"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 Dunkirk, New York 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 Dunkirk, New York?
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.
The law prohibits creditors from engaging in any form of violence against the debtor in an attempt to collect. It also 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 significant, it might be worth it to hire a Dunkirk, New York collection agency, which usually gets paid through a percentage of the debt collected. You should make sure, however, that the agency is reputable, and hasn't been cited for violations of consumer protection laws.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Dunkirk, New York?
If you actually owe the money that is being sought, and can afford to pay it, you should do so. If the collection caller is behaving in an amicable 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.
Fortunately, you have some options in Dunkirk, New York. First of all, you should attempt to contact the creditor directly, and see if something can be worked out. If this doesn't work, you can demand that the collection agency stop contacting you by phone. When this happens, they are not allowed to contact you further. This, of course, doesn't make the debt go away, but if the calls are becoming unbearable, it might buy you a little bit of time. Usually, when this happens, the creditor gives up on extra-judicial collections, and files a lawsuit against the debtor.
If you have hired a Dunkirk, New York 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 Dunkirk, New York 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 Dunkirk, New York, 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 York can help you with that process, too.