"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 Alameda County, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Alameda County, California?
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.
The law prohibits creditors from engaging in any form of violence against the debtor in an attempt to collect. It also bars them from using abusive language or contacting third parties about the debt owed by the debtor.
You may, however, send a written demand for timely payment. The demand should lay out exactly how much the debtor allegedly owes. If there is a large amount of money involved, it may be worth it to hire an Alameda County, California collections agency, which will probably take its fee in the form of a percentage of the debt collected. You should do some research on different collections agencies in your area, to make sure the one you hire is reputable, and meticulously follows the law.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Alameda County, California?
If you actually owe the money being sought, and you are able to pay it, you should of course do so. If the collection caller is behaving courteously, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in a polite manner, you should resist the urge to respond in kind, and ask to speak with a supervisor, or simply end the conversation. Whatever you do, you should never ignore the issue. This will not make the problem go away.
Thankfully, you have many options at your disposal in Alameda County, California. First, you should try to contact the creditor directly, and see if some sort of deal can be worked out. If this is unsuccessful, you can tell the collectors to stop contacting you, which may work in some instances. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, but it might give you a little bit of breathing room. The collectors will only be allowed to contact you to let you know that they are suing you for the money owed, or that they have stopped trying to collect the debt.
If you have hired an Alameda County, California lawyer to help, he or she may advise that you file for bankruptcy. If you do apply for bankruptcy, creditors are immediately required to suspend all collection activities. Of course, bankruptcy is a major decision, and should not be made without the advice of an attorney.
How Can a Alameda County, California 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 Alameda County, California attorney, since you may actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
If you are thinking about applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned lawyer in California can help you with that process, too.