"Collections" refers to the process by which creditors attempt to get nonpaying debtors to pay what is owed. There are numerous laws in Barnstable, Massachusetts regulating the conduct of collections agences.
What if I Am Owed Money in Barnstable, 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 a Barnstable, 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 Barnstable, 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 cordially, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in a cordial 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 Barnstable, 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 retained the services of a Barnstable, Massachusetts attorney, they might 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 Barnstable, 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 a Barnstable, Massachusetts attorney, since you might actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, a good lawyer in Massachusetts can help you with that process, too.