"Collections" is the process by which creditors attempt to get nonpaying debtors to pay the money they owe. There are a large number of laws in Downey, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Downey, California?
If somebody owes you money and is refusing to pay, you have several options at your disposal. However, in doing so, you will be governed by very strict consumer protection laws that govern the collection of debts. Breaking these rules can hurt your chances at successfully collecting, and might even expose you to civil liability.
As an example, when trying to collect, creditors may not use abusive language, contact third parties regarding the debt, or use violence or threats of violence.
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 might be worth it to hire a Downey, 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 various collections agencies in your area, to make sure the one you hire is reputable, and scrupulously follows the law.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Downey, California?
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 a civil 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.
Your best option in Downey, California might be to contact the creditor directly, and try to work out some type of new repayment plan. The sooner you do this, the more receptive to your ideas the creditor is likely to be. If this isn't successful, you can demand that the collectors stop contacting you by phone, and they will usually be obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, and you should only take this route if you are prepared to defend against a lawsuit from your creditors, since demanding that they stop contacting you generally leaves them with no other option but to sue.
If you have retained a Downey, California attorney during this process, they might advise that the best course of action is to file for bankruptcy. This is a major decision, however, and should not be made lightly. You should only file for bankruptcy if an attorney advises you that it is a viable viable option, given your individual circumstances.
How Can a Downey, California Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that the collections agency is engaging in illegal or abusive activity, you should consult with a local attorney in Downey, California, as you might actually have a claim for damages against the collection agency.
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, a good lawyer in California can help you with that process, too.