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 Pittsburgh, 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 Pittsburgh, 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.
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 Pittsburgh, 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 Pittsburgh, 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 polite 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.
Luckily, you have some options in Pittsburgh, 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 hired a lawyer in Pittsburgh, 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 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Collections Attorney Help?
If you think that the collection agency is violating the law in its effort to collect, you should probably call a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania attorney, since such behavior on the part of the creditor may actually give you a claim for damages against it.
If you are thinking about bankruptcy, a seasoned Pennsylvania bankrutpcy attorney can help guide you through the process.