SO HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE STALKED! I was angry about the whole situation so reading this is like a ease…THANK YOU.

      • I don’t recommend returning their calls for any reason. No need to escalate the situation. (Although I’ll admit it can feel good to vent once in awhile…)

        • I am a bit concerned because I got into a heated exchange with the person that called. I’ve been getting at least 20 calls a day and have had it. I knew the caller was a scammer and asked him if he worked for Al Quaeda and proceeded to mock his accent when he started threatening me. These people know where I love and work. I wasn’t concerned until I saw a comment that someone showed up at their office. Since I know they are a scammer I almost want to detain them until the police arrive. Have you ever heard of any situations where these terrorists physically harmed someone?

        • No, I’ve never heard of a scammer showing up in person. But if you feel you are in danger, you should contact local law enforcement.

          I generally advise my clients to ignore those callers and to not engage with them. But remember, nothing on this blog is to be taken as legal advice regarding your individual situation.

  2. I received a call this morning on my cell and work phone, and yes the caller was foreign, but when i answered the first thing he asked was if i had a lawyer and if so i needed to call him. Then he went on to say that criminial charges had been filed against me, but never told me what the charges were for. He gave me a telephone # to call and a guy’s name to speak with to find out what the charges were for. But the funny thing about it was the # that he gave me was the exact same # that he called me from. And when i called the # I never asked for the name he gave me i just told him i was calling regarding a call that i had just received and oddly enough the person that answered the phone just happened to be the person he told me i needed to speak with. Anyway he got really rude and told me that i owed for a pay day loan that was taken out back in 2005 when i lived in California, mind you i live in TN now, but to make a long story short, he told me that intead of trying to collect on the loan they’ve decided to press criminal charges against me for fraud, stolen money and some other stuff he said. Then he went on to say that the warrant had been served and the police would be at my place of employment within 2 hrs to arrest me. But since i dont have a criminal record he put me on hold to check with the restitution dept (supposedly) to see if there was a way to avoid me going to jail today. And of course there was the only way to avoid jail time was to go to my nearest Wal-mart store and purchase 2 pre paid visa cards totaling $805, then call them back with the card #s and their accounting dept would do the rest….but the icing on the cake was that he could only give me 45 minutes to do this or the papers would be filed. But i thought the police were already on their way!!!!!!!!! So i politely told him ok, i’m on my way to Wal-mart and hung! I take responsibility for the defaulting on the laon but the people are relentless!!!!! What shoul do if they call back?????

    • If they know you’re not going to fall for their scam, they’ll move on to the next victim. As with most scams, it’s generally best to tell them (very politely and calmly, of course) that you can’t afford to pay the debt and hang up. If you can get a name and mailing address from them, your state’s Attorney General might be interested.

    • Hi Tami, Is this call coming from Eastern United Litigation? I have been receiving similar calls. The first time, the person ran the very same line. She went as far as giving me the name of a legit lawyer from CA. When I questioned why the name on bar lookup showed a different law firm other than the one she supposedly had been calling from, she replied with she works for both. I told her I didn’t believe and that I thought this to be a scam. That I would like to see documentations from the original creditor. She said that she would mail and email it to me. IT is now almost two months later and still no documents. Now they have started calling again but this time a guy is calling with the name Kevin Sanchez. I know this company is fake because I called the real attorney (Ashley Jenkins) in CA and her secretary informed me that I am the 3rd person calling in regards to this assumption. That Ms. Jenkins does not work for this company and has filed a complaint with CA State Attorney General and the bar association. Now they are calling my family in NY and leaving the same messages in regards to warrants and have my family calling me asking is everything okay and what is wrong. The scary thing is that I don’t even know how they got my family’s numbers. I have filed 3 complaints now with FTC in the past months…I just wish that this bs would stop!

  3. i received a phone call from a supposed paydayloan place,it was in regards to defaulting on a payment on 6/15,i informed the lady i was still unemployed and wasnt able to make my payment.she informs me ill be served w an arrest warrant and papers for the non payment agreement.can i be arrested?

    • You may be served with a summons and complaint if the lender decides to sue, but you can’t be arrested for simply defaulting on a loan.

  4. I had a foreign man call and said id be arrested tomorrow at 1130. He never told me for what and asked to speak to my lawyer. I tild him i didnt have one and didnt know of a law suit. He said are you kidding me then he started going on about if i pay today and i hung up. He called5 times after that. I remembered hearing this scam on the radio and i almost fell for it! Should i close my bank account?? And he gad the last 4 of my ssn# what do i do?

    • Thanks for reading and contributing!

      If you’re concerned about identity theft, you could contact the Social Security Administration, explain the problem, and ask for a new number to be assigned. But I doubt that the scammer has your SSN. The last four digits are often disclosed in court documents, including a bankruptcy petition.

      You could close your bank account, but that may be more trouble than it’s worth. You could also monitor the transaction history online for awhile to make sure nothing unusual is happening. Unless this scammer got you to disclose your account number and the bank routing number, I think your account is safe from him.

  5. I just got off the phone with someone saying they would be picking me up in 2 hours for a payday loan that I didnt take out.my ex took it out and withdrew the money within hours of the deposit but since the bank account had my name on it they came for me nd Ihave no clue of how to find him nor do Iwant to find him. The lady said the payday loan was for $200 nd I have to pay $600 today in order to settle out of court. I told Icouldnt do that as I just had a baby and I’m trying to get back on my feet. She said well good luck nd they would be here to pick me up within 2 hours. They told me Iwould have to $2100 if Iwanted to get out of jail.this is crazy!

    • You’re right, it is crazy. If the caller were from the U.S. and you could get a mailing address, you would likely have an FDCPA claim. However, these scammers are typically calling from overseas and they are almost impossible to track down.

  6. I took out a few payday loans like 5 years ago, things got so overwhelming that I could not repay and ended up closing my bank account. I filed for BK this year to try to get a fresh start. I’ve received a few calls from a company called “settlement Adjusters’ from an agent Johnson who said they need a statement from me on why I havent paid, I told him i filed for BK. He said that didn’t matter because they were preparing for file criminal charges against for Check Fraud and he was gonna recommend garnishing my wages. Is this true? Can they really do that? I reside in CA.

    • Sounds like a scam to me. In my opinion, you should tell the caller to contact your bankruptcy attorney.

      If you actually committed check fraud, your bankruptcy would not make a difference and you could be criminally charged. However, this would be done by the District Attorney, not some debt collector. It’s highly unlikely that simply defaulting on a payday loan would bring criminal charges for check fraud.

  7. I had someone call and say they were going to file a lawsuit against me for a online loan but i could avoid it if I paid the $460. Is this legitimate, if I pay them the money am I paying the loan?

    • Thanks for reading!

      It’s hard to say whether or not this is legit. It could be a scam, but it could be a legitimate offer to settle your debt. Most of the scammers threaten to have you arrested, not simply file a lawsuit. Before sending any money, you should ask for the offer to be sent to you in writing. If you’re still unsure, have a local attorney look it over before sending any money.

  8. I had someone call and tell me they where from an attorneys office and that I had a lawsuit against me from a payday loan company and if I didnt pay they would have cops coming to my home or work to pick me up within a few days and they even had my address and bank info and work number and was calling me at work also had work address I ask for paperwork and he said until I paid in full I could not recieve it,,,,is this real or scam dont know what to do, ive gotten payday loans before online but didnt these and I was thinking they stole my info off the computer is this possible, they are all foreign men

    • It sounds like a scam to me. Legitimate debt collectors don’t threaten to have you arrested for failure to pay. If you actually owe the money, you may be sued, but not arrested.

      My advice is to contact a local attorney so he/she can review your situation. Good luck!

      • In regards to the comment I sent you earlier I done some research online a googled there number and found out they were actually tagged as scammers and were doing this to tons of other people all over the united states, Is there anything I can do to get them to quit harassing me at home and work or anything I can do at all to shut them down?? Thank you again for your time and help.

        • If it’s a scam with overseas callers, it’s nearly impossible to track them down. In that case, the best move is usually to just ignore them.

          If they are legitimate debt collectors, you may have FDCPA or state law claims against them, as certain debt collection practices are prohibited. My advice is to contact a local attorney to help you determine if you have a claim and whether any possible claim is worth pursuing.

      • I got one a couple years ago that knew my full Social Security number & told me my ssn my name where I work, & said I would be arrested the next day for defaulting on a payday loan that I never got.
        Do ppl really pay these ppl money?? It scared me so I canceled my bank acct changed banks b’c they also took money from my acct & my bank would not dispute it. I also put fraud alerts on my credit. everytime I changed bank accts for the next year money kept being pulled out by these ppl. I finlally went to no bank acct for a year to get it to stop.

        • Thanks for sharing!

          To answer your question, I think a few people might actually pay. They’re scared and the callers can sound official.

          I’m sorry to hear how these people stole from you. I hope you contacted law enforcement.

  9. I had a lady call me stating that I took out a payday loan in 2008 & my acct (bank was closed sometime after (she namesd my bank & the online company II took a loan. I thought it was paid. She left a message on my VM stating I have serious matter pending & felony charges. She told me that She is with a company United Recovery Services in Cincinatti, OH. She said her name. She told me that she would contact the collector to see if we can settle today in an amt. she placed me on hold for several minutes. she came back and told me if I pay $860.00 today then charges wont be filed, and if I dont then I will be in court tomorrow & arrested on a warrant?? I should know better, I use to work for a Criminal Prosecutor. Still nerveracking, I have no job currently & NO MONEY> i did contact the FTC & BBB, and the AG office. I just want to know if this is a scam? I put in the company online, and there is scam from this # but for other reasons. i contacted the court house & they dont do Court tomorrow. I really feel that this needs to be posted, and I feel that this is not acceptable. She told me that there is some “check 28 law” that allows them to take action? What do you think?

    • Thanks for reading. I’ve never heard of a “Check 28″ law, but it could be some state law that doesn’t apply in Wisconsin. You could be charged criminally if you were bouncing checks, but then you would be charged by the District Attorney, not a debt collector. To me, this sounds more like a crook trying to confuse you with jargon and official-sounding terminology.

      See my answer above to Melissa. With scams, it’s best to ignore them. Don’t return calls and don’t talk with them. If it’s a legitimate U.S. debt collector, they’ll put their demands in writing.

      Just a reminder, I’m only licensed to practice law in Wisconsin and I do not give legal advice over the Internet. If you want legal advice, you should contact a local bankruptcy or consumers’ rights attorney. Good luck!

  10. About a month ago I got a call from a guy named Tony from Graves Lafeyette saying that I defaulted on pay day loan in 2009. After being harassed I agreed to pay on it, but after researching the company online I found that they were not very reputable so I did not pay. Yesterday I get a call from the clerk of courts office saying that if I did not call Graves by 4 that they were charging me with check fraud. I called told him I wanted proof of who he was and he said he wasn’t going to do that and that I needed to pay or he was filing. I said I did not have it. He said ok I am filing then 2 hours later he calls sounding very muffled from the police department saying that they just issued an arrest warrant for check fraud. Is this a civil matter or criminal?

    • Thanks for sharing.

      Check fraud is a criminal matter, not civil. However, the facts as you’ve presented them do not sound like check fraud to me. In Wisconsin, the Clerk of Courts doesn’t typically call debtors and threaten criminal charges. It may be different in other states, but I doubt it. To me, this sounds like a scam. They hope to scare you into paying.

      Keep in mind that I’m only licensed to practice law in Wisconsin. The above is general information only, and should not be seen as legal advice. The only advice I will give in this situation is to contact a local attorney.

  11. I received a text message instead of a harrassing call. ” I have received some loan documents sent over from contract enforcement for Hawk Blue. Wanted to speck with you prior to filing claim in Los Angeles County, there is a settlement option available. We need to get resolution in a timely manner before claim is filed and processed. Give me a call or reply here for payment options available. 1-800-370-7706 ext 1124″. I’ve working with a payday loan debt assistance company and this company was advised and acknowledged this.

    • This doesn’t sound like a scam to me. Most of the scams involve a threat of being arrested. To me, this sounds like a debt collector offering to settle before suing. However, I haven’t heard of them using text messages.

      The problem with many debt settlement or debt assistance programs is that your creditors may still sue you if the company does not successfully negotiate a settlement. If they reach a settlement, great. If they don’t, you’ll get sued by the creditor, PLUS you’ll be out the money you paid in to the program.

      As always, none of this should be construed as legal advice. The only advice I’m prepared to give online is to speak with a local bankruptcy attorney. You can find a NACBA member in your area by searching HERE.

  12. I received a very threatening phone call from a man, who stated he was a private contractor when I asked what comany he was from. He then gave me a phone number and claim number to call. I then placed a phone call to a company called BOR, who stated they were out of New York. (I live in NH) They have told me that due to a “default” on a $600 loan from American Web Loan back in 2009, I was going to be brought up on fraud charges. I made a few payments to them, and then lost my job. My checking account was subsequently closed due to the continued negative balance. Is it possible for them to bring me up on fraud charges? They are also stating that my balance is $1700+ now! Just wanted to get your opinion, as it seems like I am not the only one who is going through this.

    • No, private debt collectors cannot charge you with a crime. They can file a complaint with the local D.A., but only the D.A. can file charges. If you truly owe the debt, the creditor can sue you, but not charge you criminally.

      Absent extenuating circumstances, defaulting on a loan rarely rises to the level of fraud. These calls are usually made by scammers, hoping to scare some money out of you. If you are worried that it might be legit, ask for a mailing address in case you decide to send a check. If it’s a scam, the caller will tell you that he/she can only accept payment by phone. But the best advice for the scams is to ignore them. Once they know you aren’t going to be intimidated, the callers will eventually give up and seek out new victims.

      Of course, I didn’t hear the phone call in question. Because I cannot give legal advice over the Internet, I recommend you speak with a local attorney if you want advice specific to your situation rather than general information.

      • My husband is getting calls from a dallas number with a man stating he was a process server from the state of Texas he proceeds to tell my husband that he was in default of a payday loan with interest charges and all over a thousand dollars on a $400 payday loan !! When My husband explained that he was unemployed and could not pay it right now the man told him that he could put him on a payment plan of $29.00 a month and asked for a debit card immediately that he has used within the last 90 day’s needless to say my husband hung up then Thursday he gets a call from a woman from Alabama saying My husband had 24 hours to return the phone call to an 1-888 number to settle immediately or fraud charges would be filed with the State of Texas .. Now why in the world would a company in Alabama be calling to file charges on someone in Texas hummmmmmmmmm

        • Good question. The answer is, they wouldn’t. Criminal charges aren’t filed by debt collectors. Generally, if you just ignore those callers, they’ll eventually leave you alone. If they are persistent or if you feel threatened, you should contact law enforcement immediately.

  13. I got a call from someone saying I owed on a payday loan from 05 and he told me if I don’t pay the loan back a warrant for my arrest will be issued I reside in Louisiana.

    • I hope you laughed at him. Those people are like sci-fi creatures that feed on fear. Let them know you’re not scared and they’ll slink away.

  14. The other a man called me,(american accent). Asking me to verify my address so he could read me my charges. I asked him, what charges? He said I had to call a number to find out my charges, and he would call me back in 35-45 minutes. I called the other number and I just got a recording that said, “this number has been disconnected”. I was in a panic as I got nothing in the mail, and didn’t know what to do. I took my story to the police, they said I would have to get something in the mail, and to not worry about it and ignore the number. So I did. I am still a little nervous.

    • It’s understandable to be nervous, but the police officer was right. If you just ignore these scammers, they’ll eventually go after easier victims. After all, why waste time on someone who isn’t going to shell out some dough?

      Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you don’t have a legitimate debt out there. It’s possible (though unlikely) that you took out an online loan once upon a time. But even if this is the case, the worst the legitimate creditor can do is sue you. You cannot be arrested for simply defaulting on a loan. Arrests and criminal charges are reserved for those who obtain credit they do not intend to repay.

  15. I have missed my payday loan payment today is someone called me saying that if I didn’t give him a call in the next hour that they will put out want for my arrest I would be picked up by the local police can I do that

    • You won’t be picked up by the police for missing a payment. Threatening arrest is a typical tactic used by scammers and unscrupulous debt collectors to frighten debtors into coughing up a bit more money. If you truly owe the debt, the creditor can sue you, but cannot have you arrested. It doesn’t do any good to argue with these people. Just ignore them and they’ll usually leave you alone.

      Of course, this is only general information and should not be construed as legal advice. For legal advice specific to your individual situation, you should contact a local attorney.

      • Hi i received a call today about a payday loan I took out about 8 years ago from Ace I guess I post dated a check and these people say there from a law office and that ace pressed charges against me and I need to pay 800 by today or I’m going to jail for a felony and a warrant will be issued to me I’m scared what do I do I dont have the money

        • Please re-read the original post. No, you cannot be arrested for defaulting on a debt. You may be sued, but not hauled off to jail. Many of the callers claiming to represent creditors and threatening arrest are scammers hoping to scare some money out of you.

  16. Is it legal to recieve text messages from payday loan companies? Can they threaten to talk to other people about your debt, like my employer and HR department? Do you have to give them your debit card information when you don’t want to give it?

    • It depends. Debt collectors are regulated by the FDCPA, but original creditors are not. The FDCPA allows debt collectors to contact employers or relatives only to obtain contact information for the debtor, it prohibits them from disclosing any information about the debtor’s finances.

      I am unaware of any law that requires one to disclose a bank account number to anyone over the phone. Unless you initiated the call for the purpose of making a payment, I don’t think it’s wise to give any financial information over the phone.

  17. I just received a call from a so called mediator from a 313 number. The person connected me to another person who told me I was going to have felony charges placed against me if I didn’t pay by 2pm for a bad check they claim I wrote in 2007 from a bank I haven’t had an acct with since 2003. They guy was screaming at me & when I asked for more info he told he me I wasn’t getting any & I would be arrested soon. When I mentioned I would consult with my cousin who is the deputy district attorney for Los Angeles he got irate and told me good luck because I was going to jail and hung up on me.

    • Thanks for sharing your story. I hope others reading this will take some comfort in knowing that they won’t really go to jail for defaulting on a debt. (Of course, actually writing bad checks is a different story. But criminal charges typically arise only where there was an intent to defraud a creditor.)

      If your scammer calls back, I hope you tell him that you were disappointed that his “officer” didn’t show up to escort you to jail. Or just laugh at him; they hate that.

  18. I have been reading everyones comments they have been very very helpfull, i have been getting the same calls from very high end CAlifornia office saying i wil be arested tommorow at place of employement and thia creditors have called my job, im afraid im devorced mother of 2 who just got employment. Can this really happend in NY i defoulted 3 years ago on the payday loan

    • Again, it’s probably a scam. If you’re worried, you should speak to a local consumer bankruptcy attorney. But I still have not heard of anyone actually being arrested for defaulting on a payday loan. Lots of threats by scammers, but no actual arrests by law enforcement.

