6 Debt Collection Guidelines to Remember
Whether you’re a creditor trying to secure money you’re owed, or a debtor seeking to protect your assets, debt collection lawyers can help you. Hiring a legal professional can increase your chances of achieving a positive outcome to your debt-related problem.
1. Lawyers for creditors
Perhaps you loaned out money and the debtor is avoiding your phone calls, or maybe you just want to explore all available options you have to get your money back. In either case, you can benefit as a creditor from the assistance of a debt collection lawyer.
A lawyer will help you draft a plan to get your money back. This could ultimately result in court action, where the outcome of the dispute will be decided by a judge. Alternatively, the lawyer may help you arrive at an out-of-court settlement with the debtor so that you can agree your own terms.
2. How can lawyers help debtors?
Lawyers can also represent you if you’re in debt. You might be in a situation where creditors are frequently calling your home or work, or you’re unable to pay back loans at the present time.
A debt collection lawyer will also represent you in court if you’re facing a lawsuit from one of your creditors. If things haven’t reached that stage yet, lawyers can also assist you if you feel a creditor is harassing you or treating you unfairly.
The best outcome for you as a debtor will be if your lawyer is able to negotiate a reduction or cancellation of the debt.
3. Declaring bankruptcy
You may be considering declaring bankruptcy in order to deal with your debt problems. As this is a complicated process, you can rely on debt collection lawyers to provide you with accurate advice and assistance throughout the process.
4. Responding to a lawsuit
If you are the target of a suit, you will likely have to decide quickly whether to hire a lawyer. In some cases, you will only have several days to respond to the summons. A qualified debt collection lawyer will make the process a lot easier and be able to advise you whether it is best for you to defend the suit.
5. Paying for a debt collection lawyer
Like other attorneys, debt collection lawyers charge for their services in different ways. Some will charge an hourly rate while others may adopt a no-win, no-fee approach. In this case, the lawyer may take a percentage of the total you secure if you win the case. Alternatively, they may seek to secure their fees from the opposing side in the case.
An alternative payment model is used by lawyers who charge fixed fees depending on the type of service you require.
If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer, you should look into getting financial assistance to do so. Legal aid programs are a good place to begin. You may even be able to find a lawyer offering pro bono services, which is when lawyers accept a case for free or a reduced rate.
6. How to find a debt collection lawyer
If you’re not sure where to start looking for a qualified attorney, you could try asking your lawyer for a referral. As a legal professional, they may well be aware of a firm in the local area specializing in debt collