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 Johnstown, 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 Johnstown, Pennsylvania?
If you are owed money and the debtor refuses to pay, you have some options at your disposal. However, you must tread lightly when it comes to collecting your debts. Creditors and collectors are governed by specific consumer protection laws. Violating these laws can hurt your chances of recovering what you are owed, and even subject you to civil or criminal penalties.
For example, when trying to collect, creditors are not allowed to use abusive language, contact any third party regarding the debt, and of course they are not allowed to use threats of violence in an attempt to get their money.
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 Johnstown, 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 different collections agencies in your area, to make sure the one you hire is dependable, and meticulously follows the law.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Johnstown, 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 courteously, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in a polite 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 Johnstown, Pennsylvania. First of all, you should try to directly contact the creditor, and see if some revised 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 Johnstown, Pennsylvania 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 Johnstown, Pennsylvania 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 Johnstown, Pennsylvania attorney, since you may actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
If you are thinking about bankruptcy, a seasoned Pennsylvania bankrutpcy attorney can help guide you through the process.