  19. I received a call from Williams, Scott & Associates at 11:01am today stating that a claim has been put against my drivers licence and my ss# and I need to call them back to rectify the matter before 5pm today or they would proceed with crimminal charges. I called back at 11:57am and left a message on 206-384-4524×204 and spoke with”Jeffery Williams and he stated that I needed to pay $3330.11 cents by credut card or they will send the Dekalb sheriff to mydoor to arrest mefor bank fraud! The stated that i would have no bond and I will have a court date on Jan 2nd and I will be sentenced to 8 months in prison. I was very affraid I still am! I kept the guy on the phone I asked him for documents he stated that he could not release the contract it is evidence all he could send me is a email of the letter demanding payment. He emailed it to me and it looks like a invoice that is demanding money . I notice this letter did not mention any jail time at all nor does it say say anything about Jeffery being the Cheif procecutor requiring payment in lieu of my arrest tonight. I filed chapt 13 Bankruptcy on this loan and the bank inwich the checks where written out of on this loan in 2008! I am still in Bankruptcy now until Oct 2013. Jeffery stated that this is a Federal loan that I cannot file bankruptcy on! And that alot of people think that they can and per this contract I signed that is now considered state evidence it states that after 4 years the money is reported stolen and that is what makes it a federal offence because I stole the money and committed fraud by giving false information to obtain the loan! I asked him haw did I steal the money and you had all my information and that you tried to garnish my wages inwhich prompt me to file chapt 13 in the first place? He again referenced this loan as a federal loan since it had not been paid off in 4 years and I had not made a payment. I said you had to receive payment because the chapt 13 had to send you payment. And they would have told me if I could not enter this oan into the bankruptcy. I told him that it is no way I have that type of money on hand to give to him with no documents stating that my bankruptcy did not cover this! He then told me that he will give me till Friday 12/14/2012 11am to get him $2010.11 or he will send the police to my job. I said ok, and tomorrow I will be in my Bankruptcy Attorney office seeing if they can have me arrested…….. I will let you know how this goes

    • Thanks for sharing your story. The smartest thing you did was to contact your attorney. These scammers can be quite convincing, but they are just blowing a lot of smoke. I doubt that Mr. “Williams” will ever contact you again.

      • I just got the call. I live in PA the phone number calling was listed in California (So you know one of the numbers to look for, (916)941-5162 ). I instantly responded hostile because I’ve never received a payday loan. He told me I’d be arrested and extridited tomorrow morning. I think he realized I wasn’t going to give in or ask what do to fix it when I told him , “[expletives deleted]” He told me same to me and hung up. now he won’t answer my calls. What a [expletive deleted].

        • At least you weren’t intimidated into paying money you didn’t owe!

          While I generally advise against engaging with these people at all, it sounds like your method was effective.

  20. i got a call on thursday from a guy who says he was a attorney named steve gentrowski he leaves a message stating i was going to be charged with internet fraud and bank lawyers fraud because if a payday loan he says i took out. i called him back and ask who he was and why he says if i didnt pay by dec 28th i would be served with an arrest and charged with those charges. also i researched that this epayday loan he says i took out is no longer online and i looked him up online to see if he was a legit attorney nothing comes up even his phone number is a cell phone he said he worked for goldstein and barone llc and he says he was licensed i also looked that up as well no number for the firm and he gives me a p.o.box for a address and said he couldnt give out the address. Just want to know if they could charge me for that for a payday loan and is this a scam to get me to pay money over the phone

    • I can’t say it’s a scam without knowing all of the details. But from what you’ve said, it has some earmarks of a scam.
      - Debt collectors can’t have you charged or arrested. That’s a job for the D.A.
      - Any legit debt collector would be happy to give you a mailing address for payments.
      - Using words such as “licensed.” Beings licensed (as what? by whom?) has no bearing on whether you have any liability on a debt.

      If it were me, I’d ignore the caller. But if you’re concerned, you should contact a local attorney.

  21. I just recieved an email from ACS Legal Group saying that I was “going to be legally prosecuted within couple of days” and that my social security number has “been marked as Red Flag by US Government”. They are alleging that I defaulted on a payday loan (which I may have but I don’t recall ever doing any business with a company by the name of Advance Cash America). They are saying that I will have three charges brought against me: violation of federal banking regulation, collateral check fraud, and theft by deception. They state that they must hear from me within 48 hours or they will “commence litigation for intent to commit wire fraud by use of the internet”. They are threatening to inform the FBI, FTC, my employer and my bank.

    The email itself seemed fishy because I don’t know if I really have a loan from that company and some portions are written in broken english (like “and once you found guilty into the court house”), so I googled the company ACS Legal Group and the only things that showed up for it were consumer complaints and a BBB warning to contact the FTC. I did in fact contact the FTC and they essentially told me not to worry about it and that it was written exactly like other scams they are aware of. Also in googling this, I found that the same exact email but with different contact phone numbers than the one on mine.

    I am curious what your opinion of this email is. Does the federal government actually red flag ss numbers? I did not intend to commit any type of fraud when I got this loan, and I couldn’t forsee my husband losing his job. Can I really be charged with these things?

    • Without actually seeing the email, I can’t know for sure whether or not it is a scam. But it sure sounds like one to me. I’d take the advice from the FTC rep, ignore it and forget about it.

      I have never heard of the federal government “red flagging” SSN for defaulting on a legitimate debt, much less a fraudulent one. While I suppose it’s theoretically possible, I’m 99% sure that was just a bogus threat. The writer probably just got tired of sending Nigerian Prince emails, so he’s changing up his game to keep it interesting.

  22. hi i have a question im in default in my payday loan…
    i called the office but the lady told my i have until Monday to pay at least have or alse is going to court….my question is can it go right away or does it has to go to a collection office first please let me know cause i have no money to pay on Monday….
    im from Washington state

    • Lenders can sue in small claims without hiring a debt collector. But being sued doesn’t mean you’ll be charged criminally or thrown in jail. If you can’t pay, you may be collection-proof.

      Washington law may be different than Wisconsin law in this regard. I recommend you speak with a local bankruptcy attorney for advice specific to your individual situation.

  23. Well today I got a phone call from a man saying legal action has been filed against me the guy asked for my lawer info and stuff could never tell me what it is for I’m in the military and live on post he told me the police will be there in the morning to arrest me I’m not sure if I should file a police report so nothing can happen to me cause idk if it is a scam or what

    • Sounds like a scam to me. Debt collectors can’t have the police arrest you, they can only sue you. If you are charged criminally by the D.A., you will be contacted by law enforcement, not by the “victim” of your “fraud.”

  24. Hi Bret Nason. Your advice is so helpful. I have a situation where a company by the name of Office of Federal Processing call me several times a day harassing me. They leave very personal/confidential information on the voicemail and they call several of my family members (even in-laws) and share the same information with them. I found out they threatened my mother when they called her and she paid them $100 and set up arrangments for future payments I was so upset with her. I told her she should have talked to me first. This happened a couple of days before Christmas so that ended up being my gift. It wasn’t a gift for me though because I was just thinking of sending them a cease and desist letter. I’m in Florida. What would you advise me to do? The main thing I want is for them to stop calling my family and disclosing all of my business. Thanks.

    • Thanks for reading and contributing.

      If you have an address for a C&D letter, I recommend you give that information to a local bankruptcy/consumer protection attorney. Most of the scams are overseas and nearly impossible to reach. But if this outfit is in the U.S. and you have contact information for it, your attorney may be able to put together a good FDCPA case. Save any recordings so you can have proof of the FDCPA violations.

      Good luck!

      • Yes, they are in the U.S. Thanks so much!

        • Glad to help. Good luck!

  25. I took out a loan from 1 of those payday web sites and I was making payments until recently I couldn’t make payment. I live in Pennsylvania so they don’t have these places I got a call from my job to call I toll free # because the checks came back they called fraud what should I try to do.

    • You should contact a local bankruptcy attorney. Unless you wrote the checks intending not to honor them, it doesn’t sound like fraud to me, but your attorney will be able to give you advice specific to your situation.

  26. my husband recieved a threating phone call from an attorneys office saying to pay $900 by the end of the day or he will be arrested for check fraud by tommorrow they will come to his place at work they want the money in full. we live in the state of california should we pay them or is this harrasment we cant afford to pay them until the end of the month.

    • As with all of these situations, I advise you to speak with a local attorney. I’m not licensed anywhere but in Wisconsin, & I don’t give legal advice via the Internet.

      However, as a matter of general information, such calls are typically scams or prohibited collection practices. Debt collectors do not have the power to arrest you for nonpayment. In cases of check fraud, the debt collector may refer the matter to the local District Attorney, who can file criminal charges. But the debt collector has no standing to file criminal charges himself.

  27. I received a phone message today stating that they were going to file a fraud charge against me, presumably for a payday loan I could not pay, when I lost her my employment. We were also informed they had called my previous employer and left a similar phone message, not even recognizing it was a business. They called my in-laws and said they were from the summons department in our county where we live and they wanted to talk to me before they proceeded with a case against me and arrest. Strangely, I noticed that the phone # was unknown. In my message and that to my former employer they said they didn’t have a physical address where to serve me. Seems to me, if this were legit they would have our address. We’ve lived here for 7 years. If this had been from the courts in our area, the number would also have been listed. Their message said to call this 800 number and extension but they never even identified the company that was supposedly doing this. I lost my job and income. I cannot pay this at this time. I also don’t want to pay a scammer. I’ve never received anything in the mail whatsoever. Should I call these people back? If they are scammers I don’t want to give them any information. It certainly put a lot of fear in me until I thought about it a little bit. I didn’t intend to not repay them and I didn’t intend to lose my job. I’m now fighting a battle with cancer.

    • I wouldn’t call them back, there’s just too much there that screams “SCAM!”
      - Debt collectors can’t file criminal charges. They can sue by filing a civil complaint.
      - Government employees don’t call and offer to settle before coming to arrest you.
      - The police know where you live if they need to arrest you for something. They don’t ask for an address.

      If you’re concerned, you should speak to a local attorney. Good luck!

  28. I have a question. Me and my wife took a payday title loan. And ive been unemployed the past 2 months. Im 101 days past due. So the loan is in default. And the repo guy came to get the car but I dont have it anymore.. he told me that i coukd be arrested for fraud and grand theft auto. I talked to the loan offixe and told me to try their coporate office cuz I had a $500, payment that got refused on December 16th. He repo guy said I can get arrested for grand theft auto. Is this true or will they take me too court. I was told its illegal for them to use threatening scare tatics.

    • Keep in mind that the repo man doesn’t work for you and is not looking out for your best interests. So take anything he tells you with a grain of salt.

      Disposing of collateral may result in you being liable for damages for conversion in a civil suit, but it would be rare for such a thing to rise to the level of theft or criminal fraud. Take advice from a local attorney, not the guy who makes his money by taking your car from you. When you speak to your attorney, be sure to detail what the repo agent said. It may form the basis for an FDCPA suit.

  29. I was past due on a payday loan so an atterney sent me a letter that the company is issuing a warrant for my arrest and that I may be seen on crime stoppers can this happen

    • As you can see from the other comments on this post, debt collectors cannot issue a warrant for your arrest. They can sue you, but they must go to the District Attorney if they want to have you arrested. If you’re concerned, you should speak to a local attorney who handles consumer protection issues.

  30. I have had this problem since last year. A company deposited .02 cents into my account and then withdrew everything I had. I had to close and reopen my account(I had to pay) never have gotten my money back. Then the phone calls start saying I defaulted on my loan and the sheriff was coming for me. Then it went to I had 24 or 48 hours to contact or I was going to be arrested. They call my house my job. They are forgein with American names. I had to flag my ss# and turn it in to the creditors. They have my information!!! Noe they have started to call (its a American now) and he says they are going to take my drivers and garnisheed my wages for the loan I recieved that I never repayed. I didn”t get a loan! He then tells me that it would go away if I pay him $290.00 I kept asking why would I repay for something I didn’t recieve! He told me himself about the forgein people with the American names, said he has heard about them. I ask him who he worked for and could I have the companys name contact info. He only gave me a name something I have never heard of. He stated he had no contact info. I have no idea how to get rid of these people! I have turned it in to the attorney generals office but they continue to call. I am afriad they will get into my account again. I want it to stop!

    • This sounds more complicated than the typical phone call threatening arrest unless a payment is made. In my opinion, you should contact a local attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney may need records of phone calls, addresses, and/or copies of any letters that have been sent to determine if you have a claim for damages under federal or state law.

  31. I recieved a call form a man in Chicago. He said i would lose my drivers liscense and be prosacuted for bank fraud. this is from 2009. He told me they have to get the money now because time is running out for them to collect. Thay called my employer and said they were trying to serve me with legal documents. first they wanted a settlement for 1800. He said i could make payments so he wanted 300.00 a month for 12 months then he wanted 259. then he said he would accept 100.00. If i didnt call him back today it was going before a judge and i would be arrested. my reason i couldnt pay the loans was because i had breast cancer and got a divorced. can they do this?

    • They *can* do it (as evidenced by the fact that they did it), but they don’t have the right to call your employer for any reason other than obtaining location information. See FDCPA §805 and §804.

      On the facts as you’ve stated them, this is either a legitimate debt and the debt collector is violating the FDCPA or it is a scam. In either case, my only advice is to contact a local attorney to help you decide if you should file an FDCPA claim, contact the appropriate law enforcement agency, or simply ignore this caller.

      To reiterate my main point, you cannot be arrested for merely defaulting on a payday loan. Debt collectors may sue you, but they cannot file criminal charges or order the local police to arrest you.

  32. I was contacted today by a man saying he was with Phillips & Keith Legal Assoc. saying I have a debt with a payday loan co. He is in Louisiana and said this is going legal and I could be arrested and he needs my attny. name. He gave me the debtor name of American Cash. Never heard of them. Says there will be a warrant out for me because he is a legal firm. Debt is 800. Could not find this law firm anywhere in LA. He says he doesn’t want money only to have my attny call him. Don’t know what to do.

    • As always, I don’t give legal advice online other than to say you should speak to a local attorney.

      As a matter of general information, keep in mind that you cannot be arrested for simply defaulting on a payday loan. You can be sued, but not arrested or charged with a crime. (Of course, fraud is a different matter. If you took out a loan with the intention of never repaying it, the district attorney could charge you criminally.) The fact that this caller says he works for a law firm means nothing. It doesn’t give his threats any more weight than if he were calling from an overseas call center.

  33. I am getting the same thing. I get a call and I do have a legitimate # if you look it up it says another company but if you call back # you do get same person with a foreign accent. They ask if a sheriff has been to my door. They have my last 4 of social security, address, drivers license # and bank name. They tell me I have had loans and now am being charged with fraud & legal affadavit they gave me case # and arrest # and told me to go to courthouse tomorrow or he could settle now but would have to transfer me to an attorney to see if we could do payment arrangements. I hung up on him but he keeps calling back from same # what do I do

    • Wow, now they’re not even bothering to threaten you with arrest, they’re trying to get you to drive to the courthouse! Ask if you should bring a toothbrush.

      Assuming this is a scam and you don’t actually owe the money, the caller will eventually give up and move on to a more gullible victim if you simply don’t return the calls.

      As always, this is just general information and is not intended as legal advice. For advice specific to your situation, you should contact a local attorney.

  34. I got a call from a local number this morning stating that he was a courier for the county and sheriff and had papers to serve me but only had my place of employment but would rather meet me at my home address. He gave me a 855 number to call and to give them my home address and then that company would turn around and fax him my home address and once he received that fax that he would call me so we could set up a time for him to meet me at my home. If I have something to be served to me I most definitely would like to see it but shouldn’t they have my home address on file? He said if I didn’t call the 855 number to give them my home address making it so he couldn’t serve me that it would turn into a warrant for my arrest. It just seems sketchy to me and scares me! Thank you so much for any advice you have! I greatly appreciate it!!

    • Please keep in mind that I don’t give advice on this web site. I only give general information online; for advice specific to your situation, you need to speak with a local attorney. I only give advice to clients.

      I think your instincts are serving you well. If the caller were a legit process server, he would have your home address. And if a process server can’t serve you personally, the summons and complaint do not magically “turn into” a warrant for your arrest. It sounds to me like this caller was just putting a new spin on an old scam.

      If you’re concerned, please contact a local attorney. A legit debt collector will talk to your attorney to resolve the debt; a scammer won’t bother calling.

      • i have been looking on here about a questions and answers to that question i cannot find one that fits my sitration my girlfriend pulled out loans at 3 different payday places here in ohio they said they need a personal check to do the loan we complied one loan place is due this week there is not going to be enough money in the account to cover the loan and intrest when their systems go to cash that check its gonna bounce and i belive that is illegal here in the state of ohio for a check to do that is there anyway that we can pay them back at a later time without doing anything illegal is canceling the bank account and reopening a new one a way is canceling those checks a way or is putting a freze on the bank account? i intend on paying them back just not on the date that they want it to be so im trying to find ways of doing this so i dont avoid over drawl fees at my bank.

        i also found out in the FDCPA that on 818 15 USC on page 1692 section (B) It says that A check is described in this subsection if the check involves,or is subsequently found to involve-
        (1) a postdated check presented in connection with a payday loan or other similar transactions where the payee of the check knew that the issuer had insufficent funds at the time the check was made drawn or delivered
        (2) a stop payment order where the issuer acted in good faith and with resonable cause in stoping payment on the check. is this information correct

        • Thanks for reading. Please keep in mind that I do not give legal advice online. I only give legal advice to my clients; anything written here is simply general information that is not intended to be advice specific to your individual situation.

          In general, a bounced check that was presented as security for a payday loan is not a criminal matter. When presented, the lender knows that the funds are not there to cover the check. There is no intention to deceive or assertion that funds are available and that the check will be honored. State laws vary, but this is the general rule.

          You have quoted § 818(b)(1) and § 818(b)(2) correctly. However, Section 818 simply clarifies what entities are excluded from the definition of “debt collector,” as the FDCPA only applies to debt collectors and not original creditors.

  35. I received a call /voicemail this morning from a John Ryan. He said he was contacting me today in regards to a document that he received here through Bristol County. Unfortunately the documents have my name and social security number on then and so they have been red blagged by the attorney pending this call. Unfortunately they do have a direct request of a signature so he will be stopping by my house as well as my place of employment over the next 72 hours, I have roughly until about 5:00 today to contact the filing party to receive any kind of information regarding the pending case, the number is 855-844-6876. Upon his arrival, if i could show him identification as well as a witness present. File # 475249. You have been given notice.
    Is this real or is it a scam? Please help, very worried.

    • I can’t answer your question without giving legal advice. All I can do is give general information that you can use to decide if you need to contact a local attorney.

      If you are sued, you may be visited by a process server. This person’s job is to personally hand the summons and complaint to you. Process servers do not typically call ahead, you do not need to show identification to be served, and witnesses are not required. Furthermore, process servers do not have the authority to place you under arrest or take you anywhere. They simply hand documents to you.

  36. Hello- I received a call from an individual who was american statind I took out an internet loan in 2010 from CashNet USA and I have until 6pm today or the file will be released to by state for processing. He said I have felonies pending, check fraud, and internet wire fraud. Can these sort of charges occur from an internet company, I thought these were civil matters? I did have a loan with them but I thought I paid it off, I cannot remember. Thank you

    • If you have any “felonies pending,” they are not connected to defaulting on an Internet loan from CashNet. You are correct; such loans are civil matters, unless you actually took them with no intent to repay or somehow fraudulently induced the lender to give you the funds. CashNet may pass its file off to a debt collector, but county District Attorneys rarely (if ever) pursue criminal charges in these cases.

