What Are My Rights When a Creditor Gives Me 20 Minutes to Pay a Debt or Face Felony Charges?

“I was contacted by a company called ‘Unified Mediation Services,” regarding a check that I am really unsure if I wrote. I don’t remember writing it. But the lady on the phone said that I owed 789 dollars to a check cashing place and that the statue was up today and that they were filing a felony warrant with the county to have me arrested if I didn’t pay in 20 minutes. She said that she didn’t have to call. I asked her to give me until the end of the month because I don’t have the money she said that I should turn myself in to the authorities. What should I do? I dont have money, especially that kind of money. I live in Mississippi.”

The first thing you can do is to go through your old bank records and see if there is any instance of a check you wrote not being honored. If you find that you indeed wrote a bad check, you should try to resolve the situation with the mediation company. You may also call your local police department to see if there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest.

Generally, the recipient of a bad check will attempt to notify you via certified mail before pursuing charges; however, it is not always required. Check fraud, in most states, is punishable as either a misdemeanor of felony and can result in a fine, jail time, or both. Given the seriousness of this claim, you should also contact a local attorney who will be better able to help you. Additionally, since it sounds like a third party collector contacted you regarding the debt, you may be able to sue them for damages arising from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act since debt collectors cannot threaten debtors over the phone. A local attorney will be better able to assist you with this.