"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 Great 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 Great Falls, Montana?
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.
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 clearly lays out exactly what the debtor owes. If the debt is substantial, it might be worth it to hire a Great 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 Great Falls, Montana?
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.
However, you do have some options in Great 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 stop calling you, and they typically are obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't eliminate 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 Great Falls, Montana lawyer to help, he or she might advise that you file for bankruptcy. If you do file 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 Great Falls, Montana Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that the collections agency is engaging in illegal or abusive activity, you should consult with a local attorney in Great Falls, Montana, as you might actually have a claim for damages against the collection agency.
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, a good lawyer in Montana can help you with that process, too.