"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 Elk Grove, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Elk Grove, California?
If somebody owes you money and is declining to pay, you have several options at your disposal. However, in doing so, you will be governed by very specific consumer protection rules that govern the collection of debts. Violating these rules can hurt your chances at effectively collecting, and might even expose you to civil liability.
As an example, when attempting 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 may be worth it to hire an Elk Grove, 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 Elk Grove, 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 Elk Grove, 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 Elk Grove, 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 Elk Grove, California Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that the collections agency is engaging in unlawful or abusive activity, you should consult with a local attorney in Elk Grove, California, as you may actually have a claim for damages against the collection agency.
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.