What to do if I took out a payday loan 9 years ago that I did not repay and now I’m being threatened with criminal action?

UPDATED: Jan 15, 2013

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What to do if I took out a payday loan 9 years ago that I did not repay and now I’m being threatened with criminal action?

I did not repay all of the loan. The account went to collections and has been resold and resold again to a third party. Now, the third party is trying to collect and has threatened criminal action.

Asked on January 15, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, South Carolina


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unless you committed fraud (ie you never had any intention of paying the money back), threats of criminal action are just that, threats. The fact is that a person cannot be arrested for failure to pay on a debt; it is against the law for a creditor to threaten criminal action for non-payment.

You should also know that if the company calling you is a "third party collector" (which you indicate that it is), then it may not call you at work once you have informed it that your employer does not allow these type of calls. Additionally, you can also tell it not to call you at all (including at home). In fact you should tell it this by letter as well. Pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), if it continues to harass you by phone, you can bring a legal action against them.

Note: If the original debtor is calling you then the FDCPA does not apply. However, even if it is the original creditor, there may be some specific state law protection for you on this.

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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