"Collections" is the process by which creditors try to get nonpaying debtors to pay the money they owe. There are a huge number of laws in Elba, Alabama governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Elba, Alabama?
If you are owed money and the debtor refuses to pay, you have some options at your disposal. However, you must tread lightly when it comes to collecting your debts. Creditors and collectors are governed by specific consumer protection laws. Violating these laws can hurt your chances of recovering what you are owed, and even subject you to civil or criminal penalties.
Several practices that collectors cannot engage in include the use of abusive language, contacting third parties about the debt, and threatened or actual violence.
One thing you are allowed to do is send a written demand for immediate payment. The demand should lay out the precise amount you believe is owed, so the debtor cannot plausibly claim ignorance of that fact. If a lot of money is involved, it might be wise to hire an Elba, Alabama collections agency. If you go this route, it is critical to make sure that you hire an agency that is reputable, and follows the relevant law to the letter.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Elba, Alabama?
If you actually owe the money that is being sought, and can afford to pay it, you should do so. If the collection caller is behaving in an amicable manner, you should try to do the same. In any case, the worst thing you can do is ignore the issue hoping that it will go away. It won't.
Luckily, you have some options in Elba, Alabama. First of all, you should try to directly contact the creditor, and see if some altered payment plan can be worked out. If this doesn't work, you can ask the collectors to stop contacting you by phone, and they will usually be obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, but it may give you some time to collect yourself and prepare a legal defense. Once this happens, the collection agency can only contact you to inform you that it intends to sue you for the debt owed.
If you have hired a lawyer in Elba, Alabama, they might advise that you apply for bankruptcy. Of course, whether or not this is a good idea depends strongly on the facts of your particular case, so you should not do so unless an attorney has reviewed the facts and determined that bankruptcy is a viable solution.
How Can a Elba, Alabama Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that a creditor is violating the law in its effort to collect from you, you should get in touch with an Elba, Alabama attorney, since you may actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
Also, if you're considering applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned attorney in Alabama can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.