"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 Lake Forest, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Lake Forest, 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 Lake Forest, California collections agency. If you go this route, it is essential 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 Lake Forest, 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 civilly, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in a civil manner, you should resist the temptation 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.
However, you do have some options in Lake Forest, 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 stop calling you, and they usually are obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't eliminate 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 hired a Lake Forest, California lawyer to help, he or she might advise that you file for bankruptcy. If you do file for bankruptcy, creditors are immediately required to suspend all collection activities. Of course, bankruptcy is a major decision, and should not be made without the advice of an attorney.
How Can a Lake Forest, California Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that a creditor is violating the law in its attempts to collect from you, you should get in touch with a Lake Forest, California attorney, since you might actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
Also, if you're considering filing for bankruptcy, a good attorney in California can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.