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Payday lender gets what’s due… from the FTC

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Have you ever been contacted by a lender who says you owe them money, but you’re pretty darn sure you don’t? You’re not the only one.

According to the FTC, some payday lenders bought consumer financial information from third parties. Using that financial information, they created fake loan agreements, deposited money into people’s accounts, and made unauthorized withdrawals, all in violation of federal law.

What’s more, the lenders lied about the total cost of the loans — not only to consumers who had never asked for the loans in the first place, but also to some who may have authorized the loans. According to the FTC, the lenders told the consumers that their total payments on their loan would be the principal plus a onetime finance charge. Instead, the lenders withdrew biweekly automatic payments that didn’t go toward the principal. So, unless the consumers contested or paid down the loans, they were making interest-only payments indefinitely.

The lenders’ ill-gotten gain? A cool $49 million over 10 months, according to the FTC’s review of bank records.

None of this sits well with the FTC, which asked a federal district court to stop the practices and to preserve the possibility of providing refunds to the consumers.

Before you decide to take out a short-term loan, consider all your alternatives, and use extreme caution when you share personal information online.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I got caughf in the loop of payday loans to the point where i had six going at once... on payday i would have to go to all of them to renew them and by the time i was done it would be pretty much my whole check was gone... after i lost my job i paid back what i could but defaulted on 3. I ended up paying back one and was left with speedy cash and plaingreenloans - an internet payday loan company... speedycash was tied to my netspend prepaid account so it was easy to avoid but after almostba year of hounding on the phone and collection notices i hadnt gotten any correspondence from them lately... forgetting all about them i deposited $500 into my netspend account the other day to pay a court fee which i needed to pay because my liscense got suspended. This morning i received a text saying $316 pending for speedy cash. My bank basically said there is nothing to be done. Now i have to wait 7 days to file dispute. Even then she said to win i will have too submit proof of resolution with lender. Speedy cash is shady as hell i understand that they wanted their money back but to keep trying to deduct funds for one time payment one year after i defaulted they totally screwed me over with my traffic court payment and i am so mad im lucky netspend doesnt do overdraft or like insufficient fund charges. Lesson is if you dont plan to pay back a payday loan close that account for good because just getting a new card wont help as card numbers change, your account and routing number do not. I feel so helpless and stupid for letting this happen.

SCAM ALERT: If you get a call saying "You owe a PAYDAY LOAN and we are filing charges today" HANG UP If they say "You need to call Mr. ___ to clear this matter up" HANG UP If they say "your pay day loan is within the Statute of Limitations" HANG UP BLOCK THE NUMBER
The scam is to bully you into believing you owe money on a payday loan you took out and didn't pay back. In your confusion you think back and yes you did take out a payday loan and you "think" you paid it back. Well, you probably did! The CROOKS are using an old list of payday loan customers and pulling this scam. They asked me for $3500 until I mentioned a lawyer then they rolled down to $500.00.

The same exact thing happened to me & it was very scary! You never know how it feels to have some stranger yelling at you and demanding that you send them a substantial amount of money via Money Gram until it happens to you! For what? And yes...maybe I did take out this or that how many years ago & thought it was resolved/paid back/taken care of...I'm not sure now...they start talking so fast, won't provide information regarding the claim they are making against you, and the threats are scary and seem real-they even read my DL # to me! Thankfully I calmed down and began my own research on the phone # my ex-in-laws were called from in an effort to "track me down" and found several other comments/posts regarding harassing/threatening phone calls being received from the same # (843-410-0546). I have been able to find out the callers claim to be doing business for or as Alliance Federal Holdings Collection/Kenneth White and Associates...not sure of anything further except that this experience let me know it can happen to anyone even me!

In 2012 I tried to barrow a payday loan from Cash-max USA and found out later on that hey were a scam. I had purchased a green dot card from a Wal-mart store in Bayou Vista, La. and sent them a payment for $200.00 upfront for the loan. I never received the money and when I called them back, they said they needed another $200.00 to help me get the loan. That's when I found out that they were scaming people. I tried to get my money back to no avail and just gave up. Their phone number was 8134232102 in Florida. They are still in business. They will not speak to you, once they know who you are.

