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Lucy, Esq.
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I live south carolina..I got an payday loan from an online

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I live south carolina..I got an payday loan from an online company LoanPoint in 2007 for the amount of 300,my pay back was 390. They took 69 dollars from my account every two weeks. In all I made $278towards my advance. I had to close my account and I told them,but they continued to collect. Of course they didnt get anything and now a company they sold my account to.says I owe $2198 and they are issuing an summons&warrant. I told him I dont have it and can make arrangements. I called to the court house to see if there was an warrant for me they said. However, I know they are not obligated to tell me. What should I do. Do I have any say in this
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Hi,

My name is Lucy and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

You unfortunately do not have any say in whether the company decides to pursue a collections suit against you. There's no way to avoid that. However, there would not be a warrant against you, because it's not a crime to fail to repay a debt - the United States does not have a debtor's prison. Bad check laws do not apply to payday loans, because they require that a person have a present intent to write a check knowing that funds are not available, and payday loans use post-dated checks. It's actually a violation of Section 807 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to tell someone that criminal action will be taken against them for non-payment of the debt.

On top of that, the statute of limitations for breach of contract in South Carolina is only three years. S.C. Code of Laws, Section 15-3-530. If this happened in 2007, it may be too late. I don't know when the last payment was made, but each payment resets the statute.

It has become very common for scam artists to get records of old debts that are not collectible and try to berate or scare the debtor into paying. The primary way they do this is by telling you that you'll go to jail because you didn't pay. That's illegal, and it's the primary way of knowing that you're dealing with a scam artist. Another way to tell is that they're insisting on immediate repayment over the phone, and they refuse to validate the debt. Federal law also requires a creditor to inform you of your right to request validation of the debt, and that they not pursue collection until the validation is complete. It's also a violation of the FDCPA to represent to a creditor that a debt is due and collectible when it is not.

For all of those reasons, it sounds like the company calling you is involved with a scam. If they call you again, you can read them the relevant provisions of the FDCPA, insist that they validate the debt, and let them know that you have the right to sue them for up to $1,000 per violation of the act. At that point (or if you threaten to call the police), the scam artists usually hang up and never call back. A valid debt collector should give you an address to send your request for validation of the debt. You can also send them letter telling them that you refuse to pay the debt and demanding that they leave you alone and stop calling you (under Section 805). Here is one sample letter:
http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forms/sampleletter9.shtml

Good luck.
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