"Collections" refers broadly to the many tools that creditors have at their disposal to obtain payment from debtors who are not paying what they owe. There are many Maplewood, Missouri laws and regulations concerning the conduct of collections agencies, and what they can and cannot do in order to collect.
What if I Am Owed Money in Maplewood, Missouri?
If someone owes you money and refuses to pay it, you have various options at your disposal. However, when it comes to collecting their debts, creditors are governed by strict consumer protection rules. Violation of these rules while attempting to collect could hurt your chances at successfully recovering your money, and/or subject you to civil penalties.
As an example, when trying to collect, creditors may not use abusive language, contact third parties regarding the debt, or use violence or threats of violence.
You may, however, send a written demand for timely payment. The demand should lay out precisely how much the debtor allegedly owes. If there is a large amount of money involved, it might be worth it to hire a Maplewood, Missouri collections agency, which will probably take its fee in the form of a percentage of the debt collected. You should do some research on various collections agencies in your area, to make sure the one you hire is trustworthy, and scrupulously follows the law.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Maplewood, Missouri?
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 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.
Luckily, you have some options in Maplewood, Missouri. First of all, you should attempt to directly contact the creditor, and see if some modified 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 typically be obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, but it might 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 Maplewood, Missouri attorney, they might advise that you declare bankruptcy, depending on your specific situation. In any case, you shouldn't consider bankruptcy before weighing other options, and discussing the matter with an attorney.
How Can a Maplewood, Missouri 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 Maplewood, Missouri attorney, since you might truly have a claim for damages against the creditor.
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, a good lawyer in Missouri can help you with that process, too.