Can you go to jail or get your license suspended for getting an on-line payday loan and then having your account closed?

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Can you go to jail or get your license suspended for getting an on-line payday loan and then having your account closed?

3 years ago I got an on-line payday loan. My son was sick and in the hospital and I was not working. I took out an on-line payday loan. I ended up not being able to pay it because I missed so much work and my checking account was closed due to so many charges to my account. A collection agency is now harassing me at work and home and they say that I can go to jail and lose my driver’s license. I tried to pay them but they say it is too late and they will not send me anything in the mail. What can I do?

Asked on October 2, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Arkansas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If a third party collection agency is harassing you about the debt you owe claiming that if you do not pay it you will go to jail and lose your driver's license, then the collection agency is engaging in unfair debt collection practices under federal law and most likely under your own state's statutes on the subject.

The dispute against you is a civil dispute, not a criminal matter. Threats of criminal prosecution to obtain an advantage in a civil dispute are improper and perhaps could be criminal in and of itself.

If there is a legal aid program in your community, contact it and see if you can receive some further advise. If your county's bar association has a legal aid program that would be another good resource for you.

Another option is to contact an attorney who practices unfair debt collection law to see if you might have a claim against the third party debt collection agency.

Good luck.


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