Can they issue an arrest warrant?

Q: I just received a phone call from a woman who stated she worked for a law firm handling a payday loan case from Plain Green Loans. The loan was “supposedly” given to me on Nov 2, 2011. She said I owed $993. I have not received any physical verification of this loan nor do I have any knowledge of this. She threatened me with an arrest warrant? I’ve had people call and threaten me like this before for companies I’ve never heard of and nothing has happened. Should I be worried?

A: Only a court can issue an arrest warrant and it is served by a constable, deputy sheriff or police officer. It sounds like creditor harassment. If you have nothing to do with this, and you believe this is a case of mistaken identity, as a first option, you may want to file a police report or call the consumer protection division of the Office of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania. Once you do that you should talk to a civil lawyer who deals in creditor harassment. If you may owe this debt, as a short term fix you may just want to change your phone number.

Do I have recourse against a collection agency?

Q: I have a collection agency calling my friends and family disclosing my name and social security on their answering machines. Do I have any recourse?

A:  You may have a case. You may also want to call the consumer protection division of the Pennsylvania Attorney General. They may be able to help or give you guidance. I would preserve the evidence if you can, i.e., voicemails, dates and times of calls. You may also want to call a consumer rights attorney.