"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 Oakland, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Oakland, California?
If somebody owes you money and is refusing to pay, you have many 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.
For example, it should go without saying that creditors are not allowed to use threatened or actual violence when trying to collect. They are also not authorized to use abusive language to the debtor, or contact a third party about the debt.
What you can do, however, is send an invoice of the debt to the debtor, along with a firm (but civil) demand for timely payment. If the debt is considerable, you might also want to hire a collection agency in Oakland, California. You should make sure that any agency you hire is dependable, and has not been cited for violations of the laws governing collections.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Oakland, California?
If you really owe the money that they are trying to collect, and are able to pay it, doing so would be your best option for ending the collections calls. Of course, this is not everybody's situation. When dealing with collectors, you should try to maintain the high ground by behaving in a calm and cordial manner. In any event, you should never ignore the problem, as this usually makes things worse.
Luckily, you have some options in Oakland, 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 normally 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 an Oakland, 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 feasible option, given your individual circumstances.
How Can a Oakland, 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 Oakland, 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.