General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Is this process server legitimate?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (10256 points ) July 2nd, 2014

Instead of filing bankruptcy I have been paying off my debts one by one. I have an old payday loan debt that I forgot about until last week when I started receiving phone calls about it. The call was from a blocked number and the woman claimed she was a process server who had some legal paperwork to serve me. She said if I wanted to avoid this I could contact the company who was suing me and pay off my debt. Of course I called the number she gave me and the the lady who answered had very little information about this debt I owe. I remember I did have a payday loan about 3 years ago and it was for $200. I made one payment and then got behind in bills so when the company tried charging my checking account automatically I overdrafted. They kept charging it again and again so I ended up with a whole lot of bank fees plus the amount of the loan. I couldn’t catch up and the bank closed my account. So now this loan company says I will have criminal charges for a bad check unless I pay $1700 immediately.

At first I was really concerned but the more I spoke to the woman, the more I felt like it was all a lie. She became very unprofessional when I asked for details and told me to “stop running my mouth” and “shut up”. I disconnected the call but now every day a “process server” calls me from a blocked number. She just called. I answered and told her I do not want to be contacted anymore because I want to look into the validity of this. She then called 4 more times. I will absolutely pay off the money I owe but I don’t owe $1700. There’s no way! And I don’t want to pay more than I owe just because I was scared into thinking I was being sued.

Is this process server legitimate? I’ve never heard of them calling to tell you before serving you. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose? I actually worked at a payday loan collection agency for a week and I quit because they were doing completely illegal things such as calling and telling people they would have liens placed on their house and car if they didn’t immediately pay. None of it was true. Simply scare tactics. But it worked! People paid! They also used aliases to avoid being in legal trouble. It was awful. I refused to take part in that so I quit. I’m wondering if that’s what this company is doing to me. I have no idea how to go about handling this. I don’t want criminal charges. I would like to pay off the loan amount but the company demanded I pay the $1700 or be sued. I just want to be sure I’m not being scammed here. Is there any way to be sure?

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33 Answers

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I can not begin to understand even having that conversation. I would have said mail me something and hung up.

To answer your question, probably not.

jca's avatar

Don’t answer the phone.

Contact the place you got the original loan from. You should be able to find out who it is and their contact information from your credit report. Don’t pay anything to the people who are calling. Only pay to the place you got the original loan from, pay by check so you have proof that it was paid.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@jca The problem is I can’t figure out who the original loan company was. I can’t recall the name and I have no paperwork with their name on it.

jca's avatar

Look it up on your credit history (credit report).

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The $1700 is possible, that is the reason to avoid a “a payday loan”. They add penalties and then compound the interest. The interest on some are 300 to 390% ! !

If you borrow $200 and payback $50 a week, in 10 or 12 weeks you pay back the loan. $600 to pay for $200.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Contact the original “pay loan company”, do you have a the check or receipt from the the one payment you made? ?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@jca It’s not listed on my credit report. @Tropical_Willie No. It was done as an auto pay out of my old checking account.

FlyingWolf's avatar

I have been served so many times (after a very acrimonious divorce) that I have lost count and there was not a single time the process server contacted me prior to service.

You are within your rights to ask them not to contact you anymore. After that nasty divorce I was hounded relentlessly by creditors and to get them to stop I had to send certified letters asking them to leave me alone. So the next time this person contacts you, get the name of the collection agency they are working for, the phone number, and the address so you can send this letter.

Also, most states have a statue of limitations on collecting old debts. The thing is though, the minute you speak to them, the clock starts over so their whole goal is to get you to speak to them.

Here is some information from the Federal Trade Commission. about what collection agencies are and are not allowed to do, along with information on turning in shady debt collectors that don’t abide by the rules.

tinyfaery's avatar

A process server would serve you legal documents letting you know that a complaint has been filed with the court. They would not harass you with phone calls.

This sounds like a collection agency. Block their number. Laws have been made restricting collection agency actions. Look it up.

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Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I used to be a process server. They serve legal papers through legal process. They would never engage a subject on the phone, except to say ,“Hey, I’ve been just missing you all over town, can you tell me when and where to bring this divorce document?” The job is deliver papers ONLY. They do not negotiate, make threats, or work for any company rounding up debts. I had to hike five miles of wilderness once hunting for a guy in a red tent, never didfin him. He called me and said he heard I wanted him for something.
Process servers – papers only.

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AshlynM's avatar

The blocked number should be an immediate red flag. Most likely it’s a debt collection agency posing as a process server to scare you into paying. Normally process servers do not call you first before serving you.
Did you try and get the name of the company these people were calling from? Ask for their mailing address so you can write to them to either stop the calls or to confirm the debt. By law they’re required to send you proof of your debt if asked.
Write down details of your phone conversations so you at least have records of them. Don’t admit to any debts or agree to pay anything.
Try contacting your bank you made the loan payments from. They may be able to tell you what the name of the company is. Or if not, try looking at your bank statements from that particular bank.

canidmajor's avatar

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act may help you out a bit here, it will give you some info on how far the collectors can go, and what recourse the debtor has to avoid most of the unpleasantness. Few consumers know the particulars, so collection groups get away with waaaay too much.

Hope this helps, good luck!

johnpowell's avatar

This isn’t so much for you but everyone else. Your bank must allow you to turn off overdrafts. It takes two minutes and you will never be hit with a 35$ fee for buying a bag of chips again.

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GloPro's avatar

Can’t you just answer the phone one more time and ask the horrible bitch on the other end who the original lender was?

If it were me, and it had been a couple years but it hasn’t shown up on your credit report I’d say fuck it and not worry about it. If you genuinely owe then you genuinely owe. Let them waste money suing before taking any action at all. Stop worrying about it and don’t answer, or pick up and hang up immediately. Blow them off. Unless you are wracked with guilt and just have to pay it back.

muppetish's avatar

[mod says] This question is in the General section. All responses must be on-topic and helpful to the question initiated by the original poster. If you would like to discuss related topics, then you should carry that discussion over into a new question. Thanks!

cazzie's avatar

Contact the original company. Process servers serve papers. Debt collectors or dubious scammers threaten to serve you papers if you don’t do as they say. You should have your original document or case or customer/client number. (perhaps on a cancelled check if they still do that in the US) Contact the original company. Companies like this do sell off their late receivables, but you want to be absolutely sure you are, indeed, paying off that loan. Demand paperwork and proof that they are the holders of the debt now. That is your right. (Sorry, I wrote this answer without looking at the other responses.)

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