"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 Atascadero, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Atascadero, 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 Atascadero, 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 Atascadero, 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.
Luckily, you have some options in Atascadero, California. First of all, you should try to directly contact the creditor, and see if some revised 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 Atascadero, California, 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 Atascadero, 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 Atascadero, California 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 California can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.