"Collections" refers broadly to the countless tools that creditors have at their disposal to acquire payment from debtors who are not paying what they owe. There are many Springfield, 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 Springfield, Missouri?
If someone owes you money and declines to pay it, you have various 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.
As an example, when attempting 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 precise 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 wise to hire a Springfield, Missouri collections agency. If you go this route, it is necessary to make sure that you hire an agency that is trustworthy, and follows the relevant law to the letter.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Springfield, Missouri?
If you know that you owe the money being sought of you, and have the capacity to pay it, you should do so - this is the fastest and surest way to end collections calls. Of course, this is not the case for everyone. Whatever your situation, you should always behave courteously with the collection callers, especially if they are doing the same. Whatever you do, you should not ignore the matter, because this will never make the problem go away, and will make things worse in the long run.
Luckily, you have some options in Springfield, Missouri. First of all, you should try to directly contact the creditor, and see if some revised 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 may 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 a Springfield, Missouri attorney during this process, they might advise that the best course of action is to apply for bankruptcy. This is a major decision, however, and should not be made easily. You should only apply for bankruptcy if an attorney advises you that it is a viable possible option, given your individual circumstances.
How Can a Springfield, Missouri Collections Attorney Help?
If you think that the collection agency is violating the law in its effort to collect, you should probably call a Springfield, Missouri attorney, since such actions on the part of the creditor may actually give you a claim for damages against it.
If you are thinking about bankruptcy, a seasoned Missouri bankrutpcy attorney can help guide you through the process.