"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 West Covina, California governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in West Covina, California?
If somebody owes you money and is declining to pay, you have many 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 authorized 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 West Covina, California collections agency. If you go this route, it is essential to make sure that you hire an agency that is dependable, and follows the relevant law to the letter.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in West Covina, California?
If you really owe the money being sought, and you are able to pay it, you should of course do so. If the collection caller is behaving amicably, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in an amicable 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.
Luckily, you have some options in West Covina, California. First of all, you should try to directly contact the creditor, and see if some altered 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 may 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 the services of a West Covina, California attorney, they may advise that you declare bankruptcy, depending on your individual situation. In any case, you shouldn't consider bankruptcy before weighing other options, and discussing the matter with an attorney.
How Can a West Covina, California Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that the collections agency is engaging in unlawful or abusive activity, you should consult with a local attorney in West Covina, California, as you may actually have a claim for damages against the collection agency.
If you are thinking about applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned lawyer in California can help you with that process, too.