Florida Payday Loan

I need to resolve my payday loans. The company is stating that I owe $6,000 when the original amount was only $300.

I live in Florida, can I be charged with theft by check? I used Langhorne Debt solutions to resolve my payday loans, but Summit Group LLC, and CMG group said they don't work with them. Now they are stating that I owe them $6,000 which is 3K per loan. The original loan amount was only $300.

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Bill's Answer
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Updated: Sep 18, 2014

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Highlights

  • A creditor's right to garnish your wages to repay a delinquent debt varies from state to state.
  • Contact your state's consumer protection agency, if your payday lender is abusing you.

Under Florida law, payday lenders cannot seek to have a borrower prosecuted for bouncing a check given as security for a loan, so if the creditor is threatening to have you charged with "theft by check" it is almost certainly lying in an attempt to frighten you.

Although payday loans are legal in Florida, the amount of interest and other fees they can charge to consumers are fairly strictly regulated by state law, so I find it highly unlikely that this lender will be able to justify its claim that you owe $6,000 on two loans which began at only $300 each. To read more about payday loans and your rights as a consumer, I encourage you to visit PaydayLoanInfo.org. There, you can also review a summary of Florida's Payday Loan Regulations.

Under Florida law, the payday lender may be required to work out a repayment plan with you at a reasonable interest rate (my understanding is that it can charge no more than 10% per annum on loans after the first high interest repayment period). If the lender continues to insist on the high balance which you mention in your question, I recommend that you demand a written statement of how the balance was calculated before you make any payments to the creditor. If the creditor refused to provide you with a written explanation of the balance claimed, or if it continues to threaten you with criminal prosecution if you fail to pay the amount claimed, I encourage you to file a complaint with the state agency responsible for the regulation of payday lenders, at The Florida Office of Financial Regulation.

Editor’s note

Comments on this page are closed. See Payday Loans to learn how to handle payday loan collections. See the Bills.com payday loan resources for California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Texas, and Virginia to learn more about payday loan laws in those states.

From the information in your question, it sounds like this lender may be violating several state laws regulating payday lenders. However, without much more information I cannot tell you specifically what recourse you have available to you. If you find that the lender is unwilling to work with you, or if you do not feel comfortable negotiating with the creditor directly, you may want to consult with an attorney who can better explain your rights under Florida law and assist you in negotiating with the lender.

The National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) may be able to refer you to an attorney in your area who specializes in assisting consumers with problems like yours. See also my answer to another reader who had a question about aggressive payday loan collections in Florida in "Payday Loan and the FDCPA."

Bills.com also offers more information on the Payday Loan Information page, and has answered reader questions about payday loans in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Texas, and Virginia.

If you do not repay a payday loan, the payday loan company has several legal remedies, including wage garnishment, levy, and lien. See the Bills.com resource Collections Advice to learn more about the rights of creditors and debtors.

I wish you the best of luck in resolving these payday loans, and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.

Best,

Bill

bills.com

23 Comments

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  • MH
    Oct, 2011
    michael
    i took out a payday loan from amscot for $400 and i couldnt pay back the entire $441 i owe them so they agreed to split the payments into 4 equal payments. now i am unemployed and dont have the money to repay what should i do and what can they do if i dont repay
    4 Votes

  • CF
    Aug, 2011
    Catherine
    I had got a payday loan last year sometime. I receive an affidavit paper today that says on top American Law Department. Stating that Im going to be charge with 3 different things and that I owe some $8000 which I know I got a payday loan but it wasn't more then $200. I know previous post state that you can't get arrested. I have also seen that there is a scam b/c its from Cash Advanced USA with foriegners. I have received several phone calls but never did anything with them.
    12 Votes

  • JJ
    Jun, 2011
    james
    I submitted my information for a payday loan on the internet and after the person on the phone told me that I had to go to western union to get it and I would have to put up front 250 dollars to show that I am credit worthy I hung up the phone and did not take the money. I hung up the phone and would not answer when they kept calling me because it sounded so fishy. Now the company is calling me all the time saying I owe them money for a payday loan i took out. They have said that I did take the money when I clearly did not. I was then transferred to a manager and they threatened to send the police to my house and said " You can not lie to me" when I explained that I did not take the payday loan. I would like for them to stop calling me and get this figured out so it will not mess up my credit and credit report.
    0 Votes

    • BA
      Jun, 2011
      Bill
      Legitimate payday lenders do not ask for $250 to demonstrate creditworthiness. You were wise to avoid this scam artist, and it takes incredible chutzpah for the scam artist to now demand money from you.

      One option is to contact the Florida Attorney General's Office which regulates consumer protection in Florida. Another option, if the harassment continues, is to contact an attorney. Keep a record of all calls you receive, and note what the caller claimed or ask you to do.

      Keep your eye on your credit report, pulling it regularly, to see if the payday loan appears on it and take action to dispute the information and to file a complaint against the lender if it does. You can get a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.
      0 Votes

  • JJ
    May, 2011
    JENIFER
    I took out a $200 online payday loan. I live in Florida and I have an "Agent Starling" calling me from a lawyers office. They state they are going to press charges for check fraud due to me not unable to repay loan. This agent called my parents' home last night and told my mother that she was a co-signor on the account but refused to give her any information. I know the collection companies use very rough tactics to collect debts but to give my mother false blame, what should I do?
    0 Votes

    • BA
      May, 2011
      Bill
      Review the original answer above, and file a complaint with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.
      1 Votes

  • BA
    Oct, 2010
    Bill
    A creditor can file suit in small claims court for $200. However, an attorney's time costs $200 per hour, so it is unlikely a payday lender will bother suing for even twice that amount. It is likely the payday collection agent is using a scare tactic to encourage you to continue your payments.
    2 Votes