Broadly, the term "Collections" refers to the practice of creditors trying to force debtors to pay what they owe. There are various laws and regulations in Westlake, Ohio that govern collection agencies, and strictly limit the types of tactics they are authorized to engage in.
What if I Am Owed Money in Westlake, Ohio?
If someone owes you money and declines to pay it, you have many options at your disposal. However, when it comes to collecting their debts, creditors are governed by specific consumer protection rules. Violation of these rules while attempting to collect could hurt your chances at effectively recovering your money, and/or subject 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 Westlake, 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 thoroughly follows the law.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Westlake, Ohio?
If you really 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.
Luckily, you have some options in Westlake, Ohio. First of all, you should try to directly contact the creditor, and see if some altered payment plan can be worked out. If this doesn't work, you can ask the collectors to stop contacting you by phone, and they will normally be obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, but it may give you some time to collect yourself and prepare a legal defense. Once this happens, the collection agency can only contact you to inform you that it intends to sue you for the debt owed.
If you have retained the services of a Westlake, Ohio attorney, they may advise that you declare bankruptcy, depending on your individual situation. In any case, you shouldn't consider bankruptcy before weighing other options, and discussing the matter with an attorney.
How Can a Westlake, 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 Westlake, Ohio attorney, since you might really have a claim for damages against the creditor.
If you are thinking about applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned lawyer in Ohio can help you with that process, too.