"Collections" refers to the process by which creditors try to get nonpaying debtors to pay what is owed. There are various laws in St. Joseph, Illinois regulating the conduct of collections agences.
What if I Am Owed Money in St. Joseph, Illinois?
If someone owes you money and declines to pay it, you have various options at your disposal. However, when it comes to collecting their debts, creditors are governed by specific consumer protection rules. Violation of these rules while attempting to collect could hurt your chances at effectively recovering your money, and/or subject 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 permitted 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 substantial, it might be worth it to hire a St. Joseph, Illinois collection agency, which usually gets paid through a percentage of the debt collected. You should make sure, however, that the agency is trustworthy, and hasn't been cited for violations of consumer protection laws.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in St. Joseph, Illinois?
If you truly 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.
Your best option in St. Joseph, Illinois might be to contact the creditor directly, and try to work out some type of new repayment plan. The earlier you do this, the more receptive to your ideas the creditor is likely to be. If this isn't successful, you can demand that the collectors stop contacting you by phone, and they will typically be obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, and you should only take this route if you are ready to defend against a lawsuit from your creditors, since demanding that they stop contacting you usually leaves them with no other option but to sue.
If you have hired a lawyer in St. Joseph, Illinois, they might advise that you apply for bankruptcy. Of course, whether or not this is a good idea depends strongly on the facts of your specific case, so you should not do so unless an attorney has reviewed the facts and determined that bankruptcy is a possible solution.
How Can a St. Joseph, Illinois Collections Attorney Help?
If you think that a collection agency is engaging in unlawful tactics, you should call a local St. Joseph, Illinois attorney, as you might have a claim for damages against the creditor or 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.