      If you receive a lot of these calls, I recommend you speak with a local attorney. If you then give your attorney’s name and number to a legitimate debt collector, the caller will usually contact your attorney. If the caller is a scammer, he/she will typically move on to the next name on the list and leave you alone.

  37. So i have received a few calls now from a man by the name of Christopher Anderson who says he is a criminal investigator and that i am being charged with check fraud, bank fraud, and wire fraud. Claims that i owe over 2,000 dollars and that if i don’t pay he will issue a deposition warrant immediately and i will be locked up in state prison for several years. He is calling me from a texas cell phone number but claims the law firm he works for is Goldstein and Barone in New York. When i googled the law firm it comes up with a bunch of comments how this is not a legit company and that its all fraud. The man has called me several times now even after i sent him a Ceast & Desist letter. He also has a hotmail or gmail email address. I called the bad check unit of the state i live in (which is not texas or new york) and neither of them have anything recorded under my name. How do i get him to stop?

    • If it’s a fraud, your best bet is to simply ignore him. The more you contact scammers and ask them to stop, the harder they tend to push. If ignored, they usually move on to easier targets. Alternatively, you could contact a local attorney and give “Mr. Anderson” that name and number the next time he calls.

  38. My husband and I told loan companies we were filing bankruptcy about 3 weeks ago and we have retained a lawyer. The loan company still continues to call, text, and call are references telling them we owe them money and won’t call them back. Is any of this legal?

    • The FDCPA allows debt collectors to contact third parties to obtain location information for you, but does not allow them to divulge the fact that you owe money. However, the FDCPA only applies to debt collectors, not original creditors. You should definitely let your attorney know about the calls. Most creditors will contact your attorney once you give them his/her contact information. Once you file the bankruptcy, creditors are not allowed to contact you without getting relief from the automatic stay.

  39. I just got a call from a foreign guy who said I was going to be arrested for not paying back a payday loan I never received. Said that there was going to be a police officer coming Friday to arrest me at work. I am young and was kind of needing the money but after applying to several loan sites they all said they didn’t service my area. I never received any money so why would they be bothering me for me to pay it back? The call was from La and I live in West Virginia. He said I had three charges they were going to file against me today an that an officer would arrest me Friday at my workplace.makes no since to me how they could know that I was being arrested Friday. That set an alarm off in my head that this could be a scam. But if it is indeed serious, and I never received any money from them, how can they charge me with not paying it back?

    • If you never received any money, there’s no debt to repay. It sounds like a scam to me, but you should speak with a local attorney if you’re concerned.

  40. I got a call from a man in texas said he is a with a bank diversion unit and if I don’t pay back a loan I took out in Va in 2009 that he will issue a warrant for my arrest today. He called from a 512 area code. I do have a outstanding loan and I was paying alittle at a time to another company.He said they sent the loan to him and he works for the states attorney. Why would the states attorney in Texas have my loan papers from Va. I had heart surgery and can’t pay the balance of 500.00 right now. Is this person right and he can take a warrant out today.

    • If a warrant is issued for your arrest on a criminal matter, you will not be given the chance to pay in order to make it go away. The sheriff will simply show up at your house. This sounds like another version of the scam I mentioned at the end of the original post above.

  41. I just reveived a call from an attorneys office “Thompson & Assoc” from Greentown, IN claiming that they have legal documents for me for bad check and that I didn’t pay on a payday loan. I closed my account because I couldn’t afford the payments and was going to just send them a money order.The woman I spoke with said that hawkblue pay day load was filing against me for not paying on my loan and if I couldn’t pay my loan in full they’re going to triple the cost of my loan and put 28% on my wages at where I work. Is this a scam or can they actually do this? they said they were going to send documents to my work.

    • I can’t say if it’s a scam or not. If you really did write a bad check, you could get charged by the local D.A. If you really defaulted on a payday loan, you may be sued and the judgment creditor might be able to garnishee your wages.

      I recommend you speak with a local attorney. He or she will be able to give you legal advice regarding these calls.

  42. Over the past week I have been receiving calls at work and on my cell but I have not answered. They called from 877-726-2455. They left 2 messages a general mailbox at work stating that they are calling for my name and they have been retained that they will come to my work or home to serve me because they could not get me on the phone considered myself notified and I needed to call and to reference a number. I got similar calls on my cell phone stating they are calling for me and on my voicemail stated my address and they they will come to my work or home to serve me but I can settle out of court with the plaintiff by calling them back at the number. They call about 5-6 times a day I can see on my work caller id. I do not want them to call me at work or at all. They never give the statement this is an attempt to collect a debt or anything. I also didn’t think they can leave that much info on a work voicemail when its a general voicemail box (as in there is no name specific voicemail you are just instructed to say who you are calling for and leave a message) I have received calls before that the they were filing against me at the local court and it never happened now this is different number and a lady calling and the number to call back is Pennsylvania area code but about 5 hours away in Pittsburgh

    • As always, I recommend you contact a local attorney. If this is a debt collector making the calls, you may have an FDCPA claim. If it’s a scam, you should contact law enforcement. Be sure to check out the FBI info I posted above regarding scams.

  43. I was just called by someone stating that they were a federal agent and that my loan with “Ace” for 345.00 is now 3,700.00 and that I need to make a payment on the phone. Per the company’s website I still only owe 345.00. When I requested that documentation of loan taken out in 2008, she said any arrangements would have to be made over the phone, no documentation would be or could be mailed and she had my address information incorrect. At first the only thing that they could do is take off 1,000.00 by the end of the convo she was saying I would have to commit to 12 weekly payments.She hung up when she realized that the conversation wouldn’t result in payment. What made me more upset is the voice mail that was left pertaining my name, birth date, age and address along with the threat that if not called back by 8pm will be arrested.

    • Thanks for sharing. Those callers try to be intimidating, but if you know that you can’t be arrested just for defaulting on a loan, it’s a bit easier to ignore them.

  44. Hi,

    I live in New Hampshire and took out 2 payday loans back in the summer of 2011, after 2 months of both lenders clearing my bank account, the back involunterily closed my account, after falling behind on rent, facing eviction and not knowing how to feed my two children, I had to stop direct deposit. My cell was quiet for about 6 months, after contacting the companies and telling them that the bank closed my account and now I owe them money that I currentl still cannot afford, I have received call after call, some days up to 7-8 calls a day, I stopped answering the calls because I have nearly had a nervous breakdown a couple times dealing with these people, many of which are in Texas, New York, New Jersey or foreign, they all identify themselves as federal officers or investigators with an officer/investigator number, they claim they are from law offices and claim charges have been filed against my name and social security number for malicious fraud of a federal banking institution unless I give them a prepaid card or debit/checking information for them to debit the money I owe, when I told one man I was a single mother recovering from cancer, which is why I fell behind in the first place, he told me I should be ashamed of myself for using my children or cancer as an excuse. They also tell me the paperwork has been filed in the county I live in a I would be served. When I recently asked for address, credential information they have hung up on me or been verbally assaultive, telling me the police will be arresting me if I refused to pay.

    I am still a single mother making just enough money to pay the bills to keep us afloat, like rent, food, heat, etc and cannot pay currently, I also have continuing health issues and these contant calls are only making me feel worse, like anxious, worried all the time. These guys are so mean and have even called family of my childrens father looking for, as well as calling my parents and threatening them as well, telling them they will be arrested also for aiding and abedding. I am so stressed and have no idea where to turn or what to do next! Please help!!!

    • The only help I can provide is to recommend you speak with a NH bankruptcy attorney.

      Although it sounds like many of those calls are coming from scam artists, an attorney can help you deal with any legitimate debts you may have. He/she can also help you determine if the callers are truly debt collectors or simply scammers looking for an easy mark.

      Good luck, and thanks for reading.

  45. i just received a call from a lady named lisa watson at 805-876-5159 with cash usa who stated i owed 392.46 to them she wouldnt tell me what year but said everything had been sent to the local police department and county office and i would receive papers in the mail. i asked her what address and she had the correct address for me. the thing is she wants me to send the money western union to a jamesha hanton in florida 34205. i am worried if i dont send this i am going to jail. i know i have several payday loans from online but didnt realize this could happen for me letting them laspe. what should i do?

    • Please read the FBI notice that I reposted above. If you do not owe the money, the FBI recommends you contact local law enforcement and file a complaint. If you owe the money, the FBI recommends you contact the creditor to confirm the balance owed.

  46. I received a call from a number that came up as Emergency. The guy was saying he is Officer … badge number… and he was calling from my state police department. He said he received an arrest warrant for me and would be at my home in a few hours to arrest me. All of this because of a payday loan I “supposedly” didn’t pay. The funds they are claiming I “stole” were never deposited into my account. I told him it wasn’t me and who do I get in contact with. He gave me a case file number and a phone number and said I had to make arrangements with the people at this number to cancel the warrant. What seemed fishy to me was when I called the number the guy wanted me to get a GreenDot MoneyPak to send this money that I owe. Is this a scam?

    • That sounds a lot like the scam the FBI detailed above. Legitimate debt collectors don’t pretend to be law enforcement, and legitimate law enforcement officials don’t (typically) waste their time on debt collection for private companies.

      As frequently stated, I am not licensed to practice law anywhere but in Wisconsin and nothing written here is intended to be legal advice. If you are concerned about this caller, you should contact local law enforcement or a local attorney.

  47. I just got a call from a Cali number being extremely rude. I have taken out payday loans but they r either paid or with a payday loan consolidation. He calls one after the other. Knows my whole social. Also knows my work place. I don’t owe any money that is in default but of course am worried. Said I have check fraud and other things. They won’t give me paper work or anything until I pay with a “net spender” card. Only a net spender card from wal greens..says police will arrest like others have mentioned. Guess I will not answer or be very rude. He has called 20 times in a row. Is my social security threatened or my email and or work place? They are definitely foreign. Can barely understand them.

    • If you don’t owe the money and feel threatened, I recommend you take the FBI advice reprinted above and contact local law enforcement. The fact that the caller knows your full SSN is troubling. You might want to contact the credit reporting agencies, your bank(s), and the Social Security Administration if you believe you are the victim of identity theft.

      I don’t recommend being rude with these people. They know what they are doing and are usually immune to rude replies. Ignoring scammers usually works, but your mileage may vary.

      Keep in mind that this is just general information. For legal advice specific to your individual circumstances, you should contact a local attorney.

  48. My boyfriend is a cop so I called him and he called them asking them to stop. They then called me and it popped up as my boyfriends name then my work number..they are very smart and won’t stop calling. They called me some very inappropriate names after telling them to stop. FYI prob best to say you don’t have the money. Contacting AT&T now to block several numbers…they are calling me now saying not to be afraid and to just say something. Very scary. Any ideas on who to call to make sure my social is protected? I am calling my bank now. Also who should I contact about my credit being safe?

    • Those calls sound less like debt collectors or even scammers and more like harassment. Again, if you feel threatened, you should contact local law enforcement. If you believe you’re a victim of identity theft, the FTC has some valuable tips.

  49. Hi,

    I have received multiple calls from people with very thick Accents, stating that there is a legal matter filed against my Social Security Number and Driver’s License and that I need to have my Attorney call them immediately.

    I’ve ignored these phone calls and then received one with the guy telling me that since I haven’t responded back, he can only assume I’m trying to run away from the issue at hand and that if I don’t contact him, all he can do is sit back and watch the legal trouble unfold on me.

    This sounds like a scam to me. Thoughts?

    • I agree, it sounds like a scam. If it’s a legit debt, you may be sued, but not imprisoned.

      But if you feel threatened, please see the FBI tips I reposted above.

      Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences. The best way to protect yourself from scams is to be informed!

      • i have a payday loan out that i cannot pay. i lost my job recently to no fault of my own. the lady said i have three days to pay it or a warrent will be issued. i live in tennessee. can they really arrest you for this? i have never been in trouble and it scares me. i tried to work out an arrangment but they refuse it.

        • Please see some of the comments above. While it’s possible that Tennessee law allows it (I’m not licensed in Tennessee and am not qualified to give legal advice about Tennessee law), you cannot be arrested for defaulting on a loan in the majority of jurisdictions. If you can’t afford to repay the debt despite your best efforts, I recommend you speak to a local bankruptcy attorney.

  50. but how do i find out the laws in my state on defaulting on payday loans? and i am in the prcess of contacting a bankruptcy lawyer thanks for the help much apperciated

    • Your attorney will be able to tell you if you can be arrested in Tennessee for defaulting on the loan. I’m betting the answer is going to be “no.” Good luck!

  51. Hi, I have received call from a credit company at my job today. I don’t know how they contact me, they say the police will be arrest me if I don’ call them today. I was scared. Can they do that?

    • See the messages above. In most cases, callers threatening to arrest you for defaulting on a debt are simply scammers. Legitimate debt collectors can’t have you arrested for defaulting on a debt in most places. I’m not licensed to give legal advice anywhere but Wisconsin, so you should contact a local attorney to see if the laws are different in your state. In any case, I would definitely contact an attorney before returning the debt collector’s call.

  52. I have a question. I keep getting a call from a Mr. Smith at 714-576-xxxx. He said I took out a payday loan in January of 2011 and never repaid it. I have not had anyone try to contact me in any form about a loan that I still owed. I have had payday loans but paid them back. But he said they can’t tell me who I owe. He said they buy lots of accounts from payday lenders and because he has my banking info and ss # and contact info that it is a legitiate payday loan. But again he said I don’t know who you owe. I told him that he couldn’t really expect me to pay something just because this voice on the phone told me to. It started out $500 and now up to $2800 because of interest. He also told me that they would notify me of the loan company once the papers are filed and a court date was set because they would prosecute. I told him that he had to do what he had to do but that I won’t just give someone my bank info over the phone without knowing who it is plus he doesn’t know for sure that it wasn’t an error and it had been taken care of nor why wasn’t I contacted before now. He keeps on and on and on. I’ve told him to quit calling my office but he won’t. I don’t know if this is legit or not or what to do. Any advice?

    • No, I can’t give legal advice on the Internet. For legal advice, you need to speak with a local attorney.

      As a general matter, this seems to fit the model of the scam the FBI described in the cut-and-paste above. If it is a scam, ignoring the caller usually works. Engaging with or arguing with them only encourages them. If it is a legitimate debt collector, your attorney can tell you how to request a verification of the debt and how to deal with the debt if it is a legit obligation.

  53. I got a calls (several in an hour, to home and cell) yesterday from Integrity Group and Associates (they also called my sister (said I used her as a contact)and they called my husbands cell. Stating that I was going to be served with papers on a lawsuit at my home or place of employment or wherever they can find me. For a payday loan that was taken out Nov. 2007. I asked for the collectors name and they gave me the name Midland Financial, I then asked what bank it was deposited into Fairwinds Federal Custom (I have NEVER had an account through this place.) I asked for how much and was told $260. All they guy said was that I was going to be served papers, and would be charged with check fraud, etc. He also put me on hold several times!! I asked why I couldn’t make payments to resolve this and he said that he’d get me to that department. I was transfured to this department and made payment arrangements with this lady.. she said that it had to be an electronic payment today and asked me to pay in full, I stated that I was not able to. Agreed to pay $25 today and large monthly payments there after totaling $360 ($100 over what the payday loan was for.) I gave her my debit card number and did the whole recording thing. They new all of my info (previous addresses, previous work places, previous numbers, etc)… but only made me say the last 4 digits of my SSN. They also gave me a “case number.” After getting off the phone I did some researce and then my phone rang again and it was a recording stating I was going to be served with papers and to call 888-671-4866.. So I did and this guy answered and was VERY rude!! He was yellling at me and I told him to stop, asked the original collectors name and he said the same name that I had just talked to this other comp about. He told me that didn’t matter and I was still getting served. While on the phone our house phone rang agian and it was the same recording!! The guy on the phone got irritated with me and ended up hanging up, as he was hanging up I heard him say… “she’s an idiot!” So after that I called my bank and made a stop payment request for any money being taken out by this Integrity Group. I also called the FTC and reported both numbers.

    IN ADDITION… The lady I talked to said they would send me an EMAIL after all payements were made to confirm this debt was paid off. I asked her why they can’t send me a letter via mail, her reply was that the company is trying to go green.

    My questions- since I made a “payment” but stoped it… will this re-age this old debt from 5 years ago, if it’s really legit?

    I did take out a few payday loans and they were while I lived in Wisconsin but I now live in Iowa… it’s been so long ago and so many collectors have called, that I’m not even sure what ones did and didn’t get paid. PLEASE HELP… It’s getting so bad that my husband is getting very irritated with me and is starting to believe I’m so criminal or something!!

    • The statute of limitations on debt collection in Wisconsin is six years from the date of the last payment. Promising to make a payment but rescinding that promise is not likely to constitute a payment.

      I advise you to speak with a local bankruptcy attorney. Some of the calls you are getting may be scams, others may be for legitimate debts you owe. Your attorney can help you with the latter and reassure you about the former.

  54. In 2009 I made an online payday loan n because of personal problems I close my bank account n as time went by I completly forgot about the loan. Three days ago I get a call from a lady saying that a warrent has been issue doe arrest for internet fraud n if I dont pay I will b arrested within hours. Than another person called me from a different area code n told me to to pay have of ahat I owe n than I have 30 days to pay the rest n to send the $ thru money gram since I dont have a cc. I have not been able to sleep since than, can they do that? What should I? Im not working, I cant even afford to pay a lawyer.

    • Please re-read the original post. No, you cannot be arrested for simply defaulting on a payday loan. Most of the callers threatening arrest are scammers and the FBI is aware of them.

      You also asked, “what should I do?” I cannot give legal advice on the Internet. I don’t know where you live and am not licensed to practice anywhere but in Wisconsin. The most I can do is recommend you speak with a local attorney. Your city, state, or county may have resources available for indigent clients who cannot afford to pay an attorney.

  55. Hello i got a call from a local number in Kansas city 9134161617 asking me for where i want her to come and server me with some papers i didn’t know what she was taking about. She gave me 888 number to call with a file number and when i called they told me it was about a payday lone i took in 2008 if i dont pay it now with a prepay card they are going to take me to court and i will be charge with fraud and bad check i want to know can they send me to jail for it.

    could this be a scam because they told me i have to use a prepaid card to pay them off? I also want to ask will a pay day loan fall of your record after 5 years? thank you for your time.

    • The threat of jail makes it sound like a scam, but I can’t say for sure. It could be a legitimate debt being worked by an unethical debt collector who is violating the FDCPA. In either case, the threat of jail is all bark and no bite (unless you actually committed fraud). If you’re unsure if it’s a legitimate debt, I always recommend you speak to a local attorney.

      Regarding your credit reporting question, it depends on the lender. If a lender reports (they’re not required to report), most negative information (i.e. defaults) will get removed after seven years. There are exceptions, but none that I know of for payday loans.

  56. My husband has been getting calls from a Mr. Taylor in GA about a payday loan he had in 06-07 which he thought was paid, I explained that I just found out about this (we are recently married and shortly together) and would be happy to handle it for him, which he gave this Mr. Taylor permission to talk to me and handle this issue. I told him that I would be happy to pay 75.00 then when my IRS refund comes in pay it off and “he talked to the attorney on it and everything was fine” well now that I paid 75.00 in January its March I explained that I still havent received my refund and stuff, and he is stating that if we dont pay at least 400.00 today by my debit card again he will have the attorney process the paperwork and an arrest warrant will be issued for him, now the thing is that we reside in FLA and criminal prosecution is prohibited all they can do is file a civil suit and then motion for a bodily attachment to go with the civil suit, I explained this to him and he got all flustered and said ” well the attorney is in court right now when he gets out of court I will talk to him”. Its 315 pm now and I am still waiting on a call back, what do you think?

