"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 Watsonville, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Watsonville, California?
If somebody owes you money and is refusing to pay, you have various 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 permitted 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 exact 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 prudent to hire a Watsonville, California collections agency. If you go this route, it is crucial to make sure that you hire an agency that is trustworthy, and follows the relevant law to the letter.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Watsonville, 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 civilly, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in a civil manner, you should resist the temptation 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.
Luckily, you have some options in Watsonville, California. First of all, you should attempt to directly contact the creditor, and see if some modified 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 typically 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 hired a lawyer in Watsonville, California, they might advise that you file for bankruptcy. Of course, whether or not this is a good idea depends heavily on the facts of your specific case, so you should not do so until an attorney has reviewed the facts and determined that bankruptcy is a possible solution.
How Can a Watsonville, 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 Watsonville, California, as you might actually have a claim for damages against the collection agency.
Also, if you're considering filing for bankruptcy, a good attorney in California can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.