"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 Lake Stevens, Washington, there are countless laws which carefully limit the practices that collections agencies can engage in.
What if I Am Owed Money in Lake Stevens, Washington?
If someone owes you money and declines to pay it, you have various 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 permitted 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 substantial, it might be worth it to hire a Lake Stevens, Washington collection agency, which usually gets paid through a percentage of the debt collected. You should make sure, however, that the agency is trustworthy, and hasn't been cited for violations of consumer protection laws.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Lake Stevens, Washington?
If you truly owe the money that they are attempting to collect, and are able to pay it, doing so would be your best option for ending the collections calls. Of course, this is not everybody's situation. When dealing with collectors, you should try to maintain the high ground by behaving in a calm and polite manner. In any event, you should never ignore the problem, as this usually makes things worse.
However, you do have some options in Lake Stevens, Washington. 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 cease calling you, and they typically are obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't expunge 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 a Lake Stevens, 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 possible option, given your individual circumstances.
How Can a Lake Stevens, Washington Collections Attorney Help?
If you think that a collection agency is engaging in unlawful tactics, you should call a local Lake Stevens, Washington attorney, as you might have a claim for damages against the creditor or the collection agency.
Also, if you're considering applying for bankruptcy, a seasoned attorney in Washington can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.