    *Also I know that the statue of limitations is 2 years 3 years max, its been over that and he was saying that its from the date that the payment arrangement was made, for worthless checks or fraud on checks or whatever it is, isnt it the date on the check, sorry I forgot this.

    • I don’t know anything about Florida law, but I would be surprised if Florida allowed debtors to be arrested for defaulting on a payday loan. In Wisconsin (and in most jurisdictions), the most the creditor can do is sue and obtain a judgment. The methods for collecting on the judgment vary from state to state, but garnishments and bank levies are the most common.

      Again, most arrest threats are made by scammers. If it’s a legitimate debt collector, the arrest threat may be a violation of the FDCPA. As always, the only legal advice I will give on this blog is to contact a local attorney.

  57. Hi a debt collector called left a voice mail on my phone saying that they will send a police officer to sign some paper work to bring me to court is that true?

    • A process server may show up to serve you with papers if you are being sued, but absent other facts, you typically won’t be arrested for simply defaulting on a loan. Of course, your situation may have some unique facts. If you’re concerned, you should speak to a local attorney for legal advice specific to your case.

  58. I received a call from an “Investigator Johnson” who said he’s working with the State of Texas to locate my wife. We both have defaulted on payday loans a couple of years ago. He called her employer and told them that she is being investigated for bank fraud. I have no idea how the state works. Could he be legit? Or is he trying to scare her?

    • It’s unlikely to be an official State investigator. More than likely he’s just a skip tracer. And the comment to her employer may be an FDCPA violation. For a more definite answer, you’ll need to contact a local attorney.

  59. I got a call yesterday from an “unknown” number. She said she was a process server, and that she had a summons that she was going to serve on me. I asked for what and she said Check Fraud. She gave me an 800 number to call and a case number. Which when I called, it was the wrong number and they asked for my social, which I gave-like an idiot. Then they transferred me to legal. He told me it was from a cash loan from 2005 and that after 2 attempts to collect-the account had been closed and that amounted to check fraud. He put me on hold and came back with repayment options. I asked if I could think about my best option (because he insisted it be a bank account they could take the amount from every month-i could not send money orders) and he said he could give me a 24 hour hold on the summons but that was all. Does this sound legit? I am a single mom and I make VERY little and I don’t mind paying it back-but not at the amount they said was all they could take. And I feel very uncomfortable giving them my banking info. Is there a statute of limitations on when they can sue me? This is from 2005.

    • No, it doesn’t sound legit to me. If it were a criminal complaint, it would go through your local D.A. The debt collector may sue you in civil court, but that would simply result in a money judgment, not jail time or a fine. If it is a legitimate debt, the Statute of Limitations in your state may have run. Your attorney can give more information on that. You should never give out personal information like Social Security numbers or bank account information to strangers on the phone.

      See the info from the FBI in the original post. If you feel someone is trying to scam you and you feel unsafe, you should immediately contact law enforcement. For legal advice specific to your individual situation, contact a local attorney.

  60. Well funny thing about it is I just applied for payday loan and person told me had to put $ 180 on card and Walmart. So right away new was scan and hung up. Now though get relentless calls and finally decided to pick up and was from same number that originally called for loan and same guy. Told me was attorney assistant and said had 3 outstanding warrants for payday loans and told them that’s impossible never even accepted one. Guy got rude and so I just simply hung up. An just make sure I was covered call state and local police. They said it was scam and ignore it as well. All calls come from same MO number too.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. The more information consumers have, the less likely they are to fall victim to scams.

  61. I took out a payday loan from CashnetUSA about a month or so ago for $600. For the past two or three Saturdays(including today)I’ve gotten a call from the same guy(American-sounding)who wants to know when I can pay the loan. He told me today that because I couldn’t pay he was going to report it and let a collection agency deal with it. I had the number written down(1-888-627-6463)and when I looked it up online I found messages from others claiming that this was a scam. I went online to the actual CashnetUSA site and one of their agents told me in an online chat that she had no record of anyone from CashnetUSA calling me after March 3 2013. If this is a scam, how can I be sure they guy doesn’t have access to my checking account?

    • If you are afraid someone unauthorized has access to your bank accounts, you should speak with your local law enforcement authorities and your bank.

      However, if you didn’t give this caller any information, it’s unlikely he has access. If the caller already had your information, he would not have had any reason to call you. The goal of most of these scams is to get you to send money. Phishing scams are different, in that they typically try to get personal information from you such as account numbers or passwords.

      • I have another question. I got two loans online from two companies: one from CashnetUSA($600) and one from VIP Loan shop($1000). I looked these two loan places up today and found that neither of them are licensed in Virginia. I know that VA state laws apply to them. I also found that people have complained about the VIP Loan Shop. I didn’t know that I under VA law I could only have one loan at a time. What do I do?

        • As always, I can’t give legal advice on this blog. I can only give general information. The answer to your question will depend entirely on Virginia state law and I am not licensed to practice law in Virginia.

          For legal advice specific to your situation, you need to speak with a local attorney. You can find a local Virginia attorney HERE. Good luck!

  62. Over the past 4 days my family and now my Human Resource department has gotten calls from a 855 number stating they are trying to reach me regarding unpaid debt. I contacted the company and they state I am being sued from the Bank of Delaware from a transaction I made in 2007. I asked for an email or letter with details of such transaction and they told me they dont have to send it to me. I asked them how much money they claim I owe, and he told me I dont owe them any money, that it was written off but now I am being sued for fraud unless I pay $1100. He gave me all my options and I told him I need to research. 30 minutes later the calls started again, called my employer and my family, not me, all though they have my number.

    Can I be sued for fraud for some transaction back in 2007 (I think they are a pay day loan placye) not sure, I got one payday loan years ago, but paid that thing off as a fast as I could.

    I have asked for everything in writing to so I can investigate it before I pay anything. Im hoping I did the right thing.

    • As I’ve written before, the vast majority of these threats of criminal prosecution are scams. If you could track them down, you may be able to get law enforcement involved, but finding them is the hard part.

      If the caller is a legitimate debt collector, he is likely violating the FDCPA. In that case, you should speak to a local consumer bankruptcy or consumer protection attorney to learn about your potential remedies.

  63. I received a call today from a place called ACS, but it was for my sister insisting I get a hold of her and she would have 2 hours to get the default on her loan taken care of before going into litigation. I couldn’t get ahold of her at work and I had plans to leave town for the day so I wanted to get this taken care of right away thinking they would follow through on their threat. I asked that they send me the paperwork on her loan and they said they’d do that once fund clearance went through. Stupidly, I gave them my credit card number but had the nagging feeling all day that something was not right. I saw your website and called my credit card company immediately and cancelled my card. The payment had not yet gone through and the rep and I felt the best thing was to have a new card re-issued since my sister will be contacting a lawyer to follow up on this. AmEx told me that the payment was set up for “Allstate Check Services”. Doesn’t sound like the legal offices they were touting themselves to be!

    I was completely unaware of things like this happening but your website helped to clear up a lot of questions I had. Thank you!!

    • I’m glad the information here was able to help you. Thanks for sharing your story!

  64. Hi Bret. I have one more question: I told my employer about my loan situation and she suggested not paying back the loans. They are illegal loans, but is it a good idea to not pay them back? I don’t feel right not paying back the money they loaned me even if the loan was illegal on their part. Obviously they would have no choice but to except a money order because I’m certainly not stupid enough to allow them access to my checking account again. I know you don’t give legal advice here, but can you tell me if I should take my supervisor’s advice? Or will that get me into trouble? I just want your professional opinion on this because I’d rather not get sued.

    • You’re right, I can’t give legal advice here. Telling you whether to accept someone else’s legal advice isn’t much different. Unless your supervisor has a law degree, I’d question the value of her legal opinion. You need to speak to a local attorney if you want competent legal advice.

  65. a law firm has bean calling me for the past 2 days telling me am going to go to jail if I don’t pay 900 dollars but there asking me for 150 to start paying off the debt. and nobody had showed up at my door yet. should I pay them I don’t know what to do. they mention a p.o box number that wisent even under my name. even thought that p.o box was my parents when I was six

    • Please re-read the original post. Unless the D.A. can prove fraud (you took out the loan without intending to repay it), you cannot go to jail for defaulting on a payday loan in most jurisdictions. Most of the time, these callers are scammers looking to scare some money out of you. In others, they are legitimate debt collectors who are violating the FDCPA. In either case, the worst they can do is sue you for the amount owed.

      If you have questions or want legal advice specific to your individual situation, you need to contact a local attorney.

  66. i was called today by a man named david spicer and that i needed to call him back immediately, called back twice from the home phone he called me on and didnt receive a reply then called on my cell phone and he returned the call after i didnt leave a message, he transferred me to a lady saying she was with a law office out of st louis missouri i live in texas anyways long story short she said i took out a payday loan in 2011 and it was deposited and then removed and the bank account was closed she said that if i pay 700 dollars i wouldnt go to jail i said she was talking to the wrong person and i wasnt going to pay and she said that i was going to be arrested today for check fraud. is the something serious or a scam?

    • The caller may be serious, but it sounds like a scam to me. Most of the time, these callers are scammers looking to scare some money out of you. In others, they are collecting on a legitimate debt, but they are violating the FDCPA. In that case, you should contact an attorney to learn about your remedies.

      If you have questions or want legal advice specific to your individual situation, you need to contact a local attorney.

  67. In trying to help out an employee, I wrote her three checks to two different Colonial and American Loans. Each check for 3 loans. Colonial accepted the checks $1148.00 and $986.02. American told them that there was a government and bank rule restricting them from accepting a check over $900.00, the check was for $993.62. I have that in a written letter after the employee refused to leave without it. Have you ever heard about this? We live in Oklahoma.

    • No, I have never heard of a rule that precludes a creditor from accepting a check for over $900. Your attorney may be able to explain if it’s a state specific law.

  68. My husband is receiving calls from a debt collector that says that they are going to procecute him and that he would be arrested for check fraud….. the last debt collector that called said that where he lives in the state of Kentucky that the state would highly prosecute him on check fraud, however, this happened over 4 years ago. Can he be arrested for not paying this back???

    • Please re-read the original post. Unless the D.A. can prove fraud (you took out the loan without intending to repay it), you cannot go to jail for defaulting on a payday loan in most jurisdictions. Most of the time, these callers are scammers looking to scare some money out of you. In others, they are legitimate debt collectors who are violating the FDCPA. In either case, the worst they can do is sue you for the amount owed.

      If you have questions or want legal advice specific to your individual situation, you need to contact a local attorney.

  69. I had a person calling to collect on a pay day loan I had defaulted on after I lost my job. I offered to make a payment arrangement. When the date approached I realized I wasn’t going to have the money for another 3 days. When I called them about it they said I had til 3 pm or they would serve me papers along with someone from the county. I was not trying to avoid paying but they are not interested so now they said I’ll go to jail if I don’t bring the full amount to the court date. I don’t have 500 dollars for court or to get a lawyer. I’m unemployed and pregnant. I’m so upset.

    • Please re-read the original post. You cannot go to jail for simply defaulting on a debt. The most the creditor can do, absent actual fraud, is sue you. If a debt collector tells you you are going to jail for defaulting, he/she may be violating the FDCPA and you should speak to a local attorney to learn about your options.

  70. I had something like this an Attorney called and left a voicemail about how there were allegations pending against me and this was on a Sunday when most offices are closed so i had a bit of suspicion and ran his number through even though i could not find the company i was able to find reviews about the 800 number and posted a comment about how this person called me. monday comes along and the guy calls me finally i was able to speak with him. he sounded american and polite. he explained that there was a default on a payday loan i took out about a year ago. i did default on it so in that case i went with it. he said that i must pay the balance of 700+ dollars in 7 months or face a lawsuit. he also stated that he would levy my bank accounts and garnish my wages if i did not make a payment now. he asked for my banking information i told him and i did lie that i did no longer have a bank account. after that he responded with “ill send you paperwork regarding your account for your records”. i said that you gave him my address and i am expecting the papers by friday. i know how some scams work and this i do not believe is legit, until i get the papers he or the payday lender is not getting a dime.

    • Thanks for sharing. If it turns out to be a legit debt collector and you admit you owe the money but simply can’t pay, you should speak to a local bankruptcy attorney. Good luck!

      • I have done that and that and the attorney stated that i should not do anything until i receive the paperwork and then i can consult with him. he also stated that he would not allow the to take my wages nor levy my accounts and also enrolled me into a Debt Consulting service for the unemployed. He assured me that he would keep the Payday loan company off of my back and also told me that if they attorney calls again to politely state that i can speak with him and give him the number to my attorney. he also went stating that if they keep calling me then i may have some leverage but thats rare. i thank you for your information and im working with my attorney to get that taken care of while trying to look for employment.

  71. Hi I received a phone call from someone named William Jenkins allegedly from SBI(STATE BUREAU INVESTIONS) he went on to state that there was a criminal case against for not paying a payday loan i admit i did default but never received a letter for collection should i be worriefd but when i checked the number its a cellphone based in california and i am in new york.

    • I can’t tell you whether or not to be worried, but I’ve never heard of a criminal case being opened for defaulting on a payday loan.

  72. I just received a call from a debt collector saying i owe a pay day loan from over 8 yrs ago. And to my knowledge I paid all mine off. He said if i don’t make a payment today that the county police will have me arrested for bank fraud and for bouncing a check. Can they do that? And I said to him how come no one has sent me anything? They were also calling from Texas. He had me all upset. I’m a widow of 2 little girls and trying my best to get my bills paid.

    • Please re-read the original post, along with the note from the FBI. This sounds like a textbook example of a scam to me. The big red flag is the threat of arrest. If you feel threatened, you should contact local law enforcement.

  73. Ok this American Mutural Holdings called my mother on June 5 2012, and told her I have her down as a contact. They told her I have a default loan with Cash America and they had all my information. They told her if my loan was not paid in 2 hours I would have an warrent out for my arrest for check fraud! She paid it with her debt card What can I do 1100.00 dollars?

    • It sounds to me like your mother was just scammed out of $1100.

      If you actually owed the money, the debt collector could have sued you, but could not have had you arrested. If you did not owe the money, your mother may be able to get law enforcement involved. See the information from the FBI in the original post above. Keep in mind that nothing on this blog is intended as legal advice and I am not licensed to practice law anywhere but in Wisconsin.

  74. My husband received a call tonight on his cell phone.don’t know how they got the number. It was a Wisconsin number but they said they were from Georgia. They stated he owed from a payday loan back from 2008.$1100 with interest. They wouldn’t give the amount of original loan or provide docmentation of original loan .They also refused a payment arrangement because it wasn’t enough money a month. They wanted $400 a month. She told my husband he wasn’t taking the matter seriously and that they were going to file charges and he could go to jail for check fraud.

    • Again, any threats of jail for defaulting on a debt should raise red flags. While check fraud is a serious matter, I have never seen such charges filed for merely defaulting on a payday loan. That’s not to say it couldn’t happen, but it would be rare. Also, the debt collector couldn’t file any charges; that’s the District Attorney’s job. And your local D.A. probably has more important things to do than work as a debt collector for some payday loan outfit.

      If you deny you owe the money and think this is a scam, you should contact local law enforcement or see the original post above for info from the FBI. If you acknowledge that you owe the money but simply can’t pay it, you should speak to a local bankruptcy attorney for advice specific to your individual situation.

  75. I got a letter in the mail for failure to pay off title loan on a car that broke down n picked up by a junkyard for sitting in the side of road. I told them when it happened for them to get the car and they didn’t, now I am to appear in justice court in a county I no longer reside in or around in 3 days. What happens if I don’t appear because I don’t have the gas to go or the time to ask off work

    • That’s a state-specific question. You’ll need to contact a local attorney for help. In Wisconsin, failure to appear will result in a default judgment against you and the creditor will be able to collect on that judgment by any means allowed by state law.

  76. I had someone to call me stating to b an investigator n yes I didn’t pay bck mu payday loan this was almost 5 yrs ago this was done in one state n she told me that it was turned over to another state n that’s were I could turn myself in at im confused didn’t think one state could prosecute u for a check in another state..said I had 24 he’s to turn myself in n the state im to turn myself into is Texas bit she couldn’t tell me were in Texas..help plz

    • Please re-read the original post. Debt collectors do not have the authority to prosecute criminal cases. They can sue and try to collect, but cannot send you to jail.

  77. A lady called and said she was from the district of Columbia and a payday loan from 2008 hadn’t been paid and she told me I couldn’t pay it back and I was going to be picked up on federal felony warrant… she also said it was collateral fraud as well. I would be in jail for 12-24 hours before I seen a federal judge… is this true? I’ve never received any paperwork and she had all kinds of info on me.

    • Please re-read the original post. No, you cannot be arrested for simply defaulting on a payday loan. Most of the calls claiming otherwise are from scammers hoping to scare you out of some money.

  78. Hi Bret,

    I have been working with “The Law Center” in Texas and they say I took a payday loan in 2008. I don’t believe I did but agreed to pay anyway. I have paid a total of $200 dollars and have not made a payment this month. Financially I can’t do it but trying so tonight they called saying if I don’t pay $250 by Friday and the remaining balance $550 at the end of the month then they are taking me to court. That’s impossible and the guy was telling me to call my mom, sister, cousin, or someone to get the money and then asked for my moms number. After I told him I will take care of it he said “how when you are already in the hole” with other bills. (Looking at my monthly finances) he said so if I don’t pay they are taking me to court. Just want to know can this happen and I’m trying to pay. Will I have to pay the total amount at the time I go to court and what happens if I’m unable to make the court sate? Will I go to jail !?!

    • Yes, the debt collector can sue if you default on a debt. But it can’t have you arrested or put in jail. If you do get sued, check out this post: http://nasonlawfirm.com/archives/548 It explains what happens in Wisconsin when a small claims suit is initiated. Your state procedure will likely be different, but your local attorney can help explain those differences to you.

  79. Back in 2009 I took out an online loan from cash net and defaulted on the loan. I just received a call this week from a place saying they were arbitration, and that I was to be issued a summons for intent to defraud a banking institution unless I have a payment arrangement. I stupidly gave in and ended up giving my bank card info before reading this. The payment arrangement I agreed to is one I can’t afford, so I borrowed $1000 from a family member so I can just pay the whole thing off. I realize now that the whole criminal charge thing was bogus, but being that I am trying to fix my credit, and I already gave them my card number, I guess I’m just going to pay it on Monday. Since they knew where, when, and how much the loan was for, would you assume this is just a debt collector breaking the rules, and not a scammer? They sent me a confirmation email with the payment arrangement info and the letterhead said Chex Recovery Group, LLC. Thank you.

    • It’s tough to say. Quite a few scammers claim to be collecting on behalf of CashNet. I’m not sure how they get the account info, but you can have multiple callers “collecting” on the same CashNet debt. I would consider stopping that payment, letting the bank know what happened, and asking if I need to get a new account number. If the caller is a legit debt collector, someone will call you when the transfer doesn’t go through and you can ask them to send a statement showing what you owe and where you can send payment.

