These small loans, often called "cash advance loans," "check advance loans," or "deferred deposit check loans" are a frequent pitfall for consumers. A fee anywhere from $15-$30 per $100 borrowed is charged for an average loan of $300. With rates so high and the term of the loan so short, there's no wonder that a very high percentage of these loans are rolled over by the borrower again and again so that the accumulated fees equal an effective annualized interest rate of 390% to 780% APR depending on the number of times the principal is rolled over.
If you default on your payday loans, the lender can take the same action as any other unsecured creditor to enforce a defaulted debt. Generally, their collection efforts will start with telephone calls and dunning letters demanding that you pay the balance of the loan. If the payday loan company refers your accounts to a collection agency, you can usually stop the telephone calls by sending a cease communication demand letter, commonly called a cease and desist notice, to the collection agency. A federal law called the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) states that third party collectors must stop calling you if you notify them in writing to do so. Several states, such as California and Texas, extend many of the regulations in the FDCPA to cover original creditors as well. To find out more about debt collection laws in your state, visit the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse web site.
If the creditor or collection agency cannot coerce you to pay through standard collection tactics, such as threatening phone calls, the creditor may decide to file a lawsuit against you to obtain a judgment against you for the balance of the debt. If the lender sues and obtains a judgment against you, it can then take steps to enforce the judgment as allowed by your state law. The most common methods of enforcing a judgment are wage garnishment, bank account levies, and property liens.
Luckily, the majority of creditors do not frequently sue debtors to collect debts; a lawsuit is a worst case scenario, which you will probably not experience.
You may be in luck in regard to your inability to repay these loans. There are eight states whose payday loan regulating statutes require lenders to set up an installment repayment plan if an account reaches the maximum number of rollovers allowed by law and the debtor declares that he/she is unable to pay the balance due. Check out the payday loan information from the Consumer Federation of America on payday loan, where you will be able to read all about these loans and the various state attempts to regulate them. Follow the "state information" link to find out the specific regulations for payday lenders in your state, and if you live in one of the eight states requiring installment payments. If your state does require repayment plans, and the lender still won't accept payments, call your state regulator of payday loans, usually an assistant Attorney General, and complain. You should get the results you want after the Attorney General's office becomes involved.
If you are not in one of those states, you may want to consider simply making payments to the lender of whatever you can afford to pay down the balance of the loan over time. In most states, the rollover limit will soon be reached, and the interest rate the lender can charge will be capped by state law. If the lender will not accept your payments, simply put what you can afford aside each month until you have enough money to either pay off the loan or to offer a settlement. Read up on the regulations in your state to find the best strategy for your situation.
Hopefully, one of the strategies I have discussed above will help you resolve these payday loans.
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