Paycheck or Payday advance scams

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Maer, Aug 12, 2001.

  1. Maer

    Maer Well-Known Member

    How many of you have heard of these places. I know in Cal. they are on almost every street corner.
    Today I received a very nasty phone call. Seems an old neighbor friend of mine used me as a reference. She was apparently a couple days overdue and they were searching her down. These people were as bad as the collection agency horror stories I've heard!!! They demanded to know phone numbers to any other friends or neighbors she might have. I immediately called her to tell her somebody was looking for her. She broke down in tears and told me her story.
    She is into 6 of these places!!!! Every 2 weeks she gives them a check for 300.00 and gets 255.00 back. That is about 400.00 per month!!!! They will not allow her to make payments or help her out in any way. If she is even one day late they harass her at work and call her family and other people she put down as references. She has even been told she can be prosecuted for writing bad checks. She is getting further and further behind every month. I told her to try to get a loan or something but I guess she is unable to. It shocks me even to write this but she is considering trying to prostitute herself to pay these places off. I don't think she was kidding when she said this.
    Does anybody have any information how these places work and what can be done when they own you like this?
  2. PuuOoPaul

    PuuOoPaul Well-Known Member


    This is sad indeed. Check cashing stores are not that. They are information gatherers. The reason their applications are so extensive is because they are selling this information or using it for their backdoor collections. Check cashing services are not their mainstay.

    You may also want to stay away from furniture rental stores. Not only will you be paying $2k for a sofa, you will start getting calls from ca's that you thought were long gone.

  3. keltexx

    keltexx Well-Known Member

    I had to reply to this post-unfortunately, I was involved with these places. Cash advance/ they call them sales leasebacks. Be forewarned: if you are going to use one of these places, be prepared for trouble. I used these from 1997-2000-almost three years of paying exhorbitant rates to borrow money in 2 week increments.

    For example, I borrow 300$. They get ownership of my TV or VCR-I don't actually take them in, but sign them over. So then I begin "leasing" my own stuff. I can either pay the fee-90$ for 300, 60$ for 200, or pay the Amount and the fee-390$. Needless to say, it is impossible to get out of this stuff. And when you are already strapped for cash, this can just be devastating.

    What finally got me away from it was that I got a new job and was able to start a savings account. That way, when emergencies arose, I was prepared. If you find yourself considerring doing these things, please save yourself a lot of hearache and worry and don't do it. It is better to work it out through other means. This, more than anything, set me back financially for several years. Don't do it.
  4. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    I don't really know a lot about these places but we do have them here in Oklahoma too.

    Their policy of not allowing one to make payments is particularly nasty because this simply means that once a person is hooked into them with a loan, they almost can't ever escape. Most of the folks who get into a jam and can't pay the lights or whatever can't come up with the lump sum to pay them off in full either so they pay month after month forever. A $150 loan might run them 10 or 20 bucks a month. I don't know how much for sure, but it's terrible and they stay hooked forever.

    Another problem is the check itself. In many states, the amount of money that constitutes a felony hot check offense is very low. So there is the fear of getting prosecuted for a felony if they don't pay off.

    I've never fiddled with them, so I really don't have much to offer in the way of advice except to just stay away from them
  5. staces5

    staces5 Well-Known Member

    I am ashamed to say that I also got into these "easy money" loans. Yet they are not that at all! The intrest is like 356% But when you are desperate, it is appealing to get that quick fix. I actually had about 14 of these places going and was paying about $700 a month at the end just to renew these loans every two weeks! It was horrible! My husband and I almost divorced over it because we were so stressed out! One thing that your friend needs to know is that the places can call your refrences, job, etc, but they CAN NOT legally prosecute. Atleast not here in SC, because the law says that if a place of buisness took a check from you knowing that it was not good at the time, then they can not obtain a warrant or prosecute like they could if you went down to your local grocery store and wrote them a bad check. What I finally did was go to each and every place and I told them how deep I was into this and that I could not keep paying this! I said I can either file bk (they are dishchargable) or they could work out some payment arrangements with me! They choose the later, all but one, who I went ahead and paid off. So,it has been a long process, but I almost have them all paid and I would beg anyone NOT to get involved with these loans! They are a scam and they are on every corner because they are making so much money off the people that can not get a loan anywhere else! DON'T DO will regret it!!
  6. keltexx

    keltexx Well-Known Member

    Stacey, I know the feeling. I had about 5 at one time going. Those payments for the "rent fee" was about 360-400$ every two weeks. Yeah, I forgot the part about giving them checks. One that I had paid off cashed a check for 400$ that they still had on file because they had claimed that I owed them 2$ for a late fee. Needless to say that I was quite surprised to find that missing from my checking account. And it was some time after I had paid them off-like two months. Anyhow, I called them up and they said they were in the process of sending me a "refund check". I told them they better have it available for me to pick up by the end of the day, or else I was contacting my attorney. They did.

    Most of these agencies around where I live are in fact owned by attorneys. They come about as close to usury as you can get. But I accept the responsibility for my actions; the hell that I had to go through to get out of them was actually a good lesson for never, ever going back. Of course, I still get notices from them-"get 20$ free if you renew your loan" type of thing.

