What to do if I am being harassed regarding a payday loan that I never took out?

I received a call from some legal service stating that I will be arrested at my job or my place of residence if I do not pay a loan that I received. How can they do that when I have never received any such loan? Plus, to my understanding, you need direct deposit at your bank in order to receive a payday loan of any kind. I need some advice on how to proceed with this matter.

Asked on October 14, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Inform the legal service that you never took out this loan; if they don't back down at that point, ask them to send you whatever documentation or evidence they claim to have showing that you did take out the loan, so you can review it and show them that it was not you; let them know that if they continue to pursue you for a loan which is not yours, you will take all appropriate legal action, which may include seeking to press charges for harassment or extortion. Start off nice; always remain professional, but get firmer if you need to. Start with a phone call (if you haven't done it already) letting them know that you did not take out the loan; if that does not work, send them a letter reiterating that you did not take it out, asking for the evidence they claim to have, and explaining that you will take legal action if necessary if they are pursuing you for a debt  you do not owe. Send the letter in some way that you can prove delivery: e.g. fed ex with tracking.

Note that you cannot be arrested just for owing money--there must have been some criminal activity to go with it. If they are threatening you with arrest, that is improper; you can inform them that you will contact the police about their threats. Good luck.

If it turns out they do have evidence that seems to show you owe a debt, even if you believe it's wrong, you should get a lawyer to help defend you and unravel the situation, as you should if they file any sort of legal action.


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