Consumers should watch for payday loan collection scams

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 By

Rows of cubicles and phones

People should watch for payday loan collection scams, which are usually conducted over the phone. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Though any form of credit, from mortgages to payday loans, carries some risks and responsibilities, those risks do not include putting up with illegal activity. Unscrupulous people are trying all sorts of methods, including payday loan collection scams, to try to bilk people out of money.

Arkansas Attorney General sues Kansas firm for illegal collections

A Kansas-based debt collection firm is being sued by Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel for attempting to illegally collect debts the company claims are owed to payday loan lenders by citizens in the state of Arkansas, according to ArkansasNews. McDaniel has sent National Credit Adjusters two requests for information concerning its attempts to collect payday loan debts in Arkansas, but the Hutchinson, Kan., firm has not responded to either. According to a post on the Attorney General of Arkansas website, payday loan lending is illegal in Arkansas, and the debts are therefore not collectable, according to the Attorney General’s office.

Beware collectors posing as cops

A popular trick among some unscrupulous debt collectors and scam artists is to call people and pose as either state officials or police officers. People in North Carolina, according to WFMY, a CBS affiliate in the Raleigh, N.C. area, have been receiving phone calls from telemarketers posing as agents of the Federal State Bureau of North Carolina saying that people owe a debt and have to pay up right away or be arrested. An Ohio man, according to Credit.com, was contacted by lawyers for the Brooklyn County Court and told he owed a payday loan company almost $800 for a loan and collection fees, though he had only applied for an online loan but did not take it. Similar phone calls, involving a “thick accent” and posing as an official through the non-existent Brooklyn County Court, have been observed across the country, and many people who received such calls had recently applied for a payday loan online.

Forewarned and forearmed

Debt collections fall under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and people who feel a debt collector is not abiding by these laws should complain to their state attorney general’s office and the Federal Trade Commission. Ask for a statement in writing, as a debt collector is required to provide one. Do not stand for tactics of intimidation; it is illegal for debt collectors to be abusive when trying to collect a debt. Also, if a debt collector claims to be an attorney, ask for the person’s name and proof of membership in the state bar association. Impersonating an attorney is a crime, and consumers should never hesitate to ask for credentials.

Sources

Arkansas News

Arkansas Attorney General’s Office

Credit.com

WFMY

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

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