Can I be put in jail for not paying a cash loan lender?

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Can I be put in jail for not paying a cash loan lender?

I was informed this am if I did not have $545.33 by noon that criminal charges were going to be filed and I would be picked up today. A week ago I spoke to someone who told me as long as I paid by next week that I would be OK. What should I do?

Asked on November 30, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that fraud was not involved in your obtaining the loan, then threats of criminal action are just that, threats. You can't be arrested for failing to pay a debt. The fact of the matter is that it is against the law for a creditor to threaten criminal action for non-payment; no crime has been committed. So for example, as long as you intended to re-pay what you borrowed, you cannot be arrested for not paying. 

Again, it is illegal to threaten a debtor with arrest or to intimidate them in similar ways. This is both against federal and state law. At this point you can speak with an attorney and/or at least report this activity to your states's Attorney General's office and/or department of consumer protection.


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