TYLER - A Tyler woman has filed a lawsuit against a payday loan company after it threatened to charge her with theft for nonpayment of her loan.

Tammy Bratusek filed suit against Texas Thrifty Loans on Feb. 21 in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.

In August 2010, Bratusek obtained a "payday" loan through Texas Thrifty Loans at its location in Tyler and was advanced $350. Bratusek was required to sign various loan-related documents, which stated $428.21 was due within one month.

According to the lawsuit, Bratusek was unable to pay the entire amount when due, but she made partial payments and had the loan refinanced.

As Bratusek fell further behind in repayment, the defendant allegedly initiated more aggressive collection tactics, including threatening Bratusek with theft.

Bratusek states that the collection practices caused her to suffer extreme mental anguish, emotional distress, headaches, nausea, embarrassment, weight loss and other physical symptoms.

The defendant is accused of violating the Texas Debt Collection Act, the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act and the Texas Credit Services Organization Act.

The plaintiff is asking the court to issue a preliminary injunction to prevent the defendant from making contacts with him during this lawsuit and for an award of actual damages, statutory damages, punitive and exemplary damages, court costs, attorney's fees and interest.

Bratusek is represented by Brenda Willett and Robert Wharton of Lone Star Legal Aid in Nacogdoches and Jane Parreiras-Horta of Lone Star Legal Aid in Tyler.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis is assigned to the case.

Case No. 6:12-cv-00078

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