Can i be served at work for an unreasonable time frame and past amount if not paid within a week?

i live on federal land on an indian reservation. i received a phone call from law firm about a payday loan from 2010 which i thought i had already paid. they stated ihad not. they stated that the case had already been taken before judge and judge wanted a certain amount by less than a week away or i would be served at my job. they made a adjustment to amount which is now 824.00 that they say i have to pay before the 5th. i asked for payment options but they still said it had to be by the 5th. Can they do that? I cant afford to pay it all by the 5th. I want an extension but havent received and answer. what should i do?

Asked over 8 years ago in North Carolina
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James R Coleman

Answer by James R Coleman

VerifiedWorldwide lawyer

There is a statute known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  It protects debtors from various actions by bill collectors.  You can find copies online.  Payday loan companies have been the subject of new laws, too.  Read all you can.
The first thing to do is find out if the caller is, in fact, a law firm.  There are bill collectors who falsely claim you owe an amount and that they are law firms.  They also falsely claim they have court orders.  Legitimate law firms do not call people with such news.  They use mail or process servers.  Do a web search using the name of the firm.  You might find there is no such firm. 
Next, find out where your local court is located.  Go to or write that court house and check if there have been any claims brought against you.  Some counties put all court records online. 
If there is a law school near you, the school may have students who will help you.  Check with the local bar association to see if there are attorneys who work pro bono, that is, for little or no charge. If you are Native American, there are groups who help Native Americans.  Search the internet for information.  They may know a lot more than I do about how your living on a reservation changes the way the law works.
If you already paid the debt, dig out your records. 
Good luck.

Posted over 8 years ago

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact James R Coleman, or search the Lawyer Directory.

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