"Collections" refers to the practices engaged in by creditors designed to obtain payment from debtors who are not interested in paying what they owe. In Clark County, Washington, there are various laws which severely limit the practices that collections agencies can engage in.
What if I Am Owed Money in Clark County, Washington?
If someone owes you money and declines to pay it, you have many options at your disposal. However, when it comes to collecting their debts, creditors are governed by specific consumer protection rules. Violation of these rules while attempting to collect could hurt your chances at effectively recovering your money, and/or subject you to civil penalties.
For example, it should go without mentioning that creditors are not allowed to use threatened or actual violence when attempting to collect. They are also not authorized to use abusive language to the debtor, or contact a third party about the debt.
Creditors may, however, send written demands for timely payment, along with an invoice that precisely lays out exactly what the debtor owes. If the debt is considerable, it might be worth it to hire a Clark County, Washington collection agency, which usually gets paid through a percentage of the debt collected. You should make sure, however, that the agency is dependable, and hasn't been cited for violations of consumer protection laws.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Clark County, Washington?
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 an amicable 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.
Your best option in Clark County, Washington 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 retained a Clark County, Washington 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 feasible option, given your individual circumstances.
How Can a Clark County, Washington 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 Clark County, Washington attorney, since you might really have a claim for damages against the creditor.
Also, if you are considering bankruptcy as an option, a seasoned Washington attorney can help guide you through the process.