      Keep in mind that this is not legal advice. I don’t know if the debt is valid, if the caller was a legit debt collector, or where you live. For advice and a legal opinion on your situation, you should speak to a local attorney.

      • Well I contacted cash net, turns out this is not the company that bought my debt, and actually is a fraudulent collector. I did go to the bank and cancelled my card, they said my account should be fine since I only gave the card number… So glad I contacted cash net before I was out $1000 without even paying off my debt! Thank you for responding.

        • Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you were able to catch it before they took your money!

  80. Thanks for doing this thread. I have a couple of pay day loans out and have paid more than the principal balance + legal interest to them according to the laws of NYS. In New York, a law was passed making it illegal to collect on Payday loans and deemed the loans illegal and therefore void. I plan on closing my checking accounts and using a different, unrelated checking account moving forward. I assume you are familiar with the NYS law. My question is, can they hurt my credit? Or bypass State law in order to try to collect? All of these loans are 300 to 700% and the legal law is 25%. I will write to them saying I am defaulting on the loan because I have no money at this time and would be willing to pay any principal balance leftover based on a LEGAL interest rate in my state going back to the time I took the loan out. By this math they would owe me money. But just wanted your thoughts on if they can garnish my wages or hurt my credit score?

    Thanks.

    • Thanks for reading.

      I am not licensed to practice law in New York and have no knowledge of any New York state laws. In general, payday loan businesses must comply with the laws of any state in which they do business. If the lender has a valid claim against you, it can pursue whatever remedies are available under state law. In Wisconsin, that would include wage garnishments. If the claim is valid, the lender could also report accurate information to the credit reporting agencies, although it is not required to report anything. Whether or not this claim is valid is a question of state law, and you would have to consult with a New York-licensed attorney for advice.

  81. Today I received a call from United National Arbitration stating I had two charges pending against me and my case was review by the D.A. office in PA for defaulting on a pdl. Stated I have till tomorrow a 3 to make payment or case will be sent over to D.A. for warrent to be issued. Can this really happen???

    • Possibly, but it’s not likely. Most local D.A.’s have more important things to do than work as debt collectors for payday loan lenders. Besides, defaulting on a loan is not a criminal matter. Unless there are facts to indicate some kind of fraud, the D.A. is unlikely to take an interest in prosecuting.

  82. I have received calls for more than 6 months now that are similar to this.
    I took out a pdl online in 2011. I was unable to pay the loan back fully. For months now, I keep getting the same phone calls. A “locator” or “private courier” will call me and tell me that they have legal documents to deliver or serve to me and that they are calling to verify my address and make sure that I am available on a certain day between certain times. Usually, it is within a couple of hours. They give me an 855 number to call if I have any questions and tell me that if I do not call to resolve the matter and he/she does not receive a “stop order” from this company that hired him/her, then they will be at my house within a couple of hours or on a specific day and time to serve me with the documentation. So the first time I received these calls I called the 855 number and was met with a woman telling me that charges were being filed against me for check/bank fraud and something else that they said were felonies. These people had my correct phone number, current address, last four numbers of the bank account that the loan went into, etc… The options she gave me were to settle out of court right then by setting up a payment arrangement. I told her that I was uncomfortable giving out any pay information or making payments to anyone that I was not absolutely sure was legally the collector of the said debt. I simply asked them to send me documentation to legitimize their claim. They said that as soon as I make a payment they would e-mail me a copy of the payment plan. I told her that that isn’t what I asked for. I wanted a paper trail showing where and how they eneded up with my account and the authority to collect on it. She became irate and flat out, ominous toward me. I finally just told her to serve me so that I would at least have some sort of leagal documentation and nothing ever came. The calls ended for a couple of months, then started back up again getting calls from a “courier” again and giving me the same 855 number. I called it this time and I got a man that says he worked for “Consolidated” and mentions something like ‘litigation’ and said that charges were being filed against me because the loan company (not the same name that I took the loan out from) feels that it was my intention to defraud them… So the same thing. He did not want to send me any paperwork and accused me immediately of being uncooperative. So I just hung up on him. Then I got more calls from the so-called “locator” whose number came up an Oklahoma number stating her office is in my city. I asked for an address and she ignored the question and just said that she would be by to serve me. So for 6+ months I have had someone telling me that they are going to serve me and they have ALL of my personal information and my CORRECT address, but have never been here… and they DON’T STOP CALLING. I mean 5+ times per weekday. It’s becoming a very serious issue as my phone never stops going off.

    • Sorry to hear you’re having troubles with these people. Given that these callers have repeatedly threatened to have you arrested without ever following through, it sounds like you’re the target of scammers. Typically, calling them back only encourages them to continue calling. If you just ignore them, they should stop after awhile.

      If you can’t wait, you could try changing your phone number and/or contacting a local attorney (or law enforcement if you feel threatened).

  83. Hello Mr. Nason
    I just received a call this morning from A company called TAC. I took out a payday loan 2 years ago for $500 & they automatically deducted like $200 every 2 weeks for like 3 months from my bank account. When tallied I had had paid back %200 of the loan. I called them to tell them that the loan should have been paid back and they said that whole time I was paying interest on the loan. So at that point I changed by account no. So they couldn’t take any more out of my account. Now today this guy calls me and said his client was reporting me for Check Fraud charges because I changed my account No. They are asking for 1200 but they’ll settle for $450. So Question is can they report me for check fraud when all i was doing was trying to protect my account?

    • I’m not sure what “reporting you” even means. The caller sounds like a middle school kid tattling to the teacher.

      The debt collector could sue you or can contact the D.A. to have charges filed against you. But unless you actually committed fraud (and as far as I know, simply defaulting on a loan does not constitute check fraud in any jurisdiction), the D.A. would likely ignore such a complaint.

      Keep in mind that I am not licensed to practice law anywhere but Wisconsin, and I do not give legal advice on this blog. For advice specific to your individual situation, you need to contact a local bankruptcy attorney.

  84. I am a former employee of a PayDay Loan company and their collection efforts are one I would not do. I had never worked for a finance company like that so I went in clueless. Quickly I learned that is not a place of employment if you have a heart. Threats are their biggest tool. If you are contacted by anyone and they claim criminal charges always reply with I can’t talk right now and promise to return call them in 5 mins where you can get to place and talk. Get a number and name – immediatly call your State Banking Department and report the call. When the person calls you back inform them that you forwarded their collections threats to you State Banking Department and from that moment on make a note of any call you receive time date persons name and what was said. It is illegal for them to threaten you with any type of threat. Also they will continue to harass your refences – let each one of your references know when they call them to inform them they do not wish to be contacted any longer and to remove them from the call list. If they continue to call the references you report that as well to the State Banking Department. If they are calling you at your place of employement you can tell them not to contact you there anymore. Legally they have to stop (sometimes it is a good idea to fax to local branch a letter stating no more contact at your work keep a record of that) and if they continue make sure you report that to the State Banking Department. Keep in mind that they are only allowed to contact you twice a day. With leaving a voice message once. If you get a repeated calls and repeated voice mails – they are breaking collection effort rules/laws. These companies are audited by their State Banking Departments. If complaints are being filed against their collection efforts then audits are more frequent cause all complaints have to be investigated. Things happen not everyone is perfect… They are about profit and money with no concerns for the customer. By any means possible. That is their motto. You have rights take a stand. Don’t let them intimidate you or scare you. When they do – they become the criminal not you. The only legal route they can take is a Small Claims that results in a Garnishment. And if you are on SSI then they have no legal right cause you can’t garnish SSI. Also most states don’t allow what they call Roll Overs. Meaning you can’t just pay the interest and rewrite the account. Most states require you to pay the full amount including interest – rewrite the loan – and then return the amount minus the interest. In most states thats illegal. Check with the regulations in your state – if no roll overs are allowed and you have done that – let the State Banking Department know you have done it with the company in the past. If they want to threaten you with criminal charges they obviously have no concern for you – so why have concerns for them. I hope this helps anymore who reads this :)

    • Thanks for sharing!

      Keep in mind that the tips provided by theinsidescoop apply only if the caller actually works for the creditor. Many times, these calls come from an overseas call center that have no connection with the original payday loan agency. These scammers should be ignored, although it is sometimes difficult to determine who the caller works for. If in doubt, call the original creditor (not the number left on your voicemail) and ask how much you owe and if they have passed the account on to a debt collector.

  85. I received a phone call yesterday from a man claiming to be from a law office in Georgia. he claims that I faulted on a payday loan last year and that I am now being brought up on felony charges of check fraud and malicious activity. he claims he sent a certified letter to me in the mail which I never received I asked him to send me paperwork so I could find a lawyer to speak to about this and he said he could “maybe” get me paperwork. he claims that I will either be arrested or issued a court date. the amount he says I own is 819$. I was very taken back by this as I did not take out and loans I did apply when money was tough but never received any money or at that even completed an application. I called my bank to see if there were any transactions at the time of when he is claiming they gave me money and my bank confirmed what I already knew there were no transactions on that account for three months surrounding this supposed incident. I called the man from the law office back and he is now changing his story saying that they probably put the money into a different account but used mine as collateral. I never had a different account and as well I never had a single payday loan. He told me there is nothing he can do to help me, meaning he didn’t offer for me to settle. He says that I will be brought up on criminal charges for this loan and that I should get a lawyer. Is this real? someone different keeps answering the phone they are American but sometimes the voicemails are different when I call. Im worried about what to do to get this taken care of. I know im not guilty but he is claiming they have evidence and wont let me see the evidence or even tell me what the proof is.

    • I hope that by reading through this thread, you’ve learned that this is most likely a scam and not a debt collector trying to collect on a legitimate debt. If you’re concerned, you should speak to a local attorney, but I’m pretty confident he/she would tell you to simply stop returning the calls.

  86. my grandma called me up last night and said this guy named frank smith said that i had a return item with my ssn on it and that i need attorney for this.the phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. What should i do?

    • Please read the original blog post. These calls are typically made by scammers, hoping to shake some money out of you or your relatives. What often happens is that the relative tries to help by paying some amount to keep their grandson/daughter/niece/etc. out of jail, only to find out later that there was no debt owed and there is no way to recover the funds.

  87. I took out a online payday loan and missed a payment well it bounced in the acct I only missed it by two days they called and gave me a case number and said I will be arrested by Monday can I be arrested the loan was only 300 and I tried to pay the payment I missed they refused to accept it unless it was 300 and I had to pay a additional 296 next week they said it was theft ?

    • Please read the original blog post. No, you cannot be arrested for simply defaulting on a payday loan. Regardless of what the payday agent tells you, defaulting on a loan is not fraud without other facts to back up such a claim. If you are concerned, you should speak to a local bankruptcy attorney. The NACBA attorney finder can help. In the meantime, you should stop taking payday loans, either online or in person. They are a sure way to get in over your head with debt. Again, a local bankruptcy attorney can help clear your debts and help you budget so you don’t need payday loans to get by.

  88. May 14.2013 I received a phone call from a Ann smith from New York. Area code was from nc though. Said in 2005 we took a cash advance loan on line. Said if we don’t pay 800 now she is turning us in to the state atterney and charges will be brought. She would not give us any information except she work for weistein atterney and was a mediator for fraud She would not give me her address. She would not give me atterneys name and how many atterneys worked there. We asked for a letter stating what is the debt and what is going on. She said she can not give us any information. She new my husbands full SS number. When I asked for all this information she got mad and hung up. I repeatedly call her and no one would answer. A few hours late a man called from her number and said he had to inform of me he was pressing charges for me repeatedly calling a business. I stared to laugh and said your employer hung up on me and I’m trying to get to the bottom of this. U said you are pressing charges on me for calling a voice mail that know one would answer. He said yes mam and hung up. I reported to the FTC. They thought it was a scam. Still nervous.

    • I agree with the FTC rep; this sounds like a classic scam. Generally, these people will move on to other targets if you simply ignore them. Don’t return their calls, don’t argue with them, and don’t try to negotiate anything.

      If you are still concerned, you should speak with a local attorney and/or local law enforcement.

  89. I received a call earlier from someone claiming to be a deputy calling me to turn myself in or call a officer in Texas. He called from 911 which I found weird. I also received a call from a law firm a few weeks ago stating I had a warrant over a payday loan that I know I never had.

    • Now they’re asking you to turn yourself in? Interesting twist on the scam.

      Thanks for sharing. Some people like to engage the callers for fun (called “scambaiting”), but I think it’s usually best to just ignore them.

  90. i was told by a company today that i will be arrested for writing bad checks if i don’t pay a online payday loan but i never wrote a check to get a internet payday long so my question is can i be arrested if i don’t pay it?

    • To quote the original post, “The short answer is no.”

      Without some indications of fraud, defaulting on a loan is not grounds for criminal charges or an arrest. Additionally, many of these callers aren’t really collecting on a valid debt. They are scammers sitting in overseas call centers, hoping to scare you out of some money. I typically advise my clients to ignore these callers, but if you are concerned, you should speak to a local attorney.

  91. Hi.I have a title loan that I recently defaulted on. I rcvd a call today from a local number claiming to be an” investigator” stating he had a summons with my name on it and he’s turning it over to Jo co sheriff and Jackson county sheriff tomorrow and a warrant could possibly be issued. Can I be arrested for a title loan default? Or are they treated add civil matters?

    • No, defaulting on a title loan isn’t a criminal matter. However, the lender may have a valid lien on your vehicle and might have the right to repossess if the debt is not paid.

  92. My mom received a message today on her phone from a guy saying he is a parlegal for an attorney firm in Pontiac,MI working with one of the prosecuting attorneys out in Henderson, NV to handle a criminal investigation case involving me. He says my name has been pulled up on two affidavits with pending allegations of one misdeamenor charge and one felony charge. He says its because the affidavits have had the statute of limitations expire on them. He is trying to get a hold of me because they have to transfer the dockets back to the prosecuting attorney who is handling the case. He says, “Basically there is a possibility that she might have a bench warrant to appear in court if we are not able to get ahold of her in time or a possible license suspension if she has one.” He says there has already been an alert placed on my state ID and social. He asks that she contact him with a phone number where he can reach me or have me contact him and says she is not in trouble of any kind. He asks that I call by Monday at 5PM and leaves his phone number and a case number.
    I used to live in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV but I don’t know of any trouble that I am in….It could be a defaulted payday loan but I don’t know for sure. The guy is American and doesn’t mention a loan or money in the message. I am confused as what to do. I went to Clark County Courts Records Inquiry and put in the case # he gave me as well as my name. Nothing pulled up. I also just got my drivers license in a new state and nobody mentioned anything to me. Does this sound like a scam to your or is it legit? Thanks for your help!

    • I don’t give legal advice on this blog, but I can give some general information. For advice specific to your individual situation, you need to speak with a local attorney.

      Generally, these calls threatening arrest are scams. Sometimes the caller will call a parent instead of the target, hoping that the parent will pay before talking with the target. And it’s not a bad tactic; most parents will do anything to keep their kids out of jail.

      As long as you keep the basic point of the original post in mind, you should be fine: You cannot be arrested for simply defaulting on a loan. Absent any actual fraud (and it’s HIGHLY unlikely fraud would be an issue with payday loans), the worst the lender can do is sue you, obtain a judgment, and collect on that judgment by garnishing wages. If an anonymous caller tells you differently, there’s a good chance he/she isn’t a legit debt collector, but just a scammer.

  93. Hi my names brittany recently i filed for a online payday loan they said i was approved an all i had to do was send in 200 for a security deposit so i did rhan a hr later they gave me a call saying it wasent approved an i would get my 200 back well i just got a call stating That i didnt pay The cansleation fee an was being sued with a lawsuit so they said ro resolve it to send them 175 an they resolve The case now they called again saying i need To pay anothed 250 for the fees to resove the Case an if i Didnt in 2 hrs They Will have me Aressted is this true an what should i do? Please help

    • I don’t see any facts in what you’ve written that would give rise to criminal charges. But I recommend you speak with a local attorney if you’re concerned.

      I hope readers realize by reading these posts that everyone should stay away from online payday loans. Even if the original creditors aren’t suing for default, it appears that the scammers are getting customer info from these businesses. It can’t just be a coincidence that the scammers are calling about payday loans that people acknowledge having taken in the past.

  94. I was told that I was going to jail for check fraud from 5 years ago from Advance America. They threatened my sister and told her they were throwing me in jail if she didn’t help me. So being the good sister she is she forked out $400 for a first payment and I have paid $100 on top of that and I just don’t have anymore money. They are calling everyone now all my Friends and family and threatening me. I then looked them up and found this site so do I keep paying now that I have already paid? Can I stop paying then and be safe? I have no clue what to do now!My sister is calling her creditor and filling charges on them and I am scared to death that they are going to show up. My husband died and I have our daughter and I am all she has now I cant go to jail. And they had us do some kinda Docusign thing? Is that a bad thing I had to sign one every time they set up a payment. They also said they were from a law firm called Coghens and Powers

    • The threat of jail makes it sounds like a scam to me. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that you and your sister just lost $500.

      Of course, I don’t know all the details. Even if I did, I don’t give legal advice on this blog. For legal advice specific to your individual situation, you need to speak with a local attorney. The attorney finder at NACBA can help you find a consumer bankruptcy attorney in your area. Your attorney can tell you if this is a scam or a legit debt collector. If the caller can be located and is working within the U.S., your attorney may be able to file an FDCPA claim on your behalf.

  95. I received an email from a guy named Victor Thompson telling me I owe a payday loan and that I need to pay them 920 dollars to settle it and it keeps going for a couple days and then I just told them I was going to call the cops today he hasn’t responded yet.

  96. I just spoke with Jason Dean ID#60142SPS with Frasar Law Firm who accused me of Criminal Check Fraud. He supposedly represents American Cash and they’ve filed three criminal charges against me. Jason Dean claims he’ll be sending the police to my home and I’ll be arrested for 30 days before they sort the mess out. His “partner” Officer Smith who originally contacted me told me he had my personal information such as Social Security Number and date of birth, along with my banking information. He even went as far as to confirm the information to me. I don’t have any business with American Cash and have never had any loans. They never asked for any money, probably assuming from my skeptism that I would not pay, EVER. They were rude and eventually hung up. I call back and pretended as if I wanted to resolve the issue(after researching all of the above stories and confirming it was a scam.) and low and behold they wanted me to go to Wal-Mart and out the payment on a card. I asked them to send me information as to who I owed and where I was making a payment at, but they refused mumbling something about “you’re sure to go to jail.” I then asked them to go through a lawyer… they just about screamed NO! Eventually after playing the game with them I told them I had since realized they were fraudulant and hung up. Even though I felt better a little about pulling their cards I am still VERY afraid because they have my personal information, such as my social and birthdate. They also claim to have my banking information. What should I do?

    • Thanks for sharing. Generally, I recommend against interacting with these people at all. But I’m glad you got away from them without paying anything.

      If you feel at risk for identity theft, you should contact local law enforcement and your local Social Security office. They may recommend you get a new Social Security number and/or sign up for a credit monitoring service. However, if the callers really had your personal information, why would they bother calling you? If they had the info, most thieves would simply use it to steal the money as quietly as they could or apply for credit in your name.

