"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 Lynden, Washington, there are numerous laws which specifically limit the practices that collections agencies can engage in.
What if I Am Owed Money in Lynden, Washington?
If someone owes you money and refuses to pay it, you have many 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 authorized 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 clearly 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 Lynden, Washington. These agencies usually take their fee in the form of a percentage of the debt collected. You need to research agencies carefully 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 Lynden, 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 a cordial 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 Lynden, Washington. First of all, you should attempt to directly contact the creditor, and see if some adjusted 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 normally be obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, but it might 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 retained the services of a Lynden, Washington attorney, they might advise that you declare bankruptcy, depending on your individual situation. In any case, you shouldn't consider bankruptcy before weighing other options, and discussing the matter with an attorney.
How Can a Lynden, Washington Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that a creditor is violating the law in its attempts to collect from you, you should get in touch with a Lynden, Washington attorney, since you might actually have a claim for damages against the creditor.
Also, if you are considering bankruptcy as an option, a good Washington attorney can help guide you through the process.