"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 Sebastopol, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Sebastopol, 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.
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 allowed 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 clearly lays out exactly what the debtor owes. If the debt is significant, it might be worth it to hire a Sebastopol, California collection agency, which usually gets paid through a percentage of the debt collected. You should make sure, however, that the agency is reputable, and hasn't been cited for violations of consumer protection laws.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Sebastopol, California?
If you actually 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.
However, you do have some options in Sebastopol, 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 retained a Sebastopol, 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 viable option, given your individual circumstances.
How Can a Sebastopol, 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 Sebastopol, 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.