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“Depending on your state law, you are exposed to property liens, bank account levies and wage garnishment,” Bovee says. “You should not prioritize paying the payday lender over putting food on the table” or paying the rent, says Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center.
Cover basic needs first; you may be eligible for community assistance plans for help with rent, utilities or food.
Don’t think it can’t happen because you borrowed only 0 in the first place.
“If you have a valid, binding, legal agreement to pay that debt, and you’re in a state where they can sue you and attach your wages, you’re playing a game of chicken that you’re going to lose,” says Bruce Mc Clary of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Then, seek free advice from a nonprofit credit counselor or legal aid center to set a repayment plan, she says.
Call the lender and make an offer to pay a portion of the bill in exchange for erasing the rest of the debt.
Each failed attempt can trigger a bank fee against you.
Nonetheless, some payday lenders have succeeded in using bad-check laws to file criminal complaints against borrowers, with judges erroneously rubber-stamping the complaints.
The CFPB advises anyone threatened with arrest for nonpayment to contact his or her state attorney general’s office.
You should never ignore a court order to appear in court, however, even if the criminal complaint was filed mistakenly.
A lender would rather collect money directly from you than proceed to the next step, which is to sell your debt to an outside collections agency.
“Tell the lender: ‘Look, I simply can’t pay you and I’m considering bankruptcy,’” Ulzheimer says.