"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 Riverside, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Riverside, California?
If somebody owes you money and is declining to pay, you have various 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.
For example, it should go without mentioning that creditors are not allowed to use threatened or actual violence when attempting to collect. They are also not permitted to use abusive language to the debtor, or contact a third party about the debt.
Creditors may, however, send written demands for timely payment, along with an invoice that precisely lays out exactly what the debtor owes. If the debt is substantial, it might be worth it to hire a Riverside, California collection agency, which usually gets paid through a percentage of the debt collected. You should make sure, however, that the agency is trustworthy, and hasn't been cited for violations of consumer protection laws.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Riverside, California?
If you truly owe the money being sought, and you are able to pay it, you should of course do so. If the collection caller is behaving courteously, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in a polite manner, you should resist the urge 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.
Your best option in Riverside, California might be to contact the creditor directly, and try to work out some type of new repayment plan. The earlier you do this, the more receptive to your ideas the creditor is likely to be. If this isn't successful, you can demand that the collectors stop contacting you by phone, and they will typically be obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, and you should only take this route if you are ready to defend against a lawsuit from your creditors, since demanding that they stop contacting you usually leaves them with no other option but to sue.
If you have hired a Riverside, California attorney to help you through this process, he or she may advise that you declare bankruptcy. Once this occurs, creditors are legally barred from trying to collect against the debtor. Of course, this is a major decision, and should not be made lightly.
How Can a Riverside, California Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that a creditor is violating the law in its effort to collect from you, you should get in touch with a Riverside, California attorney, since you may actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
If you are thinking about applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned lawyer in California can help you with that process, too.