"Collections" refers to the process by which creditors try to get nonpaying debtors to pay what is owed. There are countless laws in St. Clair County, Illinois regulating the conduct of collections agences.
What if I Am Owed Money in St. Clair County, Illinois?
If someone owes you money and declines to pay it, you have many 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 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 precisely lays out exactly what the debtor owes. If the debt is considerable, it might be worth it to hire a St. Clair County, 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 St. Clair County, 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 courteously, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in a polite 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. Clair County, 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 normally 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 typically leaves them with no other option but to sue.
If you have hired a lawyer in St. Clair County, 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 individual case, so you should not do so unless an attorney has reviewed the facts and determined that bankruptcy is a feasible solution.
How Can a St. Clair County, 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 St. Clair County, 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.