One financial problem can set off a chain reaction of complications that can make a person miserable. The initial problem can be something as simple as a car in need of repairs. The owner then gets a payday loan cover an expected bill of $200. When the repairs are higher than expected, the car owner can be in a dilemma requiring them to take out an even bigger loan — unfortunately, a loan too big for them to pay off.
So they default on the loan and find that they are then inundated by harassing phone calls from a debt collector issuing threats of lawsuits, paycheck garnishment or arrest.
The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hopes to break the chain by strengthening its rules against predatory payday lenders. A Pennsylvania newspaper says "on the surface, it looks like a worthwhile effort," but that the rules tweaks might wind up hurting more people than they help.
Pennsylvania has its own restrictions on high-interest, short-term loans (though some payday lenders get around the restrictions). A tweaking of the rules might inadvertently give other short-term lenders a backdoor entrance here, The Express-Times argues.
While payday loans are legal here, interest caps imposed by our state make the business unattractive. But there are lenders operating out of other states that make loans to Philadelphia residents and Pennsylvania lenders that skirt the laws in attempts to prey on people with low incomes or cash-flow problems.
As noted earlier, that is when the debt collection harassment can begin. A skilled consumer protection attorney can help you take effective action against a collector using abusive, harassing and intimidating tactics.