"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 Columbia Falls, Montana 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 Columbia Falls, Montana?
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.
The law blocks creditors from engaging in any form of violence against the debtor in an attempt to collect. It additionally bars them from using abusive language or contacting third parties about the debt owed by the debtor.
Creditors may, however, send written demands for timely payment, along with an invoice that precisely lays out exactly what the debtor owes. If the debt is substantial, it might be worth it to hire a Columbia Falls, Montana 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 Columbia Falls, Montana?
If you truly owe the money that is being sought, and can afford to pay it, you should do so. If the collection caller is behaving in a polite manner, you should try to do the same. In any case, the worst thing you can do is ignore the issue hoping that it will go away. It won't.
However, you do have some options in Columbia Falls, Montana. First of all, you should make an effort to get in direct contact with the creditor, as opposed to the collection agency, and try to work something out. If this fails, you can tell the collections agency to cease calling you, and they typically are obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't expunge the debt, but it can buy you some time. You should know, however, that when you show that you are not interested in dealing with the creditors or collectors directly, they will usually resort to a lawsuit.
If you have hired a Columbia Falls, Montana lawyer to help, he or she may advise that you file for bankruptcy. If you do apply for bankruptcy, creditors are immediately required to suspend all collection activities. Of course, bankruptcy is a major decision, and should not be made without the advice of an attorney.
How Can a Columbia Falls, Montana Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that a creditor is violating the law in its effort to collect from you, you should get in touch with a Columbia Falls, Montana attorney, since you may actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
Also, if you are considering bankruptcy as an option, a seasoned Montana attorney can help guide you through the process.