Good morning, thank you for your question.
First, you don't get served with a summons for a felony, so if that's what they told you, they're just misleading you. Yes, they could report this as theft, but the reality is that most of these payday loan/cash advance cases aren't criminal in nature, because that requires intent. Unless you purposely took out the money knowing you were never going to pay it back, it's not theft.
Of course, any creditor can sue you and try to get a civil judgment against you. Then once they get a judgment, they can garnish wages, etc., to satisfy it. But, a creditor is not
permitted under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act to threaten you with a lawsuit, or to threaten you with criminal charges as that violates the law and you can file a complaint and/or sue for damages. You also have the right to contact the company and tell them not to contact you again.
You can write a letter to the agency telling it not to contact you by phone, not to call at certain times or locations, or not to make any further contact at all. This last request does entitle the collector to contact you one more time to inform you of what, if any, action it intends to take to collect the debt, but not to threaten you.
You should send such a letter by certified mail and request a return receipt. If the company has a fax number, send the letter by both fax and by mail. Understand, telling the collection agency not to contact you should stop the phone calls, but it won't stop the collection efforts.
If you have exhausted all strategies in dealing with the debt collector and the collector continues to use illegal, unfair and abusive practices, you may file a complaint, sue the collector, or both.
- Federal Trade Commission. (www.ftc.gov) The FTC is the government agency that enforces the FDCPA. It may bring an action in federal district court against a debt collector that violates the law. Understandably, the agency does not have the resources to bring a court action on behalf of an individual or against every collector about which it receives a complaint. But the agency can and does take action against the most egregious offenders.
The FTC's primary source of information about abusive collection practices is through consumer complaints. It offers an online complaint form on its web site, www.ftc.gov.
The FDCPA allows individuals and class action plaintiffs to sue in federal or state court within a year of the violation. Under the FDCPA, if you win, you may recover actual damages plus up to $1,000. Attorney fees and court costs may also be recovered.
There are many private practice attorneys who specialize in assisting consumers who have experienced violations of state and federal debt collection laws. The web site of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, www.naca.net
, provides a directory of member attorneys. The search process enables you to find attorneys near you and to specify those with debt collection experience, http://members.naca.net/findanattorney/
I hope this information is helpful. If you have follow-up questions or need additional clarification, please click reply and I will be happy to assist you further. PLEASE HONOR THE HONOR CODE
. Please click on the ACCEPT BUTTON
for my answer. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you-no payment for my time and effort is made until you click accept (even if you put down a deposit or have a subscription). A BONUS TIP
is also appreciated. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated!
Remember that the correct answer is not necessarily always the one you may want to read, but it is important that I give you the most legally correct answer for your situation based on the facts you have provided, so please be courteous when deciding whether to accept an answer and when leaving feedback. DISCLAIMER:
This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for "Legal Informational" purposes only and should not be confused with "Legal Advice" and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney.
This information is limited in scope and is confined to the question asked and should not be relied upon to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation and you are strongly encouraged to seek counsel for further course of action, if applicable. In other words, this response is not intended nor shall it be construed as providing you with all the information that your legal questions/issues may require. If you do require legal advice and retention/hiring of an attorney, I encourage you to consult an attorney who is actively engaged in the practice of law in the area of law relevant to your legal questions/issues and who is admitted to the bar or lawyer licensing agency in your jurisdiction(s) or the jurisdiction(s) that has jurisdiction over your legal questions/issues. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.