"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 Los Angeles, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Los Angeles, California?
If somebody owes you money and is declining to pay, you have many 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 a Los Angeles, California collections agency. If you go this route, it is essential to make sure that you hire an agency that is dependable, and follows the relevant law to the letter.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Los Angeles, California?
If you know that you owe the money being sought of you, and have the ability to pay it, you should do so - this is the fastest and surest way to end collections calls. Of course, this is not the case for everyone. Whatever your situation, you should always behave courteously with the collection callers, especially if they are doing the same. Whatever you do, you should not ignore the matter, because this will never make the problem go away, and will make things worse in the long run.
Luckily, you have some options in Los Angeles, 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 normally 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 retained a Los Angeles, 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 feasible option, given your individual circumstances.
How Can a Los Angeles, California Collections Attorney Help?
If you think that the collection agency is violating the law in its effort to collect, you should probably call a Los Angeles, California attorney, since such behavior on the part of the creditor may actually give you a claim for damages against it.
Also, if you are considering bankruptcy as an option, a seasoned California attorney can help guide you through the process.