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 Altus, Oklahoma that govern collection agencies, and strictly limit the types of tactics they are authorized to engage in.
What if I Am Owed Money in Altus, Oklahoma?
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 an Altus, Oklahoma 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 Altus, Oklahoma?
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 amicably, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in an amicable 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.
Luckily, you have some options in Altus, Oklahoma. 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 hired a lawyer in Altus, Oklahoma, they might advise that you apply for bankruptcy. Of course, whether or not this is a good idea depends strongly on the facts of your individual case, so you should not do so unless an attorney has reviewed the facts and determined that bankruptcy is a feasible solution.
How Can a Altus, Oklahoma 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 Altus, Oklahoma, as you may actually have a claim for damages against the collection agency.
Also, if you're considering applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned attorney in Oklahoma can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.