"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 Columbia, Illinois governing the tactics that collection agencies can and cannot do.
What if I Am Owed Money in Columbia, 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.
You may, however, send a written demand for timely payment which lays out to the debtor exactly how much is owed. If a large amount of money is owed to you, it might be a good idea to hire a collections agency in Columbia, Illinois. These agencies usually take their fee in the form of a percentage of the debt collected. You need to research agencies thoroughly however, and make sure the one you hire does not engage in illegal practices.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Columbia, Illinois?
If you actually owe the money that is being sought, and can afford to pay it, you should do so. If the collection caller is behaving in a polite manner, you should try to do the same. In any case, the worst thing you can do is ignore the issue hoping that it will go away. It won't.
Luckily, you have some options in Columbia, Illinois. First of all, you should try to directly contact the creditor, and see if some revised 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 usually 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 Columbia, Illinois attorney, they may advise that you declare bankruptcy, depending on your particular situation. In any case, you shouldn't consider bankruptcy before weighing other options, and discussing the matter with an attorney.
How Can a Columbia, Illinois Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that a creditor is violating the law in its effort to collect from you, you should get in touch with a Columbia, Illinois attorney, since you may actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
If you are thinking about applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned lawyer in Illinois can help you with that process, too.