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 Altoona, Pennsylvania that govern collection agencies, and strictly limit the types of tactics they are authorized to engage in.
What if I Am Owed Money in Altoona, Pennsylvania?
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.
The law prevents creditors from engaging in any form of violence against the debtor in an attempt to collect. It further bars them from using abusive language or contacting third parties about the debt owed by the debtor.
Creditors may, however, send written demands for timely payment, along with an invoice that precisely lays out exactly what the debtor owes. If the debt is considerable, it might be worth it to hire a Altoona, Pennsylvania collection agency, which usually gets paid through a percentage of the debt collected. You should make sure, however, that the agency is dependable, and hasn't been cited for violations of consumer protection laws.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Altoona, Pennsylvania?
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 a 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.
Thankfully, you have various options at your disposal in Altoona, Pennsylvania. First, you should try to contact the creditor directly, and see if some sort of agreement can be worked out. If this is unsuccessful, you can tell the collectors to stop contacting you, which may work in some instances. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, but it might give you a little bit of breathing room. The collectors will only be allowed to contact you to let you know that they are suing you for the money owed, or that they have stopped trying to collect the debt.
If you have hired a lawyer in Altoona, Pennsylvania, 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 Altoona, Pennsylvania Collections Attorney Help?
If you think that a collection agency is engaging in illegal tactics, you should call a local Altoona, Pennsylvania attorney, as you might have a claim for damages against the creditor or the collection agency.
Also, if you are considering bankruptcy as an option, a seasoned Pennsylvania attorney can help guide you through the process.