"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 St. Joseph, 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 St. Joseph, 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 St. Joseph, Missouri collections agency. If you go this route, it is necessary 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 St. Joseph, Missouri?
If you know that you owe the money being sought of you, and have the resources to pay it, you should do so - this is the quickest and surest way to end collections calls. Of course, this is not the case for everyone. Whatever your situation, you should always behave civilly 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 St. Joseph, 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 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 retained the services of a St. Joseph, Missouri 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 St. Joseph, 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 St. Joseph, 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.