I have been receiving very threatening calls from someone calling himself Anthony Davis from Rubin & Yates. He calls many times a day and speaks very fast. It's as if he is reading something and I can hear other people talking as well, as if they are in a large call center all making phone calls. He says words like "docket" and "federal charges" and says that he has been "on the line with federal agents" in regards to my "federal fraudulent activity" and he goes on and on. He says that I better call him back IMMEDIATELY or I will face charges with my local county. He said that I owe on a payday loan fro CP Investors. I do not owe them. I had a small payday loan with them years and years ago and it was paid in full. They obviously got my information somewhere and are trying to scam me. I told them to stop harassing me and that if there was a debt, they needed to mail me the information in the mail so I could take it to an attorney. He said that he had already done that several times and I my case has been deemed, "Uncollectible" and for my own sake and the sake of my family, I better be ready to make a statement to exonerate myself. There is no use in blocking the number because he just calls from another number and tells me that he will continue to call and he does. Over and over and over again. I am changing my number tomorrow which makes me very upset because that, in itself is a huge inconvenience. I hope it stops the calls.

I have been having this problem with these lenders,saying they are payday lenders, They say I owe money to them and they will download a file to the FTC, THE FBI, If I don't pay. and my bank and employers, They say the United Legal Investigation Bureau Has Stated 4 Serious Allegations Against Me and they are: Violation of Federal Banking Regulation,Collateral Check Fraud, Theft By Deception,And The Biggest One is E.F.T. Electronic Funds Transfer. It Says In a Message Dated 7-16-14 Eastern Daylight Time, They say I'm going to be legally prosecuted in the courthouse within a couple of days, They Say my SSN is put on hold by the US Government so before something goes wrong, we would like to notify you about this matter and It seems that I have ignored their efforts to contact to resolve my debt with payday services me. The number they gave me to call is +1-843-558-8300.They say at this point I've made my intentions clear.and leave them no choice but to protect their interest in this matter. I haven't borrow anything in July of this year at all, and I did borrow from one of a reputable but I paid it back and it was in 2008. I was late but It was paid back.

This sounds like a scam. The FTC doesn't take files from debtors. And you won't be arrested for owing money. If a debt collector is threatening you or lying to you, report it.

Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many states have their own debt collection laws that are different from the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Your Attorney General’s office can help you determine your rights under your state’s law.

Funny I received the same email with the same exact wording and threats.They must be using the same letter for everyone....

I received a email and phone calls at my work threatening me threatening to seize my social security number and sue me unless I pay 870 dollars.

Ok thank Youl

Ive been getting calls from Integrated Recovery Service...(855)228-6832. They say I owe Plain Green Lenders from two years ago. Which at one time i did have a small loan with them and paid it off. They also have mentioned contacting the sheriffs office in my county. The man has talked very stern and quite fast...when I have asked him to slow down on all of this, he just keeps going on. He also said that he strongly reccamends that I make arrangements today to have 3 payments taken care of the next 3 months. I dont know what to do with all of this...it is quite frightening how people have gotten ahold of all my past loan information...and have made contact with me and demands that I pay.

I'm getting calls from a company called Regional they call claimed they have a case and leave a case number and to call back right away or will be going to court the number they call from is 1-855-865-6183. They claim they are collecting for St. Armands LLC this company is no longer in business i called the number listed.

I have gotten calls from them also, they just won't stop. They call me at work even i
After I have repeatedly told them to stop.

I'm getting calls from a company called Regional they call claimed they have a case and leave a case number and to call back right away or will be going to court the number they call from is 1-855-865-6183. They claim they are collecting for St. Armands LLC this company is no longer in business i called the number listed.

I have the same situation with a guy name Tom Wilson claiming to work for Capital one he said I was approve for a loan I gave him all the information that he wanted I did not receive the money I did research of my own and I found out that this was a scam so I went on FBI crime unit and fill out my complaints gave them all the information I had on the three people and there telephone numbers I hope they catch them

I just talked to Mitch Tanner from Delaware Solutions saying that Fast Cash loans is going to file a lawsuit and take me to court if I don't pay $300 from a loan I took out Jan. 2013. I know I did not. But, they have my social security number.

Received a call from a debt collector stating they were from the Law Office of Carrie Majors. I asked them for their address and was given 1000 Gaudelupe, Austin, TX. I googled the address which is the Travis County Court House. The debt collector insist their office is located in this building. I called the court house and was told this is not true.

I received an email a few days ago threatening my job and stating that my social security number would be put on hold and I would not be able to get a job any where because of this. There was an official looking attachment that stated there was a loan taken out in January of 2012 and if I didn't pay them the $949 that they were requesting that I would end up owing them about $4000. I replied to the email asking what this was in regard to? Then next email that I received was my full name, the last four of my ss, birth date, and address. At the end was a form letter stating that they were a company that controlled over 350 payday loan companies. That I have refused to pay my loan back etc. I asked for more detailed information like dates that the application and deposit was made, name of the bank that the deposit was made into, and direct contact information. They replied with an email naming a payday loan company that I have never dealt with, and didn't give any of the other information that I requested. I again requested the same information and the next email floored me...This email named a bank that I have used in the past with routing number, and account number, and a date of December 2012 for the deposit date. I had to request the contact information yet again. This time I was given a phone number, and the email basically stated that the only way they would deal with me was by email. Because if I call and set up a payment; that way, they were unable to update that in their system and I wouldn't feel secure about this. I have not returned any further emails and they have not attempted to contact me again. I was just glad that they did not have my current bank listed. I would've been closing accounts immediately!!!

