Can a payday loan company file criminal fraud charges?

Asked on January 29, 2013 under Criminal Law, Oklahoma


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, unless you never intended on paying the money back; that would be fraud. Threats of criminal action are just that, threats. The fact is that a debtor cannot be arrested for failure to pay on a debt. In fact, it is illegal for a creditor to threaten criminal action for non-payment. Additionally, if you have attempted repayment, it may be more of a case of hard luck than fraud.

Further, if the company calling you is not the company that you borrowed from, it is then what is known as a "third party collector". That is someone who bought the loan from your original creditor. In that case, they may not call you at work (once you have informed them that your employer does not allow these type of calls). Also, you can also tell them not to call you at all, even at home. You should tell them this in a letter as well. Pursuant to the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), if they continue to harass, you can bring legal action against them. 

Note: If the original debtor is calling you then the FDCPA does not apply, although there may be some specific state law protection for you on this.

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