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 West Chester, 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 West Chester, 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 strict consumer protection rules. Violating these rules can hurt your chances of recovering what you are owed, and even subject you to civil or criminal 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.
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 significant, you might also want to hire a collection agency in West Chester, Pennsylvania. You should make sure that any agency you hire is reputable, and has not been cited for violations of the laws governing collections.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in West Chester, 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.
However, you do have some options in West Chester, 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 usually 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 retained the services of a West Chester, Pennsylvania attorney, they might advise that you declare bankruptcy, depending on your particular situation. In any case, you shouldn't consider bankruptcy before weighing other options, and discussing the matter with an attorney.
How Can a West Chester, Pennsylvania Collections Attorney Help?
If you think that a collection agency is engaging in abusive tactics, you should call a local West Chester, Pennsylvania attorney, as you might have a claim for damages against the creditor or the collection agency.
Also, if you are considering bankruptcy as an option, a good Pennsylvania attorney can help guide you through the process.