"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 Longview, Washington, there are various laws which severely limit the practices that collections agencies can engage in.
What if I Am Owed Money in Longview, Washington?
If someone owes you money and declines to pay it, you have several 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 allowed to use abusive language to the debtor, or contact a third party about the debt.
You may, however, send a written demand for timely payment which lays out to the debtor exactly how much is owed. If a large amount of money is owed to you, it might be a good idea to hire a collections agency in Longview, Washington. These agencies usually take their fee in the form of a percentage of the debt collected. You need to research agencies thoroughly however, and make sure the one you hire does not engage in illegal practices.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Longview, Washington?
If you actually 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.
Luckily, you have some options in Longview, Washington. First of all, you should try to directly contact the creditor, and see if some altered payment plan can be worked out. If this doesn't work, you can ask the collectors to stop contacting you by phone, and they will usually be obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, but it may give you some time to collect yourself and prepare a legal defense. Once this happens, the collection agency can only contact you to inform you that it intends to sue you for the debt owed.
If you have hired a lawyer in Longview, Washington, 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 particular case, so you should not do so unless an attorney has reviewed the facts and determined that bankruptcy is a viable solution.
How Can a Longview, 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 Longview, Washington 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 Washington can tell you if this is a good option, and, if it is, help you through the process.