What to do ifI have been unable to pay back payday loan?

UPDATED: Sep 16, 2011

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What to do ifI have been unable to pay back payday loan?

Took put a payday loan 2 1/2 months ago; meant to be paid back 2 weeks later. The paycheck was not for enough and have not been able to pay back yet (now unemployed). They said they were going to put out an arrest warrant for me in 2 days if I don’t pay. Now they want $1500 instead of the original amount of $500 because of lawyer fees. I still can’t pay. Is there anything I can do?

Asked on September 16, 2011 under Criminal Law, Florida


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can try to work out payment arrangements with them. If you can't, they can go to court and obtain a judgement against you, At that point they can try to garnish any non-exempt assets. And when you do go back to work, this could include a portion of your wages.

However, unless you committed some type of fraud in obtaining the loan (e.g. you never had any intention of paying it back), then you cannot charged with a criminal offense. People do not go to jail simply because they lost their job and cannot pay back a debt.

The fact is that, neither a debt collector or creditor may threaten you with criminal charges.  If they do you could actually sue them.  Additionally, they can not harass or otherwise intimidate you. It's the law - the "Fair Debt Collections Practices Act" (FDCPA). 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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