If I took out a payday loan but lost my job and can’t pay, can they arrest me?

UPDATED: Aug 20, 2011

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If I took out a payday loan but lost my job and can’t pay, can they arrest me?

I want to pay it off. They are trying to arrest me but I want to set up a payment plan until I can pay it off completely without going to jail. I am pregnant. I have no criminal record at all and don’t want one. I just want to solve this.

Asked on August 20, 2011 Michigan


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot be you cannot be arrested for non-payment of a loan.  People are not imprisoned due to debt. Defaulting on a loanis a civil not criminal matter. The exception to this would be if a fraud was committed in obtaining the money.  For example, it would be a crime if you borrowed money with no intention of paying it back. Other than that, neither a debt collector or creditor may threaten you with criminal charges.  In fact if they do you could sue them. Under federal law (the "Fair Debt Collections Practices Act") a creditor.debt collector cannot harass or intimidate you. Further, certain state laws also offer a debtor additional protection.

However that you still owe the money. Therfore you are correct, you need to make re-payment arrangements. Once they know that you know your legal rights they will probably be agreeable to working an arrangement out with you.

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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