"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 Washington, District of Columbia governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Washington, District of Columbia?
If you are owed money and the debtor won't pay, for whatever reason, you are entitled to seek collection by any lawful means. Of course, the means of collection that are considered "lawful" are quite limited. You should be aware of the rules that govern collections before you proceed, as violating them can hurt your chances of collecting, and even expose you to liability.
As an example, when attempting to collect, creditors may not use abusive language, contact third parties regarding the debt, or use violence or threats of violence.
What you can do, however, is send an invoice of the debt to the debtor, along with a firm (but civil) demand for timely payment. If the debt is substantial, you might also want to hire a collection agency in Washington, District of Columbia. You should make sure that any agency you hire is trustworthy, and has not been cited for violations of the rules governing collections.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Washington, District of Columbia?
If you truly owe the money that they are attempting 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 amicable manner. In any event, you should never ignore the problem, as this usually makes things worse.
Fortunately, you have some options in Washington, District of Columbia. 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 permitted 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 Washington, District of Columbia 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 Washington, District of Columbia 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 Washington, District of Columbia, 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 District of Columbia can help you with that process, too.