"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 Berkeley, Illinois governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Berkeley, Illinois?
If someone owes you money and won't pay, you have some legal options to seek repayment of your debt. However, you need to be careful in this area. There are many laws and regulations detailing what debt collectors can and cannot do. Breaking these laws, even inadvertently, can harm your chances at collecting, and maybe even expose you to civil penalties.
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 authorized 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 considerable, it might be worth it to hire a Berkeley, Illinois collection agency, which usually gets paid through a percentage of the debt collected. You should make sure, however, that the agency is dependable, and hasn't been cited for violations of consumer protection laws.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Berkeley, Illinois?
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 cordially, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in a cordial 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.
Thankfully, you have various options at your disposal in Berkeley, Illinois. First, you should try to contact the creditor directly, and see if some sort of agreement can be worked out. If this is unsuccessful, you can tell the collectors to stop contacting you, which may work in some instances. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, but it might give you a little bit of breathing room. The collectors will only be allowed to contact you to let you know that they are suing you for the money owed, or that they have stopped attempting to collect the debt.
If you have hired a lawyer in Berkeley, Illinois, 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 individual case, so you should not do so until an attorney has reviewed the facts and determined that bankruptcy is a feasible solution.
How Can a Berkeley, Illinois Collections Attorney Help?
If you think that a collection agency is engaging in illegal tactics, you should call a local Berkeley, Illinois attorney, as you might have a claim for damages against the creditor or the collection agency.
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, a good lawyer in Illinois can help you with that process, too.