Broadly, the term "Collections" refers to the practice of creditors attempting to force debtors to pay what they owe. There are many laws and regulations in Erie, Pennsylvania that govern collection agencies, and strictly limit the types of tactics they are allowed to engage in.
What if I Am Owed Money in Erie, Pennsylvania?
If someone owes you money and refuses to pay it, you have several 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 prohibits creditors from engaging in any form of violence against the debtor in an attempt to collect. It also 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. The demand should lay out exactly how much the debtor allegedly owes. If there is a large amount of money involved, it might be worth it to hire a Erie, Pennsylvania collections agency, which will probably take its fee in the form of a percentage of the debt collected. You should do some research on various collections agencies in your area, to make sure the one you hire is reputable, and carefully follows the law.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Erie, Pennsylvania?
If you actually owe the money being sought, and you are able to pay it, you should of course do so. If the collection caller is behaving cordially, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in a cordial manner, you should resist the temptation 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 Erie, Pennsylvania might be to contact the creditor directly, and try to work out some type of new repayment plan. The sooner 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 usually 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 prepared to defend against a lawsuit from your creditors, since demanding that they stop contacting you generally leaves them with no other option but to sue.
If you have hired a Erie, 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 Erie, Pennsylvania Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that a creditor is violating the law in its attempts to collect from you, you should get in touch with a Erie, Pennsylvania attorney, since you might actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
Also, if you are considering bankruptcy as an option, a good Pennsylvania attorney can help guide you through the process.