The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act outlines methods by which debt collectors can go about collecting money from debtors. Below are some of the key provisions:
- Collectors cannot contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. without your permission.
- Collectors cannot contact you at work if they know that your employer disapproves.
- You can write a letter to a debt collector and they must immediately stop contacting you. The debt collector can contact you a final time to let you know that the collector or creditor plans to take a specific action.
- Within five days after the collector contacts you, the collector must send notice of the amount you owe, the name of the creditor, and what you can do if you do not believe that you owe the money.
While this Act aims to ensure that debt collectors act reasonably, debt collectors and businesses are still able to take efforts to recover money that a debtor lawfully owes. Even if a debtor expresses a desire for the collections to stop, collectors can still sue or garnish wages to obtain the money. A Kansas City collections attorney can provide a variety of professional debt collection services to recover money owed to you in a fair and effective manner.
Recovering Money via Collections
The main options available to recover money owed to you include the following:
- If the debt is a secured transaction (that is, the debtor gave a security interest in a piece of property such as a house or a car), the creditor is usually in a better position to obtain the property and recoup some of the money through the proceeds of property sales.
- An attachment occurs when a creditor asks for a court hearing and then the court issues an order that gives the creditor permission to take the debtor’s property.
- The creditor can bring a lawsuit against the debtor. If a creditor obtains a judgment in its favor, depending on state exemption laws, a local sheriff can actually take enough of the debtor’s property to cover the debt and arrange for a sale of the property.
- A creditor can obtain a lien from a court. A lien gives a creditor a right in the debtor’s property. The debtor cannot extinguish the lien by transferring or selling the property. Like the other court remedies, the creditor will eventually be able to foreclose on the lien and force a sale of the property to recover the debt.
- A court order against a debtor can also result in wage garnishment. The court then deducts money from the debtor’s paycheck and gives it directly to the creditor until the debtor pays off what he or she owes.
If you are having trouble collecting money that a debtor rightfully owes you, contact a Kansas City collection lawyer at the Sader Law Firm to learn about your options.