The little people are being nickle and dimed to poverty. I had to get an online payday loan to pay overdraft fees to my bank. The overdraft fees cost more per dollar than a payday loan. This day and age with all of the debits and EFT's if you forget to write something down it could take out a whole paycheck in overdraft fees. People are too embarrased to say anything if it happens to we continually get robbed blind. If you try to correct a mistake and get money in it always works out where the largest amount is put through first so they can charge 35.00 a transaction.

I got a email from a John Harris from United Cash saying they are pressing charges against me. His title is Chief Financial Officer, have anyone else got this email and what can I do about this. I never got money from this company. Please help.

My wife was called at her work, told that she had 3 hrs to come up with $850.00 to repay on old payday loan or be halled off to jail by federal agents. She panicked and took money out of savings and purchased prepaid visa cards and gave them the numbers over the phone. As soon as they finished removing the funds from the cards they told her she had another loan that if she didn't pay it, the same thing would happen, only thing is this time they said she owed $1000.00. She called me all upset and in a panic, I told her there is no debter's jail, you can't be arrested for oweing money without going infront of a judge and all that first. We got on a three way call with the idiots that had been calling her eariler that day, they had given her time to go get the money together. I told them that I wasn't going to give them any money, in fact I had my lawyer with us and we were standing on the courthouse steps waiting for them. The guy put us on hold for about 5 minutes, them transfered us to his "supervisor" who said that they couldn't have agents there till the next day. I told him he either had his agents show up in 5 minutes or she didn't owe them anything and I also told them the entire conversation was being recorded. He got so upset when I told him that, said what I was doing was illegal, I told him no what they were doing was illegal and he hung up on me.

What do we do about 2 delinquent reports on our official credit report for Payday loans we NEVER took out.?? At the time these fraudulent loans were issued, we had (and continue to have) a 7-year hold on our credit. We've been harrassed by unscrupulous debt collectors for 6 months threatening all sorts of legal action for these fraudulent loans. One of the payday loans came from a company that the FTC just put out of business b/c of the illegal practices this article outlined. Now, to get these delinquent reports removed, we have to jump through all sorts of hoops with the 3 credit agencies (giving them access to our ss# and drivers license #) proving WE ARE IN FACT WHO WE ARE!!! The debt collector who lodged these on our credit has an F rating w/the BBB. And no one questions them????????

Someone named Jonathan Friedman called me claiming I owed over $700 to Canyon Creek for a payday loan that I never took out! I have never even heard of this company and they threatened me with a lawsuit, garnished wages, etc. I am contacting the FTC and BBB about this.

I just received a call from that supposed Canyon Creek saying that I owe over $2000 and I never even heard of these people. Telling me that I am being prosecuted for fraud and I am going to court..WTF!!!! SCAMMERS!!!
And they said it was from 2010. Ok, so 6 years later they want there money! NOT!!!

I have some attorney email me from advance cash saying i owe 740 dollars i had two hours to respond if i didn't that it was being taking from my check and being taken to court. i never recieved any notices or money from these people

I just received a call from a company who said I owed money to someone called Canyon Creek from 2013 for a payday loan. I knew this was fishy, I've never gotten a payday loan. Once I told them that I wanted a copy mailed to give to my attorney, someone else got on the line and threatened me and called me a liar. I hung up on them....

Just had the same issue via email threatening to garnish my wages and file criminal charges. CASH ADVANCE, Inc. The address and phone number does not relate to an actual business with that name. When I called, nice non-English speaking folks juggled me around from one person to the next and finally hung up on me. FTC complaint has been filed. BEWARE of Cash Advance, Inc

I've been getting the same harassing phone calls and e-mails, stating they were going to sue me and serve papers. although I've yet to see anything served to me, it doesn't seem to preven them from annoying me. I do do know I have some debts out, but all of these debts are accounted for already, and none of them have threatened to take me to court. Admittedly, I have taken out pay day loans, and may not have paid them all back, but, it is not illegal to not repay a debt. They also never show on a credit report, since these debts are not considered to be loans based on good credit, therefore operate under a different set of rules. There really needs to be some regulation of pay day loands, and one way to start to get rid of all online loan companies. They charge absolutely exorbitant fees and interest (which is excessive usury). I not coming down on all pay day loan companies, but they need to be storefront operations, that way you know what you getting into before you sign a contract for the loan. I will be continuing my contat with the FTC about this issue, because it is illegal what they're doing.

