"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 Vancouver, Washington, there are countless laws which carefully limit the practices that collections agencies can engage in.
What if I Am Owed Money in Vancouver, 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.
One thing you are allowed to do is send a written demand for immediate payment. The demand should lay out the precise amount you believe is owed, so the debtor cannot plausibly claim ignorance of that fact. If a lot of money is involved, it might be wise to hire a Vancouver, Washington collections agency. If you go this route, it is critical to make sure that you hire an agency that is reputable, and follows the relevant law to the letter.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Vancouver, 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 a polite 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.
However, you do have some options in Vancouver, 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 usually 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 Vancouver, 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 viable option, given your individual circumstances.
How Can a Vancouver, Washington Collections Attorney Help?
If you believe that the collections agency is engaging in unlawful or abusive activity, you should consult with a local attorney in Vancouver, Washington, as you may actually have a claim for damages against the collection agency.
If you are thinking about bankruptcy, a seasoned Washington bankrutpcy attorney can help guide you through the process.