"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 Smithtown, 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 Smithtown, New York?
If someone owes you money and won't pay, you have some legal options to seek repayment of your debt. However, you need to be careful in this area. There are many laws and regulations detailing what debt collectors can and cannot do. Breaking these laws, even inadvertently, can harm your chances at collecting, and maybe even expose you to civil penalties.
As an example, when trying to collect, creditors may not use abusive language, contact third parties regarding the debt, or use violence or threats of violence.
What you can do, however, is send an invoice of the debt to the debtor, along with a firm (but civil) demand for timely payment. If the debt is substantial, you might also want to hire a collection agency in Smithtown, New York. You should make sure that any agency you hire is trustworthy, and has not been cited for violations of the laws governing collections.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Smithtown, New York?
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 Smithtown, New York. 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 Smithtown, New York attorney to help you through this process, he or she might advise that you declare bankruptcy. Once this occurs, creditors are legally barred from attempting to collect against the debtor. Of course, this is a major decision, and should not be made lightly.
How Can a Smithtown, New York Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that a creditor is violating the law in its attempts to collect from you, you should get in touch with a Smithtown, New York attorney, since you might actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, a good lawyer in New York can help you with that process, too.