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American Indians Won’t Stop Calling to Collect on My Payday Loan. – Cameron

Written by Steve Rhode

“Dear Steve,

I made the huge mistake of taking out an online payday loan 3 years ago. The company is owned by an Indian tribe in the U.S. and is located on tribal land. I defaulted. Still can’t pay it as my income is very limited due to disability.

After they started collections, using their in-house staff, I sent a cease and desist letter and request for verification by certified mail, return receipt.

They refuse to stop calling and have called me almost every day for the past three years (robocalls to cell phone). I filed a BBB complaint and an FTC complaint.

Their position is that since they are on tribal land, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not apply to them, and they can do whatever they want.

They have also called me at work. I changed my phone number, and they somehow got the new one. I blocked all the numbers they call from, but somehow they still call from those numbers and get past my call blocking.

How do I make the calls stop? Are they correct? Are they allowed to ignore the FDCPA because of being on tribal land? If they should have stopped calling, can I sue them? It would have to be an attorney who works on contingency, as I have no money to pay for one up front.


Possible native American debt collectors.

Possible native American debt collectors.

Dear Cameron,

The Federal Trade Commission does not agree with their position. See Native American Tribal Indian Payday Loans Found to Be Operating Illegally

You can certainly find a FDCPA attorney, you can use this link, and some of them may take the issue on contingency.

But keep in mind, the underlying issue is you took out the debt and you still owe it.

Do you have other debts as well or is this the only one?

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

About the author

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.


  • I’m done. Emotionally exhausted. Can’t work and earn $$ to pay debts due to medical issues. Debts sold and resold, and each time a new creditor starts calling. But first they call members of my family, supposedly to locate me, even though they know where I am. Then family are furious with me yet again because another debt collector called them. They all think I’m a deadbeat. I’m not. I just can’t do this anymore.

    • I get it.

      It is emotionally draining. But you didn’t set out to have medical issues. So it just is what it is.

      Tell your family politely to get over it.

      When you can afford to file bankruptcy, do that. Until then, do something nice for someone else today. It will brighten your day.

  • Also, even though I owe the money it does not mean the creditor should call me everyday for three years even after receiving a cease and desist letter. I changed my phone number. They got the new one. I block their numbers, and they somehow get past my call blocking. I feel like a hunted animal. Thanks for the link to FDCPA attorneys, but none on the list are in the state where I live.

  • Yes, I owe it and will pay it if I can. But, I have numerous other debts in default. Most of them reach the statue of limitations in two years. I was hoping after that the collectors would leave me alone, but I suppose that’s not going to happen. Yes, I’ve seriously considered bankruptcy. But, I can’t pay an attorney, have little hope of saving the money to pay one (low income due to disability), and can’t borrow the money from anyone. I have not located any pro bono bankruptcy attorneys in Iowa, the state where I live. I assume the attorney would have to be in Iowa to represent me.. I’m afraid I’ll lose my house if I go through bankruptcy, and it’s my only asset. The total of unsecured, defaulted debt is not relatively huge – about $16,000 – but it’s huge when I have no money to pay any of it. So, I’m stuck. Absolutely no options.. Can’t afford an attorney, Can’t pay the debt. Even if I could afford a consolidation loan I could not get one because my credit score is 500. I’m in debt hell, and there is no escape.

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