"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 Hawthorne, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Hawthorne, 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.
One thing you are allowed to do is send a written demand for immediate payment. The demand should lay out the exact 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 prudent to hire a Hawthorne, California collections agency. If you go this route, it is crucial 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 Hawthorne, 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 cordial 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 Hawthorne, California. First of all, you should attempt to directly contact the creditor, and see if some adjusted 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 might 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 retained a Hawthorne, 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 Hawthorne, 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 Hawthorne, 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.