"Collections" refers broadly to the various tools that creditors have at their disposal to get payment from debtors who are not paying what they owe. There are many Oak Ridge, North Carolina 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 Oak Ridge, North Carolina?
If you are owed money and the debtor refuses to pay, you have some options at your disposal. However, you must tread lightly when it comes to collecting your debts. Creditors and collectors are governed by specific consumer protection laws. Violating these laws can hurt your chances of recovering what you are owed, and even subject you to civil or criminal penalties.
For example, when trying to collect, creditors are not allowed to use abusive language, contact any third party regarding the debt, and of course they are not allowed to use threats of violence in an attempt to get their money.
You may, however, send a written demand for timely payment. The demand should lay out exactly how much the debtor allegedly owes. If there is a large amount of money involved, it may be worth it to hire an Oak Ridge, North Carolina collections agency, which will probably take its fee in the form of a percentage of the debt collected. You should do some research on different collections agencies in your area, to make sure the one you hire is reputable, and thoroughly follows the law.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Oak Ridge, North Carolina?
If you actually owe the money being sought, and you are able to pay it, you should of course do so. If the collection caller is behaving amicably, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in an amicable manner, you should resist the urge 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 many options at your disposal in Oak Ridge, North Carolina. First, you should try to contact the creditor directly, and see if some sort of deal 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 trying to collect the debt.
If you have hired an Oak Ridge, North Carolina 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 Oak Ridge, North Carolina Collections Attorney Help?
If you think that the collection agency is violating the law in its effort to collect, you should probably call an Oak Ridge, North Carolina attorney, since such conduct on the part of the creditor may actually give you a claim for damages against it.
If you are thinking about applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned lawyer in North Carolina can help you with that process, too.