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 Chattanooga, Tennessee that govern collection agencies, and strictly limit the types of tactics they are authorized to engage in.
What if I Am Owed Money in Chattanooga, Tennessee?
If somebody owes you money and is declining to pay, you have many options at your disposal. However, in doing so, you will be governed by very specific consumer protection rules that govern the collection of debts. Violating these rules can hurt your chances at effectively collecting, and might even expose you to civil liability.
As an example, when attempting to collect, creditors may not use abusive language, contact third parties regarding the debt, or use violence or threats of 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 considerable, you might also want to hire a collection agency in Chattanooga, Tennessee. You should make sure that any agency you hire is dependable, and has not been cited for violations of the rules governing collections.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Chattanooga, Tennessee?
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 amicably, you should do the same. Even if the caller doesn't behave in an amicable 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.
Your best option in Chattanooga, Tennessee 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 normally 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 typically leaves them with no other option but to sue.
If you have hired a lawyer in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 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 Chattanooga, Tennessee 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 Chattanooga, Tennessee attorney, since you may actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
Also, if you're considering applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned attorney in Tennessee can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.