"Collections" refers broadly to the numerous tools that creditors have at their disposal to receive payment from debtors who are not paying what they owe. There are many Richmond Heights, 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 Richmond Heights, Missouri?
If someone owes you money and refuses to pay it, you have several 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.
One thing you are allowed to do is send a written demand for immediate payment. The demand should lay out the exact amount you believe is owed, so the debtor cannot plausibly claim ignorance of that fact. If a lot of money is involved, it might be prudent to hire a Richmond Heights, Missouri collections agency. If you go this route, it is critical to make sure that you hire an agency that is reputable, and follows the relevant law to the letter.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Richmond Heights, Missouri?
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.
Luckily, you have some options in Richmond Heights, Missouri. First of all, you should attempt to directly contact the creditor, and see if some adjusted 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 usually 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 hired a lawyer in Richmond Heights, Missouri, they might advise that you file for bankruptcy. Of course, whether or not this is a good idea depends heavily on the facts of your particular case, so you should not do so until an attorney has reviewed the facts and determined that bankruptcy is a viable solution.
How Can a Richmond Heights, 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 Richmond Heights, Missouri attorney, since you might actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
Also, if you are considering bankruptcy as an option, a good Missouri attorney can help guide you through the process.