Broadly, the term "Collections" refers to the practice of creditors attempting to force debtors to pay what they owe. There are various laws and regulations in Bristol, 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 Bristol, Pennsylvania?
If someone owes you money and refuses to pay it, you have many options at your disposal. However, when it comes to collecting their debts, creditors are governed by strict consumer protection rules. Violation of these rules while attempting to collect could hurt your chances at successfully 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.
You may, however, send a written demand for timely payment which lays out to the debtor clearly how much is owed. If a large amount of money is owed to you, it might be a good idea to hire a collections agency in Bristol, Pennsylvania. These agencies usually take their fee in the form of a percentage of the debt collected. You need to research agencies carefully however, and make sure the one you hire does not engage in illegal practices.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Bristol, Pennsylvania?
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 a civil 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.
However, you do have some options in Bristol, Pennsylvania. First of all, you should make an effort to get in direct contact with the creditor, as opposed to the collection agency, and try to work something out. If this fails, you can tell the collections agency to stop calling you, and they normally are obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't eliminate the debt, but it can buy you some time. You should know, however, that when you show that you are not interested in dealing with the creditors or collectors directly, they will usually resort to a lawsuit.
If you have hired a Bristol, Pennsylvania lawyer to help, he or she might advise that you file for bankruptcy. If you do file 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 Bristol, Pennsylvania Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that the collections agency is engaging in illegal or abusive activity, you should consult with a local attorney in Bristol, Pennsylvania, as you might actually have a claim for damages against the collection agency.
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, a good lawyer in Pennsylvania can help you with that process, too.