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I’m So Scared to Stop Paying My Payday Loans

By on January 25, 2017


Dear Steve,

I have got in over my head on payday/installment loans. Im to the point that I can’t even afford to pay my regular bills because each week payments are coming out on these loans. I know I owe the money and understand it needs to be paid. but my biggest fear is if I close my bank account to stop all this, will I get arrested?

I have read some scary stuff that has happened to people. But I’m going to lose my house, car and have nothing if I continue this. So I thought if I closed my bank account, I could get back on my feet. Then try to deal with them. Or have them go to collections, then contact an agency, like consumer credit counseling or something to get them paid back.

But like I said, I’m so scared of this coming back and getting me in trouble with the law I have never even had a speeding ticket so this scares me. Can you advise on this or tell me the laws regarding payday and installment loans?

Can you get arrested for cancelling your bank account to stop payday and installment loans?



Dear Linda,

You’ve got a lot going on and it certainly sounds like you are dealing with this out of fear and emotion.

It sounds as if you were trying to deal with a financial shortfall by taking out expensive payday loans. And you’ve already admitted you can’t pay your regular bills.

So as far as trying to pay your way out of this jam and live safely, I would put that in the highly unlikely basket.

Before you leap to do anything, let’s get a plan in place that makes sense.

There is only one solution that would keep you out of collections and prevent you from being sued. I would advise you to meet with a local bankruptcy attorney and talk to them about legally discharging your debts under the legal protection of bankruptcy. You should read How to Find a Great Bankruptcy Attorney.

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I love practical solutions that address the problem and resolve it so people can move forward with a better life. And I’ve got to say, closing your bank account and then running for cover does not fit that strategy.

Go explore your available legal protections available in bankruptcy and then come back and post an update in the comments below.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


  1. Jeff

    January 26, 2017 at 11:10 am

    I can’t disagree with anything you said. I just wish more people knew their rights and didn’t let collection agents scare or manipulate them. You CANNOT be arrested for not paying your bills as Linda was afraid of. ALL collectors lie and will say whatever they have to in order to get you to pay. Payday loan collectors are the absolute worst. People, please educate yourselves.

    • Steve Rhode

      January 26, 2017 at 11:24 am


      Payday loan collections are also ripe with fake collectors trying to collect fake loans. This typically happens when some scam group buys the customer list of some online payday lender. They then call and pretend to be a law enforcement officer and say they are on the way to arrest the subject.

      The only cases I’ve seen where someone was incorrectly criminally charged by the District Attorney and arrested were for payday loans where a physical check was left on file and dishonored by the bank when due. This was under the bad check laws of the state. It is less common these days but still happens.

  2. Linda

    January 25, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Question asked.

    • Steve Rhode

      January 25, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Question answered.

      • Jeff

        January 26, 2017 at 10:04 am

        Steve, I have to say that I do not agree with the advice you gave Linda. Without knowing what her financial situation would be if she didn’t have the payday loans, you said she should file bankruptcy. What if she took them out because of a temporary problem? And without them, she would now be doing fine? I would offer the following advice and I know it works because I lived it. Immediately stop paying the payday loans. These loans are designed to keep consumers enslaved to them for years. I was in the same situation and I just stopped paying them. I’m sure the payments that I made were more than the original loans amounts. I had both on-line and in-store loans. Some loans I didn’t even make the first payment. I probably defaulted on about 8 different loans. They come after you and come hard. But all they do is call on the phone. Block their numbers or better yet, send a certified letter to the company revoking permission to call your cell. If they keep calling – TCPA claim. That means $$ in your pocket. Eventually they will give up and sell it to a bottom feeder collection agency. They surely will violate FDCPA which means more $$ in your pocket. And they will then leave you alone. Not one ever attempted to sue me. They know that the odds of ever collecting anything are nil. The extra money is nice but the best part is that you get your life back. Then, make sure you pay your bills on time and rebuild your credit. And NEVER take out a payday loan again.

        • Steve Rhode

          January 26, 2017 at 10:17 am


          Thank you for posting your opinion you did not agree. It gives me a great opportunity to focus on one area of her question. As you noted you were prepared to face the onslaught of action. Some people are able to handle that, others are not. Standing up to collectors is a process you have to be prepared for. The key is knowing what to say or do and what not to say or do. I’ve seen many people fall into a bigger trap because they able to be manipulated by fear and pressure by the collector.

          Based on what Linda wrote about her fear of what might come, I offered the advice “There is only one solution that would keep you out of collections and prevent you from being sued.” Which is true. The other advantage of bankruptcy is it would be a hammer that would provide both emotional and legal protection.

          Studies show that people who file for bankruptcy protection do better financially moving forward than those who do not. Everyone is free to choose their own path. But Linda did not sound to me like someone who wanted to fight the stressful situation or take an aggressive stance/fight moving forward.

          The solution you selected is obviously one you found best but there is a significant benefit to many people in being able to get the legal protection of bankruptcy, eliminate the debt in about 90 days, do better moving forward, and not have to worry about it one more day.


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