    Remembering this is actually a good way to revisit how far I have come in the last year. But in today's economic times, I fear that many more people will fall victim to this.
  7. tom65432

    tom65432 Well-Known Member

    Staces5 comment was correct. Normally they cannot prosecute you for a bad check if they took it knowing it was not good at the time. That should take some of the pressure off your friend.
  8. Maer

    Maer Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for your responses. I talked to my friend again. She insists that she has gone begging to each of these places that she is really struggling. One place offered to let her pay half now and half in two weeks. She was unable to do that so just went on the same schedule. It is incredulous to me that these places know she cannot afford to pay them and yet they still keep reloaning her money. She is a couple of days away from having her electricy & water turned off. She said everything is paid late because these places MUST come first.
    She did say she told a couple of them that she was going to file bankruptcy. They told her these legally could not be included because of the way they have it set up. She went to CCCS and they told her there is nothing they can do for these type of places either.
    I'm going to try to do a little research on Calif law to find out about the checks.

    Oh yeah..I never realized what type of loans they did. I never tried them because I thought I couldn't be approved. Thank goodness I was so naive or who knows the mess I could have gotten myself into.
  9. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    Well, I've never had to tangle with one of those places yet. It's bound to happen sooner or later.
    The thing that I am wondering about is what they do when they cannot collect their money. I've heard a couple of people say they defaulted on them and they never did hear anything from them about it.

    No bad marks on their credit, nothing. And that was a couple of years after the events that I happened to discuss that with these people and neither one know the other nor were the conversations held at the same time.

    But I'll bet that at least some of them eventually turn their bad debts over to a collection agency. But then maybe collection agencies won't take their accounts either. I don't know.

    Kinda wish I did know because sooner or later I'm going to have people coming in that are getting hounded by this kind of deal. And then I'm going to have to know how to handle it.

    If it's been turned over to a collection agency, so much the better. So far I've got a perfect record whipping collection agencies. I'm batting 100%. Never lost yet.

    I can't say that with the credit bureaus because it used to be that they would come back with stupid answers that were not answers at all. I finally put a stop to that by going after the creditors or collection agencies first and once I got them beat then getting it off the credit bureau files is easy because they don't have anything they can argue about.

    Once I'm armed with the creditor or collector demanding that it be removed, it comes off with no problem at all never, to return.

    But I don't know about these "hot check artists" That might be a whole new ball game and it might not even be any game at all if they don't go do anything to people.
  10. Cadillac408

    Cadillac408 Well-Known Member


    I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I got caught up in ONE place like that back in early 1998. Bills were piling up so I did it for $300 and they have me back $260. Then at the 2 week mark, I had to go down there and renew the process. This went on for several months until one time they deposited my check and it was no good. I didn't have the money to pay them. Luckily they didn't call any of my references, etc. I just managed to bob and weave from them until one day I made a deposit into my account for over $300 and the NEXT DAY the money was GONE! I guess what they did was verify funds every day until the money was there, then they would deposit the check. What was sad was that the money I had deposited was for something else important (can't remember). I wanted to go down there like a screaming lunatic but how? It was their money really so.....

    My neighbor was IN DEEP with 2 of these places ALONG with her bank (Wells Fargo). I guess Wells Fargo will advance you your check 1 week in advance if you have direct deposit or something. Well...Wells Fargo finally ended up closing her account over that and NSFs. She was BARELY able to get another checking account because she was reported to Chexsystem even though she paid them off like 30 days later. Then these places came after her but she managed to pay them (she used her cell phone and her house phone money to pay them). THEN the cell and house phone companies came after her for their money. She borrow money (from me) to pay her house phone and used half her rent money ($400) to pay Nextel. So now that makes her behind on her rent! I had to get on her about paying Nextel. Bottom line: When you have a kid and nowhere to go but your current residence, F*** Nextel.......PAY YOUR RENT! That blew my mind....

    Bottom line is that these pay roll advance places work only in certain cases. Say you need to pay your car payment and you know you'll have the money in a week but have no one to borrow from...then fine, go there. But don't go there when you have no real way of paying these places back other than continuing the cycle over and over until who knows when.
  11. Maer

    Maer Well-Known Member

    Well my friend ended up in the hospital yesterday. She thought she was having a heart attack. Apparently so did the medics. She was taken & admitted to the emergency room. After a day of tests they believe it was just a massive anxiety attack.
    In the mean time I have fielded 4 phone calls from these people. I explained she was in the hospital. Two of them asked me which hospital. I asked them why thinking they thought I was lying to them. They said so they could call her there to see when she would be paying them!!!! This has to be illegal!!!!! I didn't tell them but it shouldn't be too hard for them to figure out.
    I've done some research and apparently here in Cal. legislation is pending that would make them make arrangements for people that cannot pay. Also, that you cannot borrow from more than a certain number of places. I actually called one place and asked them if I had loans out at several other places, could I still loan with them. They said yes, as long as I was current. I asked if there was a database that kept this information and she said they run you through "telo track" or something like that. So far I haven't found anything on them.
    Also, can I demand for them to stop calling me. I am simply a reference on this persons application but I am receiving numerous phone calls all day & evening.
  12. bbauer

    bbauer Banned


    The solution to your problem of their annoying and abusive phone calls lies in your getting yourself a good tape recorder with a Radio Shack recording controller.
    At least, that is the first step.
    The second step is to politely ask each caller for their name and the name of the company they represent. Then let them ramble on a bit as you can hope they will make the same dumb mistakes they have made in the past and you can catch them on tape.

