"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 Sonoma County, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Sonoma County, California?
If somebody owes you money and is declining to pay, you have several 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 allowed to use abusive language to the debtor, or contact a third party about the debt.
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 Sonoma County, California collections agency. If you go this route, it is critical 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 Sonoma County, California?
If you actually owe the money that is being sought, and can afford to pay it, you should do so. If the collection caller is behaving in a polite manner, you should try to do the same. In any case, the worst thing you can do is ignore the issue hoping that it will go away. It won't.
Fortunately, you have some options in Sonoma County, California. First of all, you should attempt to contact the creditor directly, and see if something can be worked out. If this doesn't work, you can demand that the collection agency stop contacting you by phone. When this happens, they are not allowed to contact you further. This, of course, doesn't make the debt go away, but if the calls are becoming unbearable, it might buy you a little bit of time. Usually, when this happens, the creditor gives up on extra-judicial collections, and files a lawsuit against the debtor.
If you have hired a Sonoma County, California lawyer to help, he or she may advise that you file for bankruptcy. If you do apply 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 Sonoma County, 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 Sonoma County, California attorney, since you might actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
Also, if you're considering applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned attorney in California can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.