"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 Westfield, New Jersey 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 Westfield, New Jersey?
If you are owed money and the debtor won't pay, for whatever reason, you are entitled to seek collection by any lawful means. Of course, the means of collection that are considered "lawful" are quite limited. You should be aware of the rules that govern collections before you proceed, as violating them can hurt your chances of collecting, and even expose you to liability.
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.
One thing you are allowed to do is send a written demand for immediate payment. The demand should lay out the precise 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 wise to hire a Westfield, New Jersey collections agency. If you go this route, it is essential 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 Westfield, New Jersey?
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 courteously, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in a polite 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.
However, you do have some options in Westfield, New Jersey. 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 usually 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 Westfield, New Jersey 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 Westfield, New Jersey Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that the collections agency is engaging in unlawful or abusive activity, you should consult with a local attorney in Westfield, New Jersey, as you may actually have a claim for damages against the collection agency.
If you are thinking about applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned lawyer in New Jersey can help you with that process, too.