Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,626
Registered: ‎10-13-2009
Re: PayDay Loans--Help!

chasmith wrote:

I was called several times by an Indian accented person claiming to be an investigator for a Los Angeles law firm.  I told him I would only speak to someone from the law firm with a verifianle California Bar Card, and also asked for the name and address of the law firm.


When I looked up the law firm I was surprised to see they looked large and legitimate - called their main number and they told me this is a scam and indicates my identity has been compromised.  The law firm has been unable to get FBI or Secret Service to do anything because the calls are originating in India.  They use services that make the caller ID look like a US based number, and keep changing them.


I had one more call, I think from the same person claiming to be with a different law firm.  When I told him the FBI would like to interview him and asked for the address where they could meet him he hung up.


There is no such thing as criminal charges for debt.  Most states that allow payday loans specifically prevent use of the check you sign to "secure" the loan in a prosecution for a bad check. 

I'd probably clarify that just a little bit.


While there is no debtor's prison, there can be criminal penalties under certain circumstances if the debt was incurred through fraud or misrepresentation.  For example, one falsifies employment or income data on a credit application and the creditor relies on this data in deciding whether or not to approve the loan and / or how much a a credit limit to extend.  Also, it is relatively common these days for a debtor to wind up incarcerated for contempt of court when they do not appear for court-ordered debtor examinations. 

For the honest debtor, however, who suffers problems and for one reason or another cannot meet their obligations, there should be no worries about prosecution. 


I am glad to see that the point was brought out that payday loan checks are, in most states, not prosecutable should they inevitably bounce.  Few people are aware of that and it is a favorite tactic used by payday loan companies to coerce payment.