I just wanted to post this here to say thanks to the help in this forum, I have gotten myself out of the payday loan situation that I was in. I live in Wisconsin and had 5 internet payday loans which the interest payments alone were taking up all of my paycheck. I was in a never ending cycle of getting nowhere.
In reading these forums I realized that Wisconsin laws regarding payday loans are tricky, and a lender does not need to be licensed in Wisconsin to be legal as long as they are licensed somewhere in the U.S. And Wisconsin also does not have any laws restricting how high the interest rate is or how many loans you can have etc. so I thought I was going to be stuck with no options. But then I read another post regarding filing Chapter 128 in Wisconsin. Which is NOT bankruptcy, but another law which allows Wisconsin residents to include things such as payday loans, and credit cards, etc. in a repayment plan over a 3 year period. The day you file, you are no longer charged interest. Look up this option and read about it and see if it will work for you. I am told that my credit report should actually get better by filing this, since I will be making the payments on time each month. However, my credit is already not the greatest, so it isn't going to matter much in my situation.
So step one, I stopped my direct deposit with my employer, and I closed my checking account about a week prior to when the next withdrawal was going to take place. My bank did advise me that if ach transactions were set up to go through the transactions would reopen the account and that closing the account would not stop them and that I should pay the fees to put stop payment on those transactions. I told them I was not going to pay fees to stop those transactions and I just took a chance and closed the account. My lawyer told me that if the account is closed, they should not be allowed to reopen your account to let any transactions go through, as long as those transactions were not pending at the time you closed your account. Therefore, do not try and close your account a day before the transactions are going to go through, but if you do it a week in advance, you should be ok.
Step two, I made an appointment with a lawyer and filed Chapter 128. I was able to include all of the payday loans, plus my credit cards. Make sure you shop around for a lawyer that does not charge you an outrageous upfront fee. The one I had charges $195 up front, and then there is an additional fee that will be included in your monthly payments. I had contacted another lawyer who wanted to charge a $600 up front fee for the self pay option so that the payment does not automatically get taken out of your paycheck. The lawyer I found does not charge any fee if you don't want this to go through your work payroll.
Step three, on the day that the withdrawals were scheduled to come out of my account, I checked my bank account online, and sure enough all of the pending transactions were there, showing up as "in process". I went to my bank and they said since I closed the account, those transactions would just be returned that evening and I would not be charged any fees. And that is exactly what happened, they all got returned that evening and I was not charged any overdraft fees. Great news!
Step four, I started receiving emails from the payday loan companies about 3 business days later. Most of the emails said that they were willing to work out payments with me, so I think what I might suggest to you is before filing Chapter 128, contact the payday lenders and tell them that your only option is to file Chapter 128 if they won't let you work out a payment arrangement that is workable for you. I bet that they would work it out with you. I just felt like I was at the end of my rope and I had to get out of that mess quick! I told all the payday lenders that I filed Chapter 128 and gave them my lawyers phone number. And that was that - they said thank you and I haven't heard from them since.
I am hoping now that all I will have to do is make the monthly payments, and everything else will go smoothly. It feels good to be out of this mess - and thanks to everyone in this forum who is here to help others who are in this unfortunate situation.
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