Another Debt Collector Charged With Illegally Posing as a County Clerk

19 Nov Another Debt Collector Charged With Illegally Posing as a County Clerk

An Oklahoma based payday lending firm operating under the names CASHMAX, Fed Cash, TOPCASH and Cash Service Center andowned by Patrick D. “Dylan” White found itself subject to a temporary restraining order issued by a Texas court earlier this month. Apparently, the lending firm was illegally misrepresenting itself as an official Dallas County government agency.

According to Texas State investigatiors, the defendant sent deceptive collection letters to Texans with outstanding debts. The letters were delivered in envelopes that contained the Dallas County Clerk’s forged signature and improperly bore the official seals of both the State of Texas and Dallas County. Inside the envelopes, the defendant inserted notices of debt collection that instructed the recipients to call a telephone number, which belonged to Federal Cash Advance’s CASHMAX offices.

The notice letters illegally threatened criminal prosecution, referenced a phony “case number” and cited fictitious criminal penalties of up to five years in State prison and a fine upt to $10,000.

The Texas Finance Code prohibits debt collectors from threatening debtors with prison sentences. It also bans deceptive collection notices that improperly pressure debtors to pay their debts.

If you have received a debt collection letter threatening criminal prosecution, please contact an attorney to review the letter for violations of state and federal law. Or, if you are drowning in debt, you may want to consult a bankruptcy attorney toend the abusive debt collection tactics and get peace of mind.

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Jay S. Fleischman is a bankruptcy lawyer with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He can often be found on Google+ and Twitter, where he shares information about consumer protection issues and personal finance.

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