"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 West Plains, 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 West Plains, 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.
For example, it should go without saying that creditors are not allowed to use threatened or actual violence when trying to collect. They are also not permitted to use abusive language to the debtor, or contact a third party about the debt.
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 substantial, it might be worth it to hire a West Plains, Missouri collection agency, which usually gets paid through a percentage of the debt collected. You should make sure, however, that the agency is trustworthy, and hasn't been cited for violations of consumer protection laws.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in West Plains, 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.
Thankfully, you have numerous options at your disposal in West Plains, Missouri. First, you should try to contact the creditor directly, and see if some sort of solution can be worked out. If this is unsuccessful, you can tell the collectors to stop contacting you, which may work in some instances. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, but it might give you a little bit of breathing room. The collectors will only be allowed to contact you to let you know that they are suing you for the money owed, or that they have stopped attempting to collect the debt.
If you have retained the services of a West Plains, 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 West Plains, Missouri Collections Attorney Help?
If you think that a collection agency is engaging in unlawful tactics, you should call a local West Plains, Missouri attorney, as you might have a claim for damages against the creditor or the collection agency.
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, a good lawyer in Missouri can help you with that process, too.