Can I do something about harrassment due to a payday loan in a bankruptcy? 22 Answers as of September 25, 2013

My chapter 13 bankruptcy was discharged November of 2012. I had included 2 payday loans. I have been receiving phone calls from an attorneys office, they said there would be a warrant for my arrest due to these bad checks. I am a bit concerned. I cannot locate attorney anymore. Is there something further that I can do about these phone calls?

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Eranthe Law Firm
Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
Keep a detailed log of the calls and go see another attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/25/2013
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
It is probably not an attorney, they normally harass you but since they are often offshore, prosecuting them is near impossible.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/23/2013
Fears Nachawati | Sean T. Flynn
You may file a lawsuit to sue the creditor for violating the discharge. If they are calling you this is a violation of the discharge. I would advise that you first contact the attorney who assisted you in the bankruptcy, since they are familiar with the case. The creditor may be liable for damages and sanctions from the bankruptcy court so I would advise you to push the matter further.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/23/2013
Tokarska Law Center
Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
Yes Pay Day loans are pesky and they notoriously violate debt collection laws. The only way there could be a warrant issued is if there was a lawsuit and a summons was issued for you to appear in court for a debtor's exam and you actually failed to appear. You could of course ask for the case number when they call to verify that there in fact was a lawsuit, although I suspect they will quickly hang up or not answer your question. Another question if there was in fact a lawsuit is whether the lawsuit was filed BEFORE or AFTER the bankruptcy case was filed. If there was no lawsuit then this creditor is violating federal debt collection act with such threats. Furthermore, if this debt was listed in the petition and has been discharged in your bankruptcy case, then this creditor is also violating bankruptcy discharge orders. The trick is to actually find out who is doing this as they will typically either refuse to answer the question "what is your mailing address" or hanging up if you ask this or tell them that you are recording the conversation. If this truly and really is a law firm that is calling you then you should have no problems obtaining the contact information and if you were sued there should be a case in the local court that you can look up. If you can get an actual name/address of the entity calling you then you can send them a certified letter telling them the debt was discharged and stop harassing you, include copy of discharge order with only last 4 digits of your social showing. The other option, more aggressive, is hire an attorney to go after the wrongdoer with sanctions. The third option, which could possibly be less costly, avoid court, and achieve a faster result is to change your phone number & get an unlisted one. I know it may not be what you want to do but it can be very effective. Still, I would be sure to check to see if a lawsuit was filed because you do want to deal with this if in fact there was a case and you should also check your credit report and make sure all debts are showing as discharged in your bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/23/2013
Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
There are some "renegade" debt collectors that call and threaten arrest, etc. trying to collect old or discharged in bankruptcy payday loans. So far as I can tell, they move around, and would be very difficult or impossible to collect damages from, even if you could find them and serve them with a lawsuit. You can file complaints against them with the Texas Attorney General's office, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Both agencies permit complaints to be filed online.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/23/2013
    Charles R. Chesnutt, P.C.
