Are collectors allowed to threaten you?

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Are collectors allowed to threaten you?

Towards the end of last year I was browsing for a payday loan and I was approved for one but I never accepted the offer because of fees. I am not getting a call from their legal department stating the sheriff will be at my house and job but I have never received any letters from them. I also have my bank statements that show no deposit from them has ever occurred.

Asked on February 15, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) You only have to repay money you actually borrowed pursuant to a valid loan agreement. If you never received the money, you would not need to repay anything--though being able to show it was not deposited into your account is not  good enough by itself; the money could have taken out as cash by you, deposited into another account, used to pay some debt, etc. If you don't think you are liable for this money, ask them to provide their proof that you do. Make the request in writing, and send it some way you can prove delivery.

2) A creditor cannot threaten you with prison or criminal sanctions. However, they may truthfully advise you of actually steps that have been taken. For example, if they have reported this to the police, because they feel you committed theft or fraud, they may let you know it's been reported to the police. (They just can't speak for the state and threaten specific consequences--and especially not if they have not yet reported matters.) Or of they have sued you and obtained a judgment against you that a sheriff's officer will execute (e.g. to execute on some of your property), they may truthfully state that. So no empty threats, no threatening with "debtor's prison" or the like, but if they have involved the authorities, they may truthfully describe what has been done.


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