If I owe my bank overdraft fees and I owe a payday loan company money, can I be criminally charged or arrested for not paying either item?

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If I owe my bank overdraft fees and I owe a payday loan company money, can I be criminally charged or arrested for not paying either item?

I owe the bank around $900 in overdraft fees and I owe the payday loan company around $600.00. Neither debt is from a physical bad check.

Asked on March 21, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether something--like taking out a loan and not repaying it--is a crime depends in large part on the circumstances and your intention at the time. It is not a crime to take out a loan in good faith (or incur some other obligation) and not be able to pay it due to hard times or some other problem. It is, however, a crime to take out a loan or incur some other obligation if you never intended to repay it or if yout otherwise took it out on false pretenses or based on false information or representatios. Assuming that this was not the case--that you did not intend to take money and never repay it--you should not face criminal liability, though  clearly you can be sued by either or both parties. The fact that there is no physical check does not matter one way or the other.


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