"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 Irvine, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Irvine, 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.
One thing you are allowed to do is send a written demand for immediate payment. The demand should lay out the precise 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 wise to hire an Irvine, California collections agency. If you go this route, it is necessary 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 Irvine, 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 polite 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.
However, you do have some options in Irvine, California. First of all, you should make an effort to get in direct contact with the creditor, as opposed to the collection agency, and try to work something out. If this fails, you can tell the collections agency to cease calling you, and they usually are obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't expunge the debt, but it can buy you some time. You should know, however, that when you show that you are not interested in dealing with the creditors or collectors directly, they will usually resort to a lawsuit.
If you have retained an Irvine, California attorney during this process, they might advise that the best course of action is to apply for bankruptcy. This is a major decision, however, and should not be made easily. You should only apply for bankruptcy if an attorney advises you that it is a viable viable option, given your individual circumstances.
How Can a Irvine, California Collections Attorney Help?
If you think that a collection agency is engaging in abusive tactics, you should call a local Irvine, California attorney, as you might have a claim for damages against the creditor or 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.