"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 Southampton, 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 Southampton, New York?
If someone owes you money and won't pay, you have several legal options to seek repayment of your debt. However, you need to be careful in this area. There are many rules and regulations detailing what debt collectors can and cannot do. Violating these laws, even inadvertently, can harm your chances at collecting, and maybe even expose you to civil penalties.
As an example, when attempting 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 Southampton, New York. You should make sure that any agency you hire is trustworthy, and has not been cited for violations of the rules governing collections.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Southampton, 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 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.
Your best option in Southampton, New York might be to contact the creditor directly, and try to work out some type of new repayment plan. The earlier you do this, the more receptive to your ideas the creditor is likely to be. If this isn't successful, you can demand that the collectors stop contacting you by phone, and they will typically be obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, and you should only take this route if you are ready to defend against a lawsuit from your creditors, since demanding that they stop contacting you usually leaves them with no other option but to sue.
If you have hired a Southampton, 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 Southampton, 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 Southampton, 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.