"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 Lakewood, Washington, there are numerous laws which specifically limit the practices that collections agencies can engage in.
What if I Am Owed Money in Lakewood, Washington?
If someone owes you money and refuses to pay it, you have various options at your disposal. However, when it comes to collecting their debts, creditors are governed by strict consumer protection rules. Violation of these rules while attempting to collect could hurt your chances at successfully recovering your money, and/or subject you to civil penalties.
For example, it should go without saying that creditors are not allowed to use threatened or actual violence when trying 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 clearly lays out exactly what the debtor owes. If the debt is substantial, it might be worth it to hire a Lakewood, 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 Lakewood, Washington?
If you truly owe the money that they are trying 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 cordial manner. In any event, you should never ignore the problem, as this usually makes things worse.
However, you do have some options in Lakewood, 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 stop calling you, and they typically 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 a Lakewood, Washington attorney during this process, they might advise that the best course of action is to file for bankruptcy. This is a major decision, however, and should not be made lightly. You should only file for bankruptcy if an attorney advises you that it is a viable possible option, given your individual circumstances.
How Can a Lakewood, Washington Collections Attorney Help?
If you think that the collection agency is violating the law in its attempts to collect, you should probably call a Lakewood, Washington attorney, since such actions on the part of the creditor might actually give you a claim for damages against it.
If you are thinking about bankruptcy, a good Washington bankrutpcy attorney can help guide you through the process.