I have received 2 calls from the Patterson Group (855-427-8471 and 704-266-4027) claiming I owe money for Express Check Advance. I have never done business with this company. They have my social security number and date of birth. SCARY...They said if I did not pay $360 they would sue me for $2,179. I told them to go ahead....I would love to see them in court! Can't the FTC stop this type of scam? I have never had a check advance but they sure know me!

Scammers can get your name and basic information from public directories. If you get an unwanted call, the best thing is to hang up the phone. If you press any number you are confirming that your number works, and talking to them might increase the calls.

my husband got a unknown call he was working so they left a message to call back 1-844-232-4557.. we have been talking to a jason lord and a elizabeth jones...they say that their client canyon creek mangement is filing a suit aginst my husband for a $400 loan that they cannot provide an exact date when we got it but they can provide what account/bank it was deposited to..also their company name is called regional llc from atalnta georgia. they have now contacted my mother in law reason being for she can pass on the message to my husband when in fact he has already contacted them and has not denied contact.. what should we do

A debt collector must send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within five days after they first contact you. The notice also must include the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money, and how to proceed if you don’t think you owe the money.

It's against the law for a company to not give you proof of the debt, or to tell other people, including your family members, friends, and employers, about the debts. Debt collectors also can't lie, and say they are lawyers if they aren't.

You have the right to sue a collector in a state or federal court within one year from the date the law was violated. The FTC’ s article Debt Collection has information about your rights.

These payday lenders are criminals and they using your personal information against you. I have been dealing with a Dave Lange who says he is an investigator looking to serve me legal documents, he has referenced a former County I used to live in and he says that he will "cease" the processing if I call this 866-408-4314 number. So I called and it is an automated voice mail message stating they are the "garnishment division" and if you are calling this number during the hours of 8am to 5pm they are on another call and they ask the caller to leave your name, number and case number and they will call back in 24 hours. If this was truly legit there would be no voice mail you would get a live person. This company is also now resorting to calling my family members. I never took out this loan and they state I did so in 2012 and they even called me at my current employment which is inaccurate because I was not at my current job in 2012. I am trying to get the name of this company and their address but I suspect they won't divulge this the harassment will continue and I have to communicate to all family and friends that if they get a phone call from this "investigator" to tell them to stop calling or they will file a lawsuit. If I had to do it over again let me tell you!!!

West Over Harp at 417 main street in Holyoke, Ma. 01040 and Phone Number 1-866-229-4277 call me and stated that I have a warrant out for my arrest for a Pay day loan I receive in 2013 which was a Big Lie also stated they would take me to court or I can use my credit now and pay it off as I check things out and found out it was all a SCAM. They also go by Westgate or Coach Services. BE ALERT

You can report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give in a complaint will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations. You can also contact your state and local consumer protection agencies.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

My sister has a medical condition and she is being harassed by this so called Recovery Asset Management. I'm thinking of hiring a lawyer to sue this High Point Assets Inc. Can I do that? Can I sue them for "stress related" solicitations? I have an email saying they bought four loans from different PAYDAY loan companies..

By the way there are in the US and my sister is making money by flipping burgers and don't know how to loan money using a computer. Thanks, Teek-B

A legitimate debt collector has to follow rules about when to call and what to say. This FTC article about debt collection tells more about your rights. It explains what to do if you want a debt collector to stop calling you. That doesn't make the debt go away, but it will stop the calls.

If you ask a legitimate debt collector, he has to send you written proof of the debt. If you ask, the collector has to tell you how much money you owe, the name of the creditor you owe and what to do if you don’t think you owe the money.

If you think the caller is a fake debt collector, and you really don't have a debt, read the article about Fake Debt Collectors for tips on handling the calls.

There are several highly regarded firms using the name "Westgate Group" . NONE are in any lending business . Eventually one of them will get blamed for this scam ... hopefully the one with deep pockets and lots of lawyers .

