Can criminal charges be brought against you for not repaying an online payday loan? 18 Answers as of June 13, 2013

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Law Office of Michael E. Dailey
Law Office of Michael E. Dailey | Michael E. Dailey
No, and don't ever take one out again!
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 10/31/2012
Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
Yes, you have a contract to pay and violated the terms and obtains funds illegally.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 10/31/2012
R. Jason de Groot, P.A
R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
No. The criminal conduct must be independent of the failure to perform contractual obligations.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 10/31/2012
Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
Maybe, it depends on the strategy for recovery.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/13/2013
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
Yes. I have heard that payday loans commonly file criminal charges on delinquent or bounced checks. If you are summoned to Court, a Judge will decide whether an attorney must be appointed for you or if you can afford your own attorney, you should retain one. Then, you can discuss your defenses and strategies for handling your case.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 10/31/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Maybe. Depends on the circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2013
    Havens Law, LLC
    Havens Law, LLC | William Havens Nebeker
    I'm not certain I understand your question. If a State or the Federal Government believe you are attempting to defraud, charges may be brought, however the burden is on them to show that you had the requisite mental state to commit a crime and that you did the act prohibited by either the State or Federal Government, whichever is charging.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    Kevin Bessant
    Kevin Bessant | Kevin Bessant
    There is no such thing as a "debtor prison" in which you can be criminally prosecuted for failing to pay back a loan. The only way you can be criminally prosecuted is if you provided false information to obtain the loan or obtained the loan through fraudulent means. Often times payday loan companies will threaten the debtor with criminal charges if they fail to repay the loan. Not only is this unethical but its illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Be mindful that they do have the right to sue you in civil court if you fail to repay the loan and seek a wage garnishment or civil judgement against you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    In certain circumstances. Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/30/2012
    Law Offices of Sheryl S. Graf
    Law Offices of Sheryl S. Graf | Sheryl S. Graf
    There is no such thing as debtors' prison. You cannot be jailed for failure to pay a debt. If you're like most people, you intended on repaying the loan, but later found yourself unable to do so - that is not a crime. If, however, you intentionally defrauded the loan company by borrowing the money with no intention to pay, then that would be a crime. The focus is on your intent at the time you borrowed the money. To sustain a conviction, the prosecutor would have to present evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high standard. The information presented here is general in nature and should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or client relationship.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/30/2012
    Law Office of Bernal Peter Ojeda | Bernal Peter Ojeda
    No. You cannot go to jail for failing to pay a debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/30/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    It depends on the agreement and what you have done, if you gave them a predated check and it is refused by you bank the payday loan companies will commonly seek criminal prosecution.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/30/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    If you had no intention of repaying the loan or you made a false application to get the loan, then the answer is yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/30/2012
    Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
    It depends on circumstances of the transaction. If not criminal, it is civil.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/30/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    It would be possible, it really depends on the agreement you signed.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    Herschel Bullen
    Herschel Bullen | Herschel Bullen
    Under normal circumstances, my opinion would be that no criminal charges would be brought. However, if there is some kind of misrepresentation or fraud involved, then it could be considered a theft by deception, which would be criminal. But people fail for various reasons to pay their obligations all the time. That doesn't necessarily make them criminals, at least not in Utah.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/30/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    No not unless there was fraud involved.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/30/2012
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    Not unless the DA could prove at the time you took out the loan you had no intention to repay the loan. So unless you made statements to someone that you didn't intend to pay back the loan at the time you took the loan out a DA could not successfully prosecute you. However, you can be sued civilly by the loan company to recover in civil court or small claims court the amount of the loan you did not pay plus interest if it provided for in the loan documents.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/30/2012
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