    Charles R. Chesnutt, P.C. | Charles R. Chesnutt
    Criminal prosecution for bad checks is not normally something that the bankruptcy court addresses except under limited circumstances. It appears, however, that the circumstances that you present here may be exceptional. If so, then you may be able to obtain a court order from a bankruptcy court that 1) prevents any further collection attempts 2) provides that the payday people will have to pay you damages and 3) provides that the payday people will have to pay your attorney fees. It is significant that they waited until after your bankruptcy to do this because at this point you have no debt them; your debt to them was discharged in bankruptcy and it is uncollectible. They are illegally trying to collect a debt that was discharged in bankruptcy. Also, depending on the circumstances of the payday loans, the payday people may also be liable to you for damages and attorney fees for usury. So the answer to your question is yes, you can do something and you may be able to do a lot.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    Give them a copy of your filing and your discharge.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Those calls are illegal, ignore them. Not likely you can sue them as the odds are they are not a licensed business. We call this "voodoo debt". They want a payment on a credit card or check by phone. If you ask for an address to mail a check it is not likely they will give you one.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    Law Office of William Stoddard | William Stoddard
    Remind them that certain acts can be violations of the Fair Credit Act. Recently in Texas a person was awarded a multiple million dollar verdict for just such violations as you have had.? There is no way they can get a warrant.? You have not committed a crime.? You say your chapt 13 was discharged.? I assume that happened because you lost your job and could not continue working it.? So the debt still exists.? It was not discharged or partial discharged due to a completed Chapter 13 plan.? Sounds like you need to be back on Chapter 13 if you have again found work and can work a plan.? If you are in Tacoma contact Dorothy Bartholomew.? Having a discharge does not prevent you from filing again and again until your situation is resolved.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    Stuart P Gelberg
    Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
    Ignore them. They are scammers.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    The attorney cannot collect this debt. It is a violation of the discharge injunction. Hire an attorney to threaten to obtain a contempt order from the bk court if he continues to attempt to collect the debt. Only the district attorney's office can pursue a bad check for criminal action. If you are getting calls from the district attorney's office then you need to retain criminal counsel and address the issue. Criminal matters are not discharged through bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    Law Offices of David A. Tilem | Michael Avanesian
    First, get an attorney to represent you. Second, bait the person into giving you more information so when you do sue them, you can track them!!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    This sounds like a scam that is very common with certain payday loan lenders. Are you sure it is an attorney's office contacting you? They usually contact folks by mail, not by phone. Request proof in writing of whatever debt they believe you owe. Give them your bankruptcy case information. Tell them not to contact you regarding debt. You probably have recourse against them for violating the Discharge Order but it is often very difficult to try to track these guys down. If you cannot get in touch with your lawyer you might want to consult with a consumer debt/consumer rights attorney to see what, if anything can be done.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Are you saying you can't locate the attorney for the payday loan company or the attorney that handled your bankruptcy? You can obtain a duplicate copy of your bankruptcy discharge from the bankruptcy court or at www.pacer.gov and send it to the attorney for the payday loan company, or simply send this information to the payday lender directly.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    Richard L. Hirsh, P.C. | Richard L. Hirsh
    If you can find these people then you have a clear case for sanctions against these people. I have dealt with these situations before and taken some calls from them for my clients. It seemed to me that the callers were out of control bent on intimidating people to pay debts. Once a bankruptcy case is filed they usually stopped but the calls were border-line insane. If this creditor has filed a proof of claim in the bankruptcy then you should be able to find them. I would definitely seek sanctions. If they call again try and get information from them (they usually refuse) or get a phone call log from your phone company.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    William Bidwell, Attorney at Law | Bill Bidwell
    The debt is wiped out if you listed the "payday loans" on the bankruptcy petition, and the court discharged (not dismissed) your bankruptcy. Tell the attorneys to look at the bankruptcy petition and stop harassing you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Yes, they are most probably a violation of the law.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    Mark S Cherry, Attorney at Law, PC
    Mark S Cherry, Attorney at Law, PC | Mark Cherry
    File a motion for sanctions in the bankruptcy court.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    SmithMarco, P.C.
    SmithMarco, P.C. | Larry P. Smith
    We have had many inquiries similar to yours regarding this company and/or others just like it. We have done some investigating into these companies as well. While there is no doubt that this collector violated federal laws in many ways, we are sure that this collection agency is pretty much a sham operation. There is no real corporate headquarters, no real business structure, and no location where a corporate officer can be located. All addresses we have located have been either a post office box, a UPS store, or some other location that does not house the business. In short, this may be a scam. Certainly, in our experience, none of the threats made to people about arrests, warrants, or sheriff's on their way have come to fruition. You should not make any payment to this agency or provide them any personal information or bank account information. It is likely that it would only be used for improper or illegal purposes. Moreover, any threats made to have you arrested or take you away are completely bogus. Nobody is coming to get you and you are surely not going to be arrested for this debt. It has been our experience that a very aggressive response by you tends to make them stop calling. Once you make it abundantly clear that they will not be seeing one cent from you no matter what they say, they will eventually give up and move on to someone more gullible.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    Elkington Law
    Elkington Law | Sally Elkington
    Yes. See an attorney to reopen your case and sue this creditor for violation of the discharge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    Contact an attorney, give her the case number of Bk and have her contact them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2013
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A. | Jane Downey
    You can sue them.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 9/20/2013
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