I have gotten calls for the past 4-5 months from 4 different "law" firms trying to collect for a supposed payday loan I NEVER took. they repeated old addresses and such and an acct and acct # it was put into... I went to the bank and asked for copies of all statements and it was never there. the acct numbers do not match, the supposed dates of deposit do not even match. but their voicemail says this is the last time I will be contacted or given a chance to make good on it, or I will be come after at work/residence. there are 2 or 3 allegations pending against me, and so forth and so on. I asked them to provide proof and they said if I do not pay it back, I will be taken to court and given the proof there and there only. I have stressed for months over this and it makes me sick. it is tearing my family apart from the stress financially and emotionally. I have filed complaints against them at every office I could and so far nothing has stopped them. they called me 5 times today alone. they already got 200 out of me in September due to scare tactics but I closed my accts to prevent anything else being taken. what else can I do?

It sounds like the calls are from a fake collector. A fake can get some of your personal information, to make himself sound convincing, but he's still a fake. Some signs of a fake collector:

  • wants you to pay for a loan you do not recognize
  • refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number
  • asks you for personal or sensitive information
  • tries to scare you into paying by threatening to have you arrested, taken to court or reported to law enforcement

You've checked it out with your bank, and there's no sign that you owe this debt. You don't have to keep talking to the fake collectors. Don't give them any personal or financial information. 

If you know the phone number they use, you could ask your phone carrier to block the number. You could use an answering machine to take messages so you don't have to talk to the fake collectors, then delete the messages.

I have been receiving phone calls from different attorneys for a company called the cutter group they put money into my account and when i noticed it i called them and they took their money back out.now everyone that has called me i sent a copy of my bank statements for that month and they tell me they are going to drop it and dont worry about it so i get a call today from a lady that says shes a mediator and i need to pay 279 or we will go to court and they will add 2000 to that.and i told her i can get my statements for that month n send them to her she said no its probably from interest.i want to knpw who i need to talk to about this

You might be getting calls from fake debt collectors. A fake collector might have some of your personal information, like a bank account number.

A caller may be a fake debt collector if he:

  • wants you to pay on a debt you don't recognize
  • won't tell you his mailing address or phone number;
  • asks you for personal financial or sensitive information; or
  • tries to scare you into paying by threatening to have you arrested or reported to law enforcement

You can report a fake collector to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, and to your state Attorney General’s office.

Yes, I was contacted by a savanna Brown with Sparks recovery representing J.D. Mrktg group. She tried to extort money from me plain and simple. She claimed that they had loaned me $400.00 and that I defaulted on the agreement and I now owed $2500.00. Every time I requested proof that I received any money from them she would ignore my request and try to talk over. me. She tried bullying me(big mistake). I reported her to the FBI fraud division.

Hello Have you heard from these people anymore since you posted in December? I am having a terrible time with these people!! I also reported her to the FBI fraud division.

The same thing happened to me. I received phone call from a company claiming to be Stark Recovery, using a phone number of 1 866 - 281-6831. She states she has a file claim number on me, and that i defaulted on a payday loan in 2012. She states if i pay today, i will be all set, otherwise they will proceed with action against me. They are also calling my co-workers, at home!! I have no idea how they are getting co-workers phone numbers since i do not even have these co-workers phone numbers! I reported them to the FBI and BBB. Do not pay these people any money!! Its a SCAM

Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations. Blog comments don't go into the database.

You can also report to your state Attorney General’s office.

I got a call from an impact mediation representing westgafe group for a payday loan of 900 I had payday loans but filed bankruptcy and I a! Still in the bankruptcy but they said I didn't file on this lender who lends the payday loan company the money they said if I don't pay by Friday it will go to arbitration I am scared

The person who called you might be a fake. He might be trying to scare you to get your money. You don't have to send money just because someone says you owe money, or because he knows you had a loan. People can know things about you, but that doesn't prove they are legitimate. Talk to the credit counseling agency that is helping you with bankruptcy before you send money.

Before you filed for bankruptcy, you went to credit counseling classes. After you file for bankruptcy, you go to debtor education classes. You have to get a certificate that shows you finished the debtor education classes before your debts will be discharged.

If you are still in the bankruptcy process, contact the credit counseling agency that you worked with.

If you need to find a credit counseling agency, you can use this list of approved credit counseling providers.

The person who called you might be a fake. He might be trying to scare you to get your money. You don't have to send money just because someone says you owe money, or because he knows you had a loan. People can know things about you, but that doesn't prove they are legitimate. Talk to the credit counseling agency that is helping you with bankruptcy before you send money.

Before you filed for bankruptcy, you went to credit counseling classes. After you file for bankruptcy, you go to debtor education classes. You have to get a certificate that shows you finished the debtor education classes before your debts will be discharged.

If you are still in the bankruptcy process, contact the credit counseling agency that you worked with.

If you need to find a credit counseling agency, you can use this list of approved credit counseling providers.

Anyone contacted by Complaint Contact Services?

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