    What neither you nor your friend are likely to be aware of is that these callers are most likely common criminals in the first place. They have probably submitted negative credit information to a credit reporting agency whithout telling your friend in advance and in writing that they were going to do that.

    California Civil Cod 1785.26 says they can't do that. If they did, then they broke the law and are indeed common criminals. And that is just one of the many possible violations that they have probably committed. So by taping the calls, you might be able to provide valuable assistance to your friend.

    But you also want to know how to get rid of the pests. The way to do that is simple. Once you have listened to and recorded their crap, simply tell them that if they have anything further to say, they will have to do it in writing. Then bid them a good day and hang up the phone.

    You don't have to put up with what you are going through. All you have to do is tell them to put it in writing and hang up. After that, what can they do but comply? If you are firm about it, there is nothing they can do to you or your friend. Nothing whatever.

    So just hang up on them and be done with it.
  13. Maer

    Maer Well-Known Member

    Yes Bill your are right. Hanging up on them is best. I guess I really have no rights under the law since they are not trying to collect a debt from me. I spoke with them in the beginning trying to help my friend. Although I admit the first time they didn't give any information except their name and number and asked me to forward the message. After I found out what was going on I tried to speak to them for my friend. Really though, should they have been talking to me? Although it was obvious I knew what the calls were about, they still knew I was not her and simply a "reference".
    Frankly, now I am sick of the whole thing. I am very angry that these places even exist. From what I have found on the web, they promote themselves as so consumer friendly, helping the segment of population that traditional banks & credit card companies refuse to help. But in the end they do much more damage since there is no form of assistance when you get in trouble. And I believe for most people, it is only a matter of time till that happens. Especially since there is no protection with a CCCS or B/K type thing.
    I am also searching for information on "telo track". Has anybody heard of this database?
  14. bbauer

    bbauer Banned


    No, they should not be talking to you or telling you why they are calling or give you any information about the deal whatever.

    So if you have a tape recorder connected to your phone and you can lure them into telling you anything revealing at all, you can then go into court with your friend and she can sue the pants off of them using you as her witness.

    She won't have to worry about money if you can trap a couple of the rats for her and you will also be doing society a big favor by helping to put a stop to their abusive practices.

    As you probably know, that's basically what I am all about with this creditwrench stuff.
    I like nothing better than to help catch these yeggs who obviously think that abusing people in unfortunate circumstances is the right thing to do.

    Once they step over the line and break the law, they deserve whatever comes their way. Usually, it's never enough. They keep on doing it anyway no matter how many times you trap them. Nothing would please me more than to see some of these rats in nice pretty orange coveralls and wearing nice shiny bracelets on each wrist with a nice shiny chain connecting the two. Their wearing the same on their ankles would please me more and adding a nice shiney chain around their waists on top of that would absolutely make me chortle with glee. Sadly enough, I'm not likely to ever see that happen.
  15. Ms. Cinder

    Ms. Cinder Active Member

    I'm ashamed to say...I was the manager of one of these Payday places....I always tried to work with people who wanted out......just a little suggestion to your friend...... tell her to place stop payments on the checks that they are holding...because they will deposit these checks trying to collect the funds....then tell her to call the payday store and set up a payment plan...but make sure to tell them that she has placed a stop payment....they will be more then willing to work with her... And yes I is wrong to place stop payments...I work at a bank...
  16. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    Ms Cinder:

    WOW! You never learn, do you??


    Sorry, just couldn't resist.
  17. Ms. Cinder

    Ms. Cinder Active Member

    Hey!! I'm good at what I do....
  18. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    I wouldn't dispute your word for even a second.

    I'm quite sure you are. Nobody stays on the job that long if they aren't.

    Have a nice one.
  19. Ms. Cinder

    Ms. Cinder Active Member

  20. Maer

    Maer Well-Known Member

    Wow I am so glad you responded. I will tell her first thing in the morning.
    Just one question though. She can't be prosecuted for stop payments like they say she can for NSF?
    Can you explain how you worked with people? So far only one place offered any kind of help and it was a major chain (Check N GO I think). All they would do is let her pay half now and half in two weeks.
    Also, can you explain what telo track is? Or if there really is such a thing.
    I did a search on the internet trying to find out information about their collection practices. THere are literally hundreds of places on the internet that offer this as well. I was unable to find anything (with the exception of a couple of newspaper articles) with any negative information or suggestions on getting out of the hole with them?
    While working there, did you encounter a lot of people like my friend?
    Again, thank you for sharing

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