"Collections" refers to the process by which creditors attempt to get nonpaying debtors to pay what is owed. There are many laws in Arlington, Massachusetts regulating the conduct of collections agences.
What if I Am Owed Money in Arlington, Massachusetts?
If you are owed money and the debtor won't pay, for whatever reason, you are entitled to seek collection by any lawful means. Of course, the means of collection that are considered "lawful" are quite limited. You should be aware of the laws that govern collections before you proceed, as breaking them can hurt your chances of collecting, and even expose you to liability.
For example, when attempting to collect, creditors are not allowed to use abusive language, contact any third party about the debt, and of course they are not allowed to use threats of violence in an attempt to get their money.
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 significant, it might be worth it to hire an Arlington, Massachusetts 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 Arlington, Massachusetts?
If you actually owe the money being sought, and you are able to pay it, you should of course do so. If the collection caller is behaving civilly, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in a civil 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.
However, you do have some options in Arlington, Massachusetts. 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 stop calling you, and they usually are obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't eliminate 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 hired an Arlington, Massachusetts attorney to help you through this process, he or she might advise that you declare bankruptcy. Once this occurs, creditors are legally barred from attempting to collect against the debtor. Of course, this is a major decision, and should not be made lightly.
How Can a Arlington, Massachusetts Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that a creditor is violating the law in its attempts to collect from you, you should get in touch with an Arlington, Massachusetts attorney, since you might actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
Also, if you're considering filing for bankruptcy, a good attorney in Massachusetts can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.