  97. I had a lady contact me on Monday stating that in 2008 I got a payday loan and then closed my account, she then said I could pay $680 and be OK and if not I would be charged with worthless check and fraud to a financial institution. The only problem with this is that I don’t ever remember doing so and my credit report shows nothing of this default in payday loan the said I took out. I filed bankruptcy this year and explained that to her she rudely said you can’t do anything about this. She said you are trying to avoid these charges…. I am so confused and not sire what is going on really, is this a scam?

    • I can’t say if it’s a scam or not. But based on the facts as you have presented them, it has some of the indications of a scam (threat of arrest, creditor not reporting to the Credit Reporting Agencies, etc.) The only advice I can give is to contact your bankruptcy attorney. He/she should be able to tell you if this is a legitimate debt that was discharged in your bankruptcy or a run-of-the-mill scam attempt.

  98. BACK in 2005 i had move to texas i had bunch payday loans out and i file bankruputcy.i took to more out i have did some in person and online i get call daily at work and cell bout being arrest and going jail.I have twins boys i dont want want be stress bout things like that.I am actually with morgan drexon working on payment or settlement pay to get this loans paid off.I need to know what the right thing to do or am i doing right thing.When these people call leave case number or phone half time i cant get the information i am looking for or someone answer start yelling at who.I change my number to get rid stupid people waste my time trying to solve problem but get the run around.please try help me out thanks

    • I can’t give legal advice over the Internet, but your bankruptcy attorney should be able to help. I suggest you contact him/her.

      If you read this entire thread, you’ll learn that threats of arrest for defaulting on a payday loan come from either scammers or debt collectors violating the FDCPA. You cannot be arrested for simply defaulting on a debt.

  99. I have a debt collector calling me saying that a check cashing place is wanting to file charges against me for check fraud. When I ask them for information, they give me a date, time and location of where this took place. They also say that they have video evidence about this. I was not in the state that this took place, and when I ask to see this evidence they tell me that I have no right to see it, that it will come up in court. I have filed bankruptcy, and it was discharged 2 years ago, but I don’t know what to do about these types of phone calls. I find it hard to believe that if there is evidence against me that I am not allowed to see it. It is also weird to me that they are saying it took place in a city I didn’t even live in.

    • Debt collectors and check-cashing places cannot file criminal charges. They can sue if you default on a debt, but only the D.A. can file criminal charges.

      On the facts as you’ve stated them, this sounds like an attempt to scare some money out of you. Usually, the best way to get the calls to stop is to simply ignore them. Eventually, they’ll stop wasting their time and move on to other victims. If you are concerned, I recommend you contact your bankruptcy attorney.

  100. I’ve been receiving near constant calls regarding a pay day loan my brother took out. Each time they threaten to serve him with felony fraud charges if he does not pay that same day. I’ve asked them repeatedly to contact my brother directly and please remove me from their list of contacts, but they said that was not possible. Is this true? From your previous posts it sounds like this might be a scam (I can’t be sure as I do not know the details of my brother’s loan), but do legitimate debt collectors have the right to repeatedly contact me for a debt that I do not owe? Do I have the right to ask to be removed from their list of contacts?

    Thanks so much for your blog — it set me at ease about these phone calls and I will pass the info on to my brother.

    • Legit debt collectors can contact family members for location information, but may not state that the consumer owes a debt or communicate with the family member more than once (See § 804 of the FDCPA).

      Scammers aren’t real debt collectors and don’t follow the law. In this case, it sounds to me like someone is hoping to scare some money out of you. It usually happens with parents. These people are hoping the parent will pay $500 or so to keep their child out of jail, and it often works, unfortunately.

      If the callers are really debt collectors, you should get as much info as you can and speak to a local attorney about possible FDCPA claims. If the callers are trying to scam you, you can either ask local law enforcement to try and track them down or simply ignore the calls. They typically will leave you alone once they realize you’re not going to pay or return their calls. It’s more cost-effective for them to move on to easier targets.

      Good luck!

  101. I had taken out a payday loan back in 2009 for $500. At the time, I was working in a place that wasn’t giving me my checks (for some months), and when it was time to pay back the loan, I was unable to and had to close my account.

    Last week I received a call from someone (American accent) claiming to be an arbitrator for the PDL company and they were filing a civil lawsuit and criminal charges against me for Writing bad checks and defrauding a financial institution. They had a lot of my information so I assumed they were legitimate. They told me that I could repay the debt (original loan was $500 and they claimed I owed $893) and they would stop the summons to court. I had the money at the time (was saving for a car and had the cash) and gave them my debit card information and they said they would post-date the payment until the following day to give me time to get to the bank to deposit the cash.

    I told them that I wanted something in writing stating that all charges would be dropped including the civil suit if I had repayed, and they claimed they couldn’t provide me with any documentation but the call had been recorded and that the PDL companies agreement was also recorded. Stupidly I ended the call with an agreement to pay the $893. They also claimed that I would receive documentation via email that would explain the repayment deal in detail and it would have my information regarding the loan on it.

    After handing up, I realized that I had no information about the “General Arbitrator” and the firm he had worked for. I also hadn’t received the documentation that I was told I was going to get, so I called back 3 times within the following 2 hours and finally left a message that stated I would need to receive a call back with information relating to the firm or at least the documentation regarding my loan and the lawsuit otherwise I would be cancelling the card that I gave them because I was nervous about having given my financial information without further details of the loan agreement. I did not receive a call back nor the agreement documentation until the following morning at 7am when they tried to run the card. I did talk to the same guy I setup the payment with the day prior, that morning, and explained that I was not comfortable sending payment with something in writing. He did the normal collection thing saying “Pay your bills”… etc.

    He also directed me to their “Legal” department. The guy claimed to be a lawyer but refused to give me his state bar license number and said they weren’t required to send me an information on the loan, or the lawsuit. They said I would either need to pay on the phone or they would send a summons. I finally told them to send the summons so I could at least get legal documentation of the suit, and the guy hung up on me.

    This morning around 8:15 I received a call from a private number. I ignored it because i worked late last night and was sleeping in. Then I recieved a call from the same private number 3 more times (all calls 3 mins apart) and finally they left a message. It was definitely the same guy I originally talked to but he claims to be an investigator from the public service carriers union, and that they would be out to my house tomorrow with a Police Officer (for their protection they claim) with a summons, or I could call the arbitration office and pay the debt and they wont come out.

    After that long story, I’m 70% sure this is just a debt collector, but you can imagine I have some form of anxiety over this. Does this sound legitimate in that they can file criminal charges against me over this loan? The lawsuit I can deal with if I get a summons I can call to make arrangements but these criminal charges scares me. Im in Arizona if this also helps. Thank you.

    • It doesn’t sound like a legitimate debt collector to me. The threat of arrest makes it sound more like a scam.

      If you read the original post and the many comments on this page, you’ll notice a consistent theme: You cannot be arrested for simply defaulting on a debt.

      You can often get these people to leave you alone by either ignoring their calls or telling them that you don’t do business over the phone and they can mail any settlement offers to you. (If they threaten to have you arrested, they won’t need your mailing address.) If you are still concerned, you should contact a local attorney. Nacba.org has a directory that can help you find someone. Good luck!

  102. Aloha,

    I had a similar call yesterday. Al lady by the name of Christie called me yesterday, she had a southern accent and claimed to be residing on the East side. I had taken a loan out with CMG group and I thought I had payed them back. Funny thing is I was keeping in contact with the collection agency 2 weeks prior to her calling which she said was not supposed to be happening because they had forward my case to her.She then said that CMG had the right to file charges against me for fraud and that there was a pending warrant for my arrest. I did not get to ask her if it was possible to issue a warrant for my arrest when I live in Hawaii and they are located on the mainland. I also found it odd that when I started to get all frustrated and began to cry she told me to not stress over it and that she is a single mother too and knows how hard it can be. Then I attempted to call her this morning my time which would make it 12 pm her time and I get a recording. I attempt to leave a message but the machine told me three times that it did not recognize a message and to leave one after the beep…This is very frustrating, I thought that it would only affect my credit score. Extra stress about being arrested and a single mom, who will watch my baby? Why is it so hard for the ones that are actually struggling to be believed when they are saying how much of a hard time they are having. Hawaii is not a cheap place to live.

    • Please re-read the original post. Regardless of what these callers tell you, you cannot be arrested for simply defaulting on a loan. If you truly owe the debt, the creditor can sue you and get a money judgment, but the creditor simply doesn’t have the authority to throw you in jail. They prey on your fear and count on you being scared enough to just pay without questioning them.

      In most cases, it’s best to simply ignore these callers (and NEVER return their calls). Eventually, they’ll give up and move on to an easier target.

      If you’re concerned, you should speak with a local bankruptcy attorney. The directory at Nacba.org shows 9 attorneys in Hawaii.

      • Aloha,
        Thank you. Just wanted to clarify that. That takes a great deal of stress off of me. I will do just that. My friend basically told me that and told me that the case is that they had bought my claim from the agency/group that I had originally got it from and that they are using a different tactic in collecting the money. Thank you for your prompt response. Have a great day.

        • Thanks for sharing. Good luck!

  103. I got a call yesterday i n reference to a PDL that I took out but have not paid back. This original call came from a number that when I called it back I got a voicemail saying it was a company called Landmark.

    I recieved two calls from two different numbers in reference to this issue.

    The first message left on my phone came from a lady who stated that she was with my county I live in with a processing division. She stated that I had a lawsuit filed and that I am facing three counts of Fraud. She stated that I would be served by a Sheriff along with an individual with the paperwork. I was also given a 1 888 number to call to stop this proceeding.

    I did contact this 1 888 number and spoke with another female who had all my information on the payday loan I had not paid on, my SS# and my DOB. She also had the names of my family members whom I know were not listed on my original form I filled out online.

    This lady kept putting me on hold to talk to the lender to see what she could work out, after all the options she gave me, wanting me to pay more then half of the amount now, or I would have to pay the total. She wanted my to Pay part of 1900.00 or I would look at having to pay 2400.00. I told her that I had no way of paying it. She asked me if I had any options of obtaining help from anyone. I told her no, she stated that there would be nothing for her to be able to do, and it looked like it would be going to court.

    I advised her that I would contact my attorney, and she stated that it would probably be a good idea to do so.

    I did contact my attorney, and he advised me that it did sound like a scam, and to not do anything unless I were to be served papers. It was sort of scary how she had all my info, my family info, the name of the PDL company. It sounded very realistic.

    The females both gave me thier names one was left on her voicemail she left and the other was given when I asked for it, which made me again think this was very real. I know I talked to my attorney, but can you give any reassurance?

    • I agree with your attorney. This sounds like a scam to me. If you stop returning their calls, they’ll likely get tired of wasting their time and will move on to easier targets.

  104. My grandmother received a call from a Westgate Arbitration. He proceeded to tell her that if I didn’t call and pay them $887 immediately that they would be sending paperwork to my home withing 36 hrs charging me with check fraud and a host of other charges regarding a payday loan taken out 4 years ago. I called the guy and he was very short and rude and didn’t want to give me the information concerning the debt and absolutely refused to give me an address or to send me any legal documentation through the mail. I told him I didn’t feel comfortable making that large of a payment, which I didn’t even have, blindly over the phone without any paperwork. He continued to threaten me with criminal charges of check fraud related charges and ended up hanging up on me. I tried to call back several times he continued to hang up and asked me not to call and harass them. This after he called my sick grandmother numerous times and told her all of my business and got her very worried and upset. I’m a single mom of 3 children I work two jobs and have never been in any kind of trouble with the law. I want to pay any bad debts, but simply couldn’t pay that much within a 2hr notice and more importantly blindly over the phone to someone I’ve never heard of on a debt that I have never been contacted about in over 3 years prior to this. Can they really charge me with criminal charges because I simply don’t want to pay this over the phone immediately with no documentation or prior notification. He told me it was my fault that I didn’t know I still owed it, which I can understand that argument, but it seems I should be given some sort of formal notice or chance to clear it up without all the threats and harassment.

    • Please re-read the original post. No, you cannot be arrested for defaulting on a debt.

      These callers are typically scammers, not actual debt collectors. Whether you owe the debt or not is irrelevant; they are simply trying to scare some money out of you. If you do happen to owe the debt, you’ll still owe it after paying these crooks because the money will not go to the creditor. I discourage my clients from returning these calls, as talking to scammers doesn’t accomplish anything.

      If you truly owe the money, the creditor can sue you, but cannot have you arrested. See THIS POST for more information.

  105. I received a call from woman saying I had a pass balance on a payday loan i took out 2010. She said the state of GA was going to pay the debt off and forward my information to VA(where I currently live) and have a warrent out for my arrest for “check fraud”. When I did the loan, I was residing in the state of Maryland not Georga. The only reason they had my GA address was because they needed my DL information(which hadn’t been switch to Maryland yet at this time). After doing some reseach, I found out that it is illegal to do payday loans in the state of Maryland and Georgia. Can they take me to court or will I have to do jail time for this? Also, I have never heard of any state paying off someones personal loan and then sending it to another state where you reside and they send out warrent for your arrest.

    • For general information, please re-read the original post:

      If it’s a valid debt: Yes, the creditor or debt collector can sue you. No, you will not be taken to jail for defaulting on the debt.

      If it’s a scam (which most of these threats of arrest are): No, you will not be sued and no, you will not go to jail.

      For advice specific to your individual situation, you need to speak with a local attorney.

  106. A collection company called and said that I defaulted on a payday loan. They said that criminal charges were going to be filed if I didn’t try to make payment arrangements. Since my bank account got closed to being overdraft for too long, I was unable to pay back my payday loan. They are saying they are going to press charges for fraud unless I make payment arrangements right away. When I asked them for some form of paper work showing these claims they kept giving me the run around and finally agreed to try to send me something. Can they press charges for fraud even after I notified them that my bank account was closed due to lack of funds. my intention was not to avoid paying them back. I just didn’t have the money to do it and I still don’t because I’m a full time student and mother and do not make much money. I need some information about this since it is the first time I’ve heard of a company attempting to do this.

    • For general information, please re-read the original post and review the other comments. No, you cannot be arrested for simply defaulting on a debt. You may be sued, but you will not go to jail. Merely defaulting on a debt does not rise to the level of fraud.

      For legal advice specific to your individual situation, you need to speak to a local attorney.

  107. My mother received a call yesterday and took a message from a Patrick O’Reily # xxx-xxx-1748 (number shows private on her caller ID) stating I have an unpaid payday loan with a company called BMG Payday in the amount of $722.53 and that I needed to call back before 5pm or I would be arrested! I retuned home and 4:30 and my mother was very upset and said I better call quick! Back in 2010 I received a couple similiar calls about a payday loan with the same company BMG Payday, but these times they were from “investigators” with the same claims and all for different months and amounts. Now I knew I had not taken out a payday loan at that time, so I said I am calling my attorney (which I had at the time for another matter and do not have him retained now) do what you need to do and hung up. My attorney took the number and I emailed him my bank records for the month questioned and he called…of course they would not speak with him. Needless to say I have dealt with this company before so this time Patrick O’Reily got the same deal from me. I told him I have my bank statements to prove I NEVER received a loan from this company at any time and I would love to go to court and show a Judge my bank records, O’Reily went on to say I will lose in court he has my social, my bank account, my date of birth and a receipt that the money was deposited, the ip address for the computer that did the transactions and time etc. I said bank statements don’t lie O’Reily and I will pay nothing. He went onto say that the statue of limitations is about to expire on this and BMG is prepared to fight for their money and the the 722.53 was a settlement, if I don’t pay that now I will pay $2883.53 which is now the ture balance, court costs and attorney fees. I said I won’t lose so do what you have to so. I asked for the company name and additional information and was denied that. He was getting upset that I was not falling for his scam and became VERY upset. He said since I am not willing to cooperate he is transferring my account over to their investigator Karl Reinman to he can proceed to file a complaint and have me arrested. He told me to get a clean pair of underwear and a tooth brush in a scarstic manner, I said this call is being recorded he said oh really well all these calls are recorded on our end too. I said great then you realize you just threatened me, and also gave confidential information to my mother which is against the law. So you and I can both bring the recorded conversation to court and see where it goes from them. I said you can’t talk to me like that, he said get your underwear ready it’s going to be a long weekend for you and hung up the phone. He called me on a Monday? Long weekend? I don’t know how these companies stay in operation. I do know that I have not taken out a payday loan from this company and have my bank statements to prove it and will pay nothing to anyone for a debt I did not incur. They are scam artists….BEWARE. When I recieved another call I will record it again and then file a complaint with the local police department. I will not tolerate this harrassment from a low life telemarketer collection agency. They are the scm of the earth!!!! Did I handle this correctly this time? I live in NJ, can I be arrested for something I didnt receive? If I have to go to court, my bank statements for the closed account should be enough for me to prove that I didn’t receive it right? Thanks!

    • They stay in operation by scamming just a small percentage of the people they call. If just a few of the victims pay a couple hundred dollars each day to “avoid going to jail,” they can cover their overhead and make a decent profit.

      I recommend that my clients not even engage with these people. If you answer their call, refer them to your attorney. Don’t argue about whether or not they can arrest you (they can’t) or whether you owe the debt. If they leave a message, don’t return the call. As long as you understand that you can’t be arrested for simply defaulting on a debt, these scammers have no leverage.

  108. I have a title loan and they called one of my references(my phone got shut off) and told them they were and federal officer and wanted to keep me out of jail so he called me friday to get 667 by Monday to keep out of court here in Georgia.I am new here and didn’t know what to do, to get picked up and go to jail and get a criminal record because They knew I work in the medical field and a records can close doors for me quickly. I gave him 550.00 because I didn’t know what else to do. I am not working now and that caused me to loose home and that hard as a single parent. Even thou i’m not working, I struggle to try and pay 290.00 payment each month by 12th to avoid this happening again. I wish I could give them the car but it broke down and got towed and I could pick out of tow because I can’t afford it either and they say its consealment and they could send me to jail for that alone. I feel so helpless.

    • You should speak to a local attorney soon. Now that you know you cannot be thrown in jail for defaulting on a debt, you shouldn’t be defrauded again. The nacba.org website has a tool that can help you find a consumer bankruptcy attorney close to your home. Good luck!

  109. I was contacted by a so call Michelle Lewis xxx-xxx-3053, but when i tried calling that number back there is no answer. she is stating she is a privated investigator for a debt collector. she states the company she works for is United Firm. when i asked her for the contact info she refused and stated to call xxx-xxx-9241. Also last night about 10:40pm someone knock on my door of my house trying to serve papers per what the men answered when i asked who it was, but i did not open the door. he walked back to his car and stood there for about 10mins and left. i did have a payday loan with AWL (American Web Loan) and i am in the process of filing a chapter 7. But this lady has called my family members, my boss and neighbors.I have fax a Cease of Communication letter to American Web loan and also a work harrasment letter and received confirmation of delivery. What can I do? Please advise. Is this Legal here in Colorado?

    • You need to contact your bankruptcy attorney for help on this. If a process server actually tried to serve you with papers, a creditor may have sued you. Although creditors can’t arrest you for defaulting, they are allowed to sue. Your attorney can also help you decide if you have an FDCPA claim against the debt collector. Keep in mind that the FDCPA applies only to debt collectors, not to original creditors.

  110. I got a payday loan back in 2006 which went into default, I got a call from Allied Investigations saying I owe which was 1,467 and they needed a down payment or I get arrested, I was scared and pawned my car title to pay and they wanted the rest in big amounts, I told them I couldn’t do so they said asked friends and family so they settled for 1 bi weekly, I made first payment by debit card but couldn’t it again and I’m working with a payday loan consolidation program which is helping me and when I didn’t pay next amount they told me they sending paperwork here in Norfolk Virginia to have me located and process for not paying out of court restitution I never got any paperwork or been to court for this, I never got anything and the supervisor said I had an hour or be arrested and told me Good luck and the best of luck to me I have never been in trouble before and I am scared, please advise!

    • Please re-read the original post and the other comments on this page. No, you cannot be arrested for defaulting on a payday loan. If you owe the money, you can be sued, but not arrested. If you are sued, a process server or sheriff’s deputy may serve you personally with the summons and complaint, but will not take you to jail.

      If you are sued or concerned with getting arrested for defaulting on a debt, you should contact a local attorney. You can find a local consumer bankruptcy attorney by using the attorney finder tool at nacba.org. Good luck.

  111. Hi, I live in Wisconsin and I borrowed money a couple of years ago from Check ‘n Go. I had some things come up in life and I wasn’t able to continue to pay them. I called them and told them I could not pay and asked to set up different payment arrangements. They were very unwilling to do this and rude on the phone just because I hadn’t answered all of their calls. I got divorced and moved back in with my parents and they were not able to contact me anymore. I told them I would just pay them when I had the money. They stopped calling me, but they continued to call one of my friends who I used as a reference. I never wrote them any checks because they were able to do everything electronically. They would go and try to withdraw money from my checking account often times resulting in an overdraft. There were times where I would have to go to my bank and reverse the payment because after withdrawing the money I would not have money left for food and gas and I figured those things were more important at the time.
    Now I am getting calls from a company at my parents land line telling me that I owe $1200 but that I can pay $600 now and settle everything. Otherwise they were going to take me to court for check fraud, accusing me of “running off with money” and not paying them back. I explained that I do not give money to strangers over the phone. She told me that if they took me to court they would be able to take my drivers license away. i talked to her for about 20 minutes, then I told her I would have to call her back. I told her I did not have that kind of money. She then called my friend later who I had used as a reference and was super rude to her. She said “your friend won’t be sitting so pretty once she’s in the slammer” and threatened that I would go to jail! They said if I didn’t pay now I was going to be taken to court. I felt harrassed and I know they can’t just send me to jail over a civil matter so I called them today and gave them a peice of my mind. The guy I talked to was actually pretty nice. I told him if anyone threatened me that I had already called the police, which I had and that I was going to have them keep track of them and their unprofessional behavior. I’m just so irritated. I really want to take care of this loan, but nobody is willing to accept $30 a month which is all i can afford. I’m not a bad person or a criminal, I just need time to pay this off. I don’t know what to do except call the Check ‘n Go and try to work something out.

    • While you can’t force a creditor to accept payment terms, most will accept reasonable terms rather than not get paid at all.

      If you just need time to pay the debt, a Chapter 128 may help. I recommend you contact a local attorney to help you with this. The State Bar of Wisconsin can help you find someone. If you live in SW Wisconsin, I’d be glad to meet with you in my Platteville office.

  112. So I got a call from a guy calling him self detective Roberts. He is claiming that he is with a company that I did defualt on. I have been contacted in the past by the people over seas but those guys would never give me a name of a company. He is claiming that I will be arrested on fruad do to the check bouncing. Is this possible. I told him I could not pay the $1100 he is demanding I pay at once. The loan was only for $200.

    • Please re-read the original post. No, you cannot be arrested for defaulting on a debt. You may be sued, but not hauled off to jail. Many of the callers claiming to represent creditors and threatening arrest are scammers hoping to scare some money out of you.

  113. i was contacted by a man saying i could look foward to the fbi being at my house in the morning then started screaming at me through the phone and has been leaving me threatening voicemails. It was a scam saying they are getting me for a payday loan. can i sue them?

    • Sure, but it might be very difficult to find out who to sue. These scammers are frequently located overseas. Even if they are in the U.S., they rarely give out a physical address. You might end up paying a lawyer more to sue on your behalf than you would ever collect.

  114. I got a call from a person claiming to need to settle a dispute against me regarding not paying back a loan from 2 yrs ago through the cash advance co. MyCAsh.net. However, I DID pay the loan off in full and have all the bank statements to prove it, but unfortunately, I’m not sure I ever got a pay off notice from this company via email or otherwise. If i did, i have no record of it. I no longer live in the state or have an active bank account in which they can collect, but I’m not sure how to protect myself from being sued when I did nothing wrong. Help!

    • Sorry, I can’t provide help or legal advice online. For help with your individual situation, you need to speak with a local attorney.

      As a general matter, if the creditor sues and you have bank statements to prove you paid off the debt, your attorney should be able to use those statements to defend you. If it’s just another scam, you don’t have to worry about getting sued, as the scammers are just hoping to scare you out of some money.

  115. So I know that Minnesota requires payday lenders to be licensed in the state. I got 250 from Red Leaf Lending a company I’ve heard is located either in Canada or Nevis. Do I have to repay if the company is unlicensed in the state? Wouldn’t the fact that they are unlicensed void any agreement we had?

    • That’s a state-specific question, and I’m not licensed to practice law in Minnesota. A Minnesota attorney should be able to help. I recommend you use the “Find Your Attorney” feature on the NACBA website. Good luck!

      • In 2009 i did a payday loan threw advance america well i couldn’t pay it because i lost my job and ended up moving.

        Then i get a call from someone who stated that he was in from fresno county sheriffs department and trying to serve me papers. I know if i had a real warrant out they would just come not call and a sever will not call they just pop up at your door work or where ever.

        Now they are still calling and saying that I will go to jail. I just laugh at it. I cant believe they are trying to scam people. I see my situation as a scam. If it was true I would have had sheriffs already at my door because they have a program to trace you.

        • Sounds like a scam to me, too. Just keep in mind that you cannot be arrested for simply defaulting on a loan. The creditor can sue, but that’s it.

  116. I had a call from M W Associates but when you call back they answer Nation wide Arbitration services. Said that in 72 hours papers would be filed with my local courthouse if I didn’t pay so I did make arrangments and now I’m not so sure if this is a legitimate place or not. They had alot of my personal info so that is what scared me into believing it was a true collection agency. They never did say that they were tyring to collect a debt etc jus that a civil and criminal complaint was going to be filed

    • They might file a civil complaint, but a criminal complaint can only be filed by the D.A. If you get sued, you may have a judgment entered against you. But you will not be arrested or thrown in jail for simply defaulting on a debt.

  117. I received a call today from a foreign sounding man that said he was with Stark and Associates. He had my social security number, address, and work number. He said there was a lawsuit against me and I would be arrested at home and lose my job. He left me a message to call him back at xxx-xxx-xxxx. I called him back, he said that the lawsuit was from American Cash Advance, according to him is a parent company, for a loan I took out online. took the money and the ACH was not honored. They are filing fraud charges against me. I asked him if I could just pay the loan to avoid being arrested and losing my job. He said I could pay $300.00 today. He then said he could only accept Green Dot prepaid payment. I told him I couldn’t do it until Friday after I get paid. Then he first said it had to be today, then he said to call him back on Friday and he would then give me the information on how to pay the $300.00. I do have several payday loans out and couldn’t pay them every time I got paid. So, I did close that account and open a new one. So, I am in default of these loans. Some of them did turn the checks over to the prosecuting attorney, and I had to pay them after getting a letter from the prosecuting attorney’s office. Should I call him back on Friday and pay this or should I hold off. Could this be a scam? Is it possible that they got my information from me applying for payday loans online? If so, how do I protect my information now?

    • Lots of questions there that need to be answered by your own attorney. But as a general matter, keep in mind that you cannot be arrested for simply defaulting on a loan. You may be fined by the D.A. for bouncing checks, but the statutes that deal with post-dated checks vary by state. For example, most jurisdictions hold that it is NOT check fraud to give a post-dated check to a payday loan company when both parties know there is no money in the account to cover the check on the day it is issued. After all, if there was money in the account, why would you need the payday loan?

      The only advice I can give non-clients is to speak to a local attorney and to stop taking payday or online loans. Those things are nothing but trouble.

  118. Hi Bret.. thanks for posting this. first off, since most of these lenders are from another country, can they really sue someone? also, i live in CT and these loans are not legal because the loan companies are not licensed in CT as well as the fact that they charge well above the legal limit of 12% APR. one staute states: No loan for which a greater rate of interest or charge than is allowed by the provisions of sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive, has been contracted for or received, wherever made, shall be enforced in this state… considering the interest rate for the 2 companies i am dealing with is over 300% on one and over 20% on the other and neither co is licensed w the dept of banking, this makes the loans null and void right? thanks again!

    • 1 – Yes, someone from overseas can sue on a valid debt in the U.S. But with scammers, there isn’t a valid debt.

      2 – I’m not licensed to practice in CT, so I can’t say if a loan taken in violation of CT statutes is void or voidable. It’s possible that such a loan would be a valid debt, but simply not enforceable in your state. If you moved, maybe the legitimate lender could sue in the new state, I just don’t know. You should speak with a local attorney for information about CT law. You can find someone at the NACBA website.

      • Thanks again.. If they are not a legal company from overseas (not meeting the states requirements for a small loan lender), can they still sue? Have you ever heard of them getting on people’s credit reports?

        • Anyone *can* sue. The question is whether they will prevail. If the loan was made in violation of a state statute, the debtor should have a reasonably strong defense. Again, only your local attorney can give advice about a specific situation.

          I have never heard of a scammer reporting a bogus debt to a credit reporting agency. Even if they did, it should be fairly simple to dispute the entry and have it removed.

      • Sorry for all of the questions… This is my last. What kind of attny should I look for? I checked out the website and just see bankruptcy attnys. I am not filing bankruptcy.. Thanks

        • Most bankruptcy attorneys do more than just file bankruptcy cases. We can offer all kinds of different debt-relief services. I’d go with the closest NACBA attorney you can find.

  119. I took out a Payday Loan in 2011. I was harassed at work, almost lost my job because they would not stop calling. I had to get my phone number changed because they wouldn’t stop calling!I received a phone call today from an outside person saying that he is located in Florida (I am located in Texas)and saying that he was hired from the payday loan store and if I don’t pay the full amount today there will be a warrant out for my arrest for felony check fraud charges. I am pretty sure that they cannot do that! Any suggestions?

    • Please review the original post. No, you cannot be arrested for defaulting on a payday loan.

      1 – If it’s a legitimate debt, the creditor may sue you and try to collect on the resulting judgment. But the creditor cannot have you thrown in jail. A legitimate debt collector who threatens jail is violating the FDCPA.

      2 – If it’s not a legitimate debt, the caller is a scammer trying to scare some money out of you. He has no power to send an officer to arrest you. You could contact the authorities, but it’s nearly impossible to track these people down, as they are often calling from an overseas call center. It’s best to just ignore these callers.

  120. I have been through how this goes. First of all, they cannot arrest you. If you get a phone call stating that if you don’t pay a bill over the phone within a few hours or using a disposable debit card, which you have to buy and then put the money on, KINDA like Western Union they will have you, is, in a word, FRAUD. They have many phone lines, and they try to get off the phone as fast as possible so their lines cannot be traced. They also. have no affiliation with the account you owe money on, so you be giving that money away to con artists and would still have to make arrangement and in some way, shape or form, make an arrangement with them.

    READ CAREFULY: It is a civil matter. The most they can do is have you served a subpoena and the court house has to be local to YOU, and most times the cc or loan company ends up working it out with you before you see a judge.

    I HOPE THIS HELPS!!

  121. I have been receiving calls from a Michael claiming my CashCall loan in California which I got in 2010 is in default for not paying. I did get the loan out but was not able to pay due to financial problems. I ended up using a credit counseling through a lawyer where they try to settle the account and the debt is paid. I tried to explain this to Michael but he was very rude, so he told me there is a summon for my arrest and the amount that is owed is now over $8000, the amount I got was for $2000. But according to a notice I received, the loan was purchased by another company which was settled. Will I need to seek a lawyer to prevent from this happening? and how can I tell Michael or the company to stop calling my family members and friends.

    • If “Michael” is a legitimate debt collector, he should know that he has no power to have you arrested. The most his company can do is sue you for the balance due.

      If he’s a scammer, you should just ignore him and he’ll move on to easier targets.

      Generally, the threats of arrest are a tactic used only by crooks. Reputable debt collectors (yes, they do exist) follow the rules.

  122. Titlemax title loan, they are calling me and threating police action if i am not in office by 4pm tomorrow, which i cannot make or pay at this time, i told them i can when i get paid next week, and they told me that i am 10days past due and if i am not in office by 4pm its out of thier hands , the police will come.
    im in texas which is a debtors state, can i be arrested?

    • I’m not licensed to practice law in Texas and can’t tell you anything about Texas state law. In general, if you default on a loan, the lender can sue you. If you gave a lien on your vehicle as security for the loan, the lender may repossess the collateral. But in neither case will you be arrested for merely defaulting.

  123. Hi there,
    I recieved a phone call from a debt collection agency a few days ago, claiming they had tried to contact me numerous times about a debt I have with a payday loan company here in my area. This was the first i’d ever been contacted by them. I did take out a payday loan in may of last year, and I am in default on it, but I came into some really tough financial times, my work hours got cut in half, bills started piling up and I just cant afford to pay it all back. The collections agent demanded full payment at first or my “red flagged” account would be put through to their legal team. I proceeded to set up 3 payments with them, my question is, what is the worst that can happen if I can’t make those payments? I never had any intent on NOT paying this loan, I just couldn’t afford it anymore..

    • If you can’t afford the payments and default on the loan, the lender can sue you, get a judgment against you, and then attempt to collect on that judgment. Depending on your state laws, debt collection may include wage garnishments or execution on nonexempt assets. See THIS POST for more info.

  124. Bret,

    First of all, you are utterly amazing. How anyone can make over 140 individual replies to comments with the grace and patience you display is beyond me! I know folks in Wisconsin are friendly (I used to go to summer camp up in the Northwoods), but you take it to a new level!

    I happened upon your post because I did receive one of these “Legal Processing and Summons Division” calls, and while I definitely knew it was an illegal action which is far more egregious than whatever it is they are claiming I may have done, I wanted to learn more about what is possibly being done to stop these immoral SOB’s. Many of the comments above are from people who I am sure never intended to take out a loan they couldn’t pay back, they certainly didn’t think borrowing a few hundred dollars to help pay rent would cause a later attack on their character and threats of arrest and prison!

    I have dealt with a few payday lenders who have been very honorable and even though the interest rates are astronomical, the actual real cost of the interest is always less than the penalties I would have faced if I didn’t have the funds to pay my original obligations. Used sparingly, they have taken a lot of stress out of my life.

    Apparently, though, since I got one of these calls, at some point I dealt with a lender who is not so honorable — and these lenders need to be dealt with as criminals. I just hope that there is some AG somewhere that can track them down.

    Thanks again for providing the forum to bring attention to the issue. As we say in my world, you are a Mensch!

    • Thanks for the kind words!

      You’re right, most payday lenders are honest. They charge unconscionable rates (IMO), but they don’t usually do anything illegal. The calls threatening prison are usually from scammers overseas. They’re not owed anything; they just hope to scare a few people into paying. They often get their victim lists from online payday loan outfits.

  125. I just had a similar experience regarding an ACE payday loan I took out in 2006. My bank account has changed since then. The area code is a 954. The company is supposedly called Legal Processing out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I talked a supposed lawyer and they said that felony charges were going to be filed at noon if I didn’t send them a moneygram for $1,065.70. The loan was for like $200! I was very calm with speaking with them. I told them I couldn’t get to a moneygram location until this evening. They kept pressing me to find a location. I told them I wanted to view all the paperwork regarding these charges, they told me I couldn’t until the payment was processed and then they would send me a letter confirming payment. I replied no, I want to see copies of the original loan document and any legal documents filed. The guy starts to get irate. I remained calm. When I calmly asked for the case # the guy went ballistic and told me I was going to jail tonight and hung up. I thought it was kind of an odd reaction to someone who was being calm and asking questions about paying a debt. So I called ACE and they actually directed me to one of their corporate lawyers because I was being threatened with arrest. I left a message for her. I then called back the Ft. Lauderdale and asked for their address, they told me they don’t have a street address. But they have a P.O. Box. He couldn’t remember what the zip code was. So you don’t know the zip code of where you work??? Very suspicious. I hope they don’t call again but I’m prepared at least.

    • Thanks for sharing.

      That’s almost certainly a scam. A legitimate debt collector would send you the info to verify the debt and would know that he didn’t have any power to put you in jail. I typically tell my clients to ignore those callers and to never return the calls. Given that they’re just trying to rip you off, I see no benefit in wasting your time talking to them. They’ll eventually give up and move on to more gullible victims.

  126. They just tried this with me at work (I work at a lawfirm). I told them this is my business number and NOT to call it anymore, and as soon as I hung up, they immediately did. I then advised that as I already have 8 attorneys presently with me, at my WORK, that if they call this number again, they will be the one with harassment charges!

    • That might work if the caller was a legitimate debt collector. But the scammers know that it’s almost impossible to catch them. To charge them criminally, the D.A. would have to gather evidence and track down their location. To sue them civilly, you would have to find the actual name of the company and a physical address to serve the summons and complaint. And even if you went to the time and expense of getting that information, you might end up with a judgment against someone who can’t pay.

      I agree that these lowlifes are frustrating. But it’s rarely worth the expense to fight with them. Ignoring them usually works, as they won’t waste their time on someone unless they think they can wring some money out of them.

  127. Can a payday lender show up at your house? and post note at your door?

    • It depends on the laws of your state. A creditor can use any means available under state law to collect a debt. Most states prohibit any kind of threatening behavior, so a note that says, “please contact me to set up a payment plan,” would likely be treated differently than a note that says, “pay up or I’ll break your legs.”

  128. Brian Austin, Legal Mediation Services, xxx-xxx-xxxx, just called and informed me that the DA signed an arrest warrant for federal check fraud and attempt to defraud, for not paying a payday loan. He said that the arrest warrant would be issued at 4:00, and that bond would be $25,000. I’m not the average bear and played his game. I asked which DA signed the arrest warrant. He told me to turn myself in. I asked where and he said, “your local PD.”. I hope nobody falls for this type of a scam. These are real bottom feeders.

    • Thanks for sharing. I agree, these people are bottom feeders. But the more people that know about the scam, the less profitable it will be for them.

  129. If the FBI knows about them, why the heck don’t they do something? They are scaring innocent people. In my case, I wasn’t scared but they did scare my mother telling her I was going to be arrested because of a warrant. They told her they couldn’t discuss the issue but needed to get in contact with me. After they got ahold of me, they would call a couple times a week to “verify my address”. Needless to say, I never gave them what they wanted. Eventually, they got nasty calling me names. They are young (college aged) and pretty stupid. Obviously not well educated. They finally gave up on me after I turned their contact into a game where I gave them incorrect information. I encourage people do the same. Frustration is the only way to get them to stop. Since the FBI does nothing, the police can do nothing and they get away with the harassment, you have to get creative to make them stop. They should feel lucky that they never did get my real address because if they did “serve me papers”, I would likely serve them with my own set of papers.

    • I can’t speak for the FBI, but I assume they don’t go after these people for the same reason they don’t go after the “Nigerian Prince” scammers. Unless someone falls for it and sends money, it’s almost impossible to track the crooks. Tracking down callers for “scaring people” probably isn’t high on the FBI’s list of priorities. It’s much more effective to educate the public so no one loses money on these scams.

      I don’t advise that anyone engage with these people. Ignore their calls and they’ll usually move on to the next victim.

  130. hello i recieved phone call today and left a massage saying that there private imvestagator A1 process and they will send a local atority in my house and if they cannot find me in my house they will look for me in my job and this is regarding about my 2 payday loan and need to call them ASAP. when i called them they told me i have to payday loan and owned them $2545 and it will go to a court today and the man asked me how much money do i have in my bank and i said i only have 300 dollars on me and i dont have any bank account he said to avoid this matter is to give my 300 dollars today and buy a prepaid card or they will call the local autority to go to my house. i dont know what to do pls help me im scared to go to jail a never been in jail.

    • Please re-read the original post. No, you cannot go to jail for simply defaulting on a debt. Any caller that says otherwise is hoping you’ll fall for his scam.

      I tell my clients to never return calls when such scammers leave a message.

  131. Ok I just received a call from someone saying that they were calling on behalf of a payday loan place that i took out a loan back in 2005. And said since it was a blank check there going to sue me for fraud unless i pay them there money.. can they do that? please reply back asap.

    • Please re-read the original post. No, you cannot go to jail for simply defaulting on a debt. Any caller that says otherwise is hoping you’ll fall for his scam.

      I tell my clients to never return calls when such scammers leave a message.

  132. I had someone from Hightower Legal Processor call me on Thursday, they indicated that they were submitting court documents to obtain a warrant for my arrest for wire scam and defaulting on payday loan. Needless to say, I’m still upset and had a mild breakdown and now on medication. I’ve missed3 days of work due to fear and don’t know where to turn. Blood pressure has shot up and not able to sleep, I’m afraid never been in this type of situation. I did make payments they say it was only the interest on the loan. Will never do this again no where to turn. What can I do?

    • Hopefully, this thread has taught you that you can’t be arrested for simply defaulting on a payday loan. *IF* you could track down the caller and could prove what the caller said, you might have an FDCPA claim. But these scammers can be slippery and difficult to find. It’s generally best to just ignore them.

      But if you want to pursue it, you should speak to a local attorney.

  133. Good Morning I have received 4 calls from a woman and man stating to call from the Processing division and that this was there last and final call. the call was automated and also live. They called and said to call a 605 – number and that they were going to summons me and then ended the call with ” GOOD LUCK IN COURT”. I called the number back and instead of a company name being heard all they said was please hold and that was all.. So i hung up.

    • Thanks for sharing. I never advise anyone to return these calls, I just don’t see any benefit in doing so. They’ll usually give up and move on to someone else if you just ignore them.

  134. I was contacted at work by an ‘Investigator Melissa’ who claims she works for the State of Wisconsin. She said she has my docket number of 319-4845 and said she is investigating a complaint. When I asked her if she worked for the State of Wisconsin she replied, “Yes”. Her call back number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.

    After doing some research on-line I found that the number is not from a state government agency, nor does it belong to any law enforcement agency. It’s my understanding that debt collectors can’t imply they’re law enforcement or say they work for a particular state. Is this a legal means of obtaining information and/or is this practice accepted for debt collectors?

    • No. You’re right, debt collectors are not allowed to lie about who they are. But most of these calls don’t come from actual debt collectors. They come from scammers overseas who hope to scare you into sending them money. I tell clients to ignore these callers and to not interact with them.

      This scam recently surfaced here in Grant County.

  135. Hi Mr. Nason,

    We currently have out 2 payday loans with 2 different companies and we are starting to have trouble paying. I was looking online today for advice on how to work with them when I discovered the payday lender laws for Wisconsin. It states that they cannot loan us more than 35% of our gross income and it cannot be more than 90 days. The loans in question exceed both of those. What should my next step be? Can I file a complaint to somebody? Thank you!

    • If the loans in question violate the Wisconsin statutes (I assume you’re referring to Chapter 138.14), the lender may be guilty of a misdemeanor. You may want to speak with your local D.A. or contact the Department of Financial Institutions. You could also speak to a local attorney, as there is a private right of action for violations of the payday lender laws.

  136. I received three calls from a Georgia collections co. I am in Louisiana. Claiming I owe on a payday loan from 5-6 years ago. At first the caller almost scared me into giving my cc # over the phone telling me if I didn’t pay it by the time we hung up he would walk over to the DA office and issue an arrest warrant. But I don’t love in ga I live in la. I can’t remember owing on this but 6 years ago it’s not impossible. I told him I do not work and am in college that If he could send me legitimate proof I would work on sending what I could. He was very ugly and sent me an email from a google account. He did have all my info which was what scared me. I called my dad and told him about it and he said once we got actual debt info on company letterhead we would resolve the matter. So I clicked back over to the guy and told him this he got super pissed and that’s when I realized he’s pulling my leg. BC a partial payment usually is accepted by creditors. Well he called again today nearly two weeks later but I did not answer. I emailed the company on their website that I would like a true statement in the mail and that was the only way id resolve it. Nothing ever gets mailed to me. I called my local sherif and he says they are abusing policies by threats and not to worry about it BC it looks like statue of limitations is running out and that’s why they are getting ugly. The loan amount settlement was 327.00 and my sherif said its a scare tactic not to stress. Is this correct?

    • I can’t give legal advice online, but I tend to agree with the sheriff. It sounds like a scam to me. If it’s a legit debt collector based in the U.S., you could contact a local attorney who can tell you if you have a claim for violations of any consumer protection laws.

  137. I got a voicemail from an unknown number from Jessica Campbell, she didn’t mention who she was calling from,just said about an affidavit came across her desk with my name and social security number on it and it was imperative that I call her back and gave me a number to call her back with an extension and if I don’t call back it would result in criminal proceedings and going to jail,she didn’t mention what it was for or anything like that, I googled the number and it was from National Recovery Services and it was posts about it being a scam for old payday loans debts or any other types of debts and I have paid off what I owe for payday loan debts andI would appreciate your help in this matter if it’s scam?

    • The fact that the caller threatened you with arrest indicates to me that it’s either a scam or a debt collector breaking the law. If it’s the latter, you might be able to sue for damages and you should contact a local attorney to help you decide if you have a case.

      If it’s the former, it’s unlikely that law enforcement will be able to track them down, as many of the scammers are calling from call centers overseas.

      As always, this is NOT legal advice. You need to speak with a local attorney for advice specific to your individual situation.

  138. Hello Mr. Nason,

    I had company named Washington Recovery Servcices contact me about an old payday loan. I am in Texas and this company is Florida. They say that they represent First Cash and that I have federal and state charges against me for check fraud and something else. I can’t remember what else they said. THey then proceeded to tell that if I didn’t contact them by 1:00 CST today they wanted me to meet them at my home with 2 forms of ID and they would be issuing a summons for me to appear in court. Ihave received no documents from them, no calls or contact from the local Sheriff or DA’s office. As a matter of fact, I called the county clerk’s office and they had no record of anything being filed against me. Then they routed me to the sheriff’s department warrant division that had no paper work filed there regarding me either. The people at the sheriff’s office told me not to meet with them at all and that I should file a report on them with the local sheriff’s office. They said the constables go out to the homes, leave a business card ad try to make contact with people before issuing a summons. She also said that I should have received certified papers in the mail stating the legal proceeding if this was really a legit issue. With that, I have no plans to meet with them. I plan to let them know I spoke with law enforcement in my county and that they have no idea what they are talking about and all of the actions that were supposed to take place before a summons could be excuted. Does this sound like a typical scam to you? It does to me but I just wanted another opinion to see if I’m thinking correctly.

    Thanks,
    Barbara

    • Yep, it has all the earmarks of a scam. If they really had a claim against you, they would just sue instead of threaten.

      If it were me, I wouldn’t call them or answer their calls. They’ll eventually give up and move to someone more gullible. The time they spend with people who aren’t going to cough up money is time wasted. It’s much more profitable for them to cut bait and move on to a more gullible target.

  139. Thank You Mr. Nason,

    I went back and listened to the message again and it was almost laughable. This guy said he was a process server in my county. Then later on says he is going to contact my county to get them involved in filing a summons. He tells me to meet him at my home at 2:00 tomorrow but then goes back and says that someone from the county will be contacting me soon about the summons. The entire message was full of contradictions. I have no plans to call them let along meet them. Thank you for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it.

    Thanks!!

  140. If you live in New York State, Payday Loan business is illegal.
    Do not bother to pick up the phone and talk to these scumbag online predators.

    • I won’t pretend to know anything about NY state law, but keep in mind that many of these callers aren’t really payday loan lenders. They’re just scammers calling from a call center, usually overseas, hoping to scare some money out of people.

  141. I have been receiving unknown calls on my voicemail for the past couple of days from an Agent Hayes about a court summons which she will serve at my job or work (she has been saying this for days now)and to call the legal department at an 1 877 number to talk with them about this, she never says who she is calling for or what’s it’s about,then the number she wanted me to call, called me and left me a voicemail shortly after she had called, never saying who they are and what it’s about, just saying it’s a debt avoid legal proceedings. I got another call on my voicemail again from unknown, this time she says she Agent Hayes from investigations and part of an investigation about a breach of contract and will turn this over to authorities and will come to my house or job to serve me but to call the 1 877 number(this time it was different from the one she has been giving me) to talk to their legal department and lawyers to discuss this and I have been notified. I had a online loan from Cash Net back in 2010 or 2011 which went in default but since then I paid it off through RJA Capital which reduced the amount, I googled the first number she gave me and it came up under scams and the other number from today, it was nothing on it, does it sound like a scam or should I be concerned?

    • Sounds like a scam to me. Remember, creditors can sue you for defaulting on a debt, but cannot have you arrested (except in the highly unusual case of fraud). Someone from the sheriff’s department might serve you with a summons and complaint if you get sued, but they aren’t going to haul you off to jail.

      If this is a legit debt collector, it sounds like she is threatening to sue you if you don’t pay. Maybe she’s trying to settle before suing. If the caller is a scammer, even if you pay, your debt will not be reduced.

      I don’t give legal advice online and I’m not licensed to practice law outside Wisconsin. For legal advice specific to your individual situation, you need to speak to a local attorney.

  142. I just had a phone call that exactly described these scams. I called them back and kind of told them “I’m on to them” and now I have put alert on all 3 credit companies, contacted my job (And my job does NOT give out information anyway.) They claimed they have contacted my job, but my job protects their people by not giving out information. So for the most part, even if you were a family member, they refuse to give information. =) I love my job!

    I filled out a form to take out a pay-day loan, but I never accepted the money at the last minute. Something told me don’t do it. And so now these people are getting upset because I refused them access to my account. They said they will have me “Extradited to CA” They said this all on voice mail in which I kept. My biggest fear is that they would send a “CA officer to my door” claiming to arrest me or serve me a summons. In Florida, do I have the right to not open my door until the county police officer arrives?

    • I’m not licensed to practice law in Florida and have no idea what rights Florida law gives you. I don’t know of any jurisdiction that requires you to open your door for a process server.

      But I doubt it is anything to worry about. If this is a legit debt collector, they’re probably smart enough to use a local process server to save on collection costs. The threat about sending an officer to arrest you makes it sound more like a scam than a legitimate attempt to collect a debt.

  143. My mom was called today about a online payday loan that I took out. I know I have settled this debt two years ago. The woman gave my mom information about how much I owed and personal info she had on me. When my mom asked if she was able to do this she said yes because she was my mom. When she told them she thought they were fraudulent they got mad and told her she’d better contact me because they put a warrant out for my arrest (in the wrong county that I have never lived or been too)My question is how do I protect myself? This is the second time I have been called by being threatened by a different company. I have done everything in my power to make sure the credit bureaus have all my contact information, validated all my debts, I’m with a credit counseling agency to take care of paying all my debts. What type of lawyer do I need to hire? I cant take this anymore.

    • It’s really tough to get scammers to leave you alone if they think they can get something out of you. Generally, ignoring them is the best strategy. Once they realize they can’t get anything out of you, they’ll usually move on to someone else.

      If the caller is a true debt collector, you should speak with a local consumer protection attorney. The NACBA Attorney Finder can help you find someone. Your attorney will likely have you keep a log of the calls and get the contact information of the caller. A legitimate debt collector will give you contact info; a scammer won’t.

  144. I had a call today one was from an unkown number saying they were a processor and here is my case number and i would need to call this number to find out why I was being charged with criminal charges ,I called the number the receptionist said the attorney was not it he would have to call me back. He called me back said if i didnt pay 343.00 there would be a case filed no payment arrangements or anthing, he said someone would contact me at lunch, I recieved a 3rd call from the sherrfis department saying he was an officer the warrant would be signed at 2. I called the number back because he hung up on me it was sherrifs number and they said they have had several people call in and for this but nothing was set up for me. She also said the debtors are using there number for calls like this. I am hoping no one has to go through this because i was really freaking out.

    • Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you didn’t fall for this scam!

  145. I had a payday loan 2 years ago. It was when my ex-husband stopped paying child support and my business was slow. I had no way to pay the rent and panicked. I got the loan because my ex told me that he was going to be sending me money to get caught up. I figured I could get the loan to cover my rent until his money came in. As it always seems to go, he did not pay and I had no way to pay the payday loan back. They kept trying to run payment through and it kept getting kicked back by my bank. The hole got deeper and deeper until repayment was impossible. Finally, about 3 months later I was starting to get back on my feet and wrote the loan company to work out a small payment plan but it was too late. They had sold the loan. From there I’m not sure where it went because everyone was calling me for money owed. However, today got a call from Financial Crime Services and they left a message that they got a certified letter returned to them. I never got one. My post lady works closely with me since I do a lot of shipping with my business and she said she never received a notice for me. The caller said this was going back to the state. Their website says they handle bad checks and fraud. I did not write a check for a payday loan or go to a storefront. I did an application online. It mentions they work with the district atty’s office to collect the money. It mentions they cover Minnesota and Wisconsin. I’m in Texas.

    They mention this on their site:
    Our office has a policy that if the checks are not paid to FCS prior to their referring the case to us for prosecution, we prosecute as a crime and do not amend the criminal charge to a county ordinance violation. This also saves staff time because they don’t have to spend a lot of time with defendants looking to
    “wheel and deal”.

    Is this legit? I’m so scared as I do not have the money to pay at this time with my business taxes being due to IRS. I’m afraid to call them too as I’m not sure who they are.

    • As a general matter, this sounds like a run-of-the-mill debt collector. If you owe them money, they can sue you for a default, but they cannot arrest you. If they thought you had committed a crime, they likely would have referred the case to your local D.A. by now.

      However, I don’t give legal advice online; this is intended only as general information and not an opinion on your personal situation. You need to contact a local attorney if you want advice specific to your individual circumstances.

  146. Can the US Dept. Of Justice call you and demand money?

    • Probably, if you owe the U.S. government money. But the government has more effective ways of getting paid, including withholding tax refunds.

  147. Can the US Dept. Of Justice demand money from you if it is a payday loan?

    • The U.S. Department of Justice doesn’t do collection work for payday loan outfits. If someone calls you demanding payment for a payday loan and claims to be a representative of the DoJ, they are lying to you.

  148. I was contacted at my job yesterday by someone claiming to be a Lehigh County officer (PA) and that a warrant for my arrest would be issued if I didn’t pay for an old payday loan debt immediately. He also stated there’d be a chance I would be arrested either at my job or residence and then be liable for an additional $3000 + attorney fees. Dazed and confused and against my better judgement, I did not question the validity of it thinking it was related to some old payday loan dispute I had about 5-6 years ago. I did pay the loan but they wanted to charge me some rediculous “additional fees” which I never paid!!

    I foolishly gave them my debit card information but quickly realizeed I’d made a mistake. After a quick google search, I found this site and others and realized I’d been scammed!!!!!!! Luckily they did not get to pull the money out of my account before I cancelled the card.

    I feel violated in every way! These a-holes go around pestering people at their place of employement, needlessly scaring people half to death with the ilegitimate claim and threat of “jail time” when they’re clearly lying and violating not only state but Federal laws as well!!

    Thank you attorney Nason for your input and help on this! Here’s hoping those criminals get what they deserve!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you didn’t lose any money on this scam! Information is the best defense against most of these crooks.

  149. Today I had a man call me and say he was a attorney. He was calling to collect a pay loan I have not paid yet. He also told me I committed check fraud. Which to my knowledge I have not!. He said he was calling my job and was having a officer come to my house and take me to jail. I have never been in trouble before and im a little scared. Any advice?

    • The threats of jail are usually a red-flag that the caller is scamming you. If you’re concerned, you should contact a local attorney. If you feel threatened, you should contact local law enforcement.

  150. My bankruptcy was discharged in 12/13 and my payday loan from CashJar was from 2011. I received a call at home, work and my mother got a call (I do not live with her) stating I was about to be charged with Check fraud for the ACH payment they were unable to take from my bank in 12/11. I stated I went through BK and they said that it doesn’t matter, it was a criminal charge…is this legit in NJ??? I asked for documentation to be sent to me and I was told nothing could be sent until an agreement was made…they also said that they are a third party Mediation Center. I called their number back and they answered…

    • Assuming you listed the debt in your bankruptcy and there was no objection to discharge, it was discharged. While criminal fines and restitution are not discharged, defaulting on a payday loan is very rarely criminal. It sounds like a scam to me, but you should contact your bankruptcy lawyer to make sure. I recommend you speak to your attorney rather than returning such calls.

  151. I got a call about 2 weeks ago from a guy who said he was a courier for the County I am living in. Said he had documents to serve me on a civil suit and the I needed to contact Financial Midiation and gave me the # so that I won’t be served at work or home. I called the # and they said that I have a pending civil suit on a payday loan that I had closed my checking acct a couple of years ago. This was all true.(I did take a loan and defaulted when my checking acouunt closed). They wanted to settle for $970 today or $1700 if it went to court. I told them I would make payments and then they tried to tell me they needed half this month and half next month. I asked fo rpaperwork and have not received anything. I did give them my prepaid card info and received another call today that it cambe back insufficient….which it shouldn’t have. At this point, I have decided to let them serve me because I don’t have any paperwork proving what I owe so i think its a scam. Your opinion?

    • I won’t give a legal opinion on your specific situation, but most scams involve overseas callers threatening arrest for a debt that is not actually owed. Here, it sounds like you acknowledge that you owe the money.

      If the creditor can prove that you owe money, you might get sued. In that case, you’ll get served with papers and have the choice of either defending or letting the creditor get a default judgment. See this post for more info on getting sued. If you do get sued, you should speak to a local attorney.

      If you don’t believe you owe the debt, or don’t believe that you owe it to this particular caller, I see no reason to agree to pay anything.

  152. I just received a call about a pdl from 3 years ago I did default on. He said I had 3 felonies pending and was an investagtor for bank checkwritting fraud. I did give him my card info and he sent me a doc u sign email to sign right away or he was filling the charges. Do I cancel my card? What does it mean that I signed that an agreed to pay?

    • You should contact a local attorney and/or local law enforcement. This sounds like a scam, as a legit debt collector won’t threaten you with nonexistent felonies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Loading Facebook Comments ...