"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 Cleveland, Ohio 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 Cleveland, Ohio?
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.
You may, however, send a written demand for timely payment. The demand should lay out clearly how much the debtor allegedly owes. If there is a large amount of money involved, it may be worth it to hire a Cleveland, Ohio 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 dependable, and meticulously follows the law.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Cleveland, Ohio?
If you really 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 Cleveland, Ohio 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 normally 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 typically leaves them with no other option but to sue.
If you have hired a Cleveland, Ohio attorney to help you through this process, he or she may advise that you declare bankruptcy. Once this occurs, creditors are legally barred from trying to collect against the debtor. Of course, this is a major decision, and should not be made lightly.
How Can a Cleveland, Ohio Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that a creditor is violating the law in its effort to collect from you, you should get in touch with a Cleveland, Ohio attorney, since you might really have a claim for damages against the creditor.
Also, if you're considering applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned attorney in Ohio can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.