Broadly, the term "Collections" refers to the practice of creditors trying to force debtors to pay what they owe. There are numerous laws and regulations in Northampton, Pennsylvania that govern collection agencies, and strictly limit the types of tactics they are permitted to engage in.
What if I Am Owed Money in Northampton, 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.
Several practices that collectors cannot engage in include the use of abusive language, contacting third parties about the debt, and threatened or actual violence.
What you can do, however, is send an invoice of the debt to the debtor, along with a firm (but civil) demand for timely payment. If the debt is substantial, you might also want to hire a collection agency in Northampton, Pennsylvania. You should make sure that any agency you hire is trustworthy, and has not been cited for violations of the rules governing collections.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Northampton, Pennsylvania?
If you know that you owe the money being sought of you, and have the capacity to pay it, you should do so - this is the fastest and surest way to end collections calls. Of course, this is not the case for everyone. Whatever your situation, you should always behave courteously with the collection callers, especially if they are doing the same. Whatever you do, you should not ignore the matter, because this will never make the problem go away, and will make things worse in the long run.
Your best option in Northampton, Pennsylvania might be to contact the creditor directly, and try to work out some type of new repayment plan. The earlier 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 typically 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 ready to defend against a lawsuit from your creditors, since demanding that they stop contacting you usually leaves them with no other option but to sue.
If you have retained a Northampton, Pennsylvania attorney during this process, they might advise that the best course of action is to apply for bankruptcy. This is a major decision, however, and should not be made easily. You should only apply for bankruptcy if an attorney advises you that it is a viable possible option, given your individual circumstances.
How Can a Northampton, Pennsylvania 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 Northampton, Pennsylvania, 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 Pennsylvania can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.