"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 Chicago, Illinois governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Chicago, Illinois?
If someone owes you money and won't pay, you have several legal options to seek repayment of your debt. However, you need to be careful in this area. There are many rules and regulations detailing what debt collectors can and cannot do. Violating these laws, even inadvertently, can harm your chances at collecting, and maybe even expose you to civil penalties.
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.
Creditors may, however, send written demands for timely payment, along with an invoice that precisely lays out exactly what the debtor owes. If the debt is significant, it might be worth it to hire a Chicago, Illinois collection agency, which usually gets paid through a percentage of the debt collected. You should make sure, however, that the agency is reputable, and hasn't been cited for violations of consumer protection laws.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Chicago, Illinois?
If you actually 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.
However, you do have some options in Chicago, Illinois. First of all, you should make an effort to get in direct contact with the creditor, as opposed to the collection agency, and try to work something out. If this fails, you can tell the collections agency to cease calling you, and they usually are obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't expunge the debt, but it can buy you some time. You should know, however, that when you show that you are not interested in dealing with the creditors or collectors directly, they will usually resort to a lawsuit.
If you have retained a Chicago, Illinois attorney during this process, they might advise that the best course of action is to apply for bankruptcy. This is a major decision, however, and should not be made easily. You should only apply for bankruptcy if an attorney advises you that it is a viable viable option, given your individual circumstances.
How Can a Chicago, Illinois 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 Chicago, Illinois, as you may actually have a claim for damages against the collection agency.
Also, if you're considering applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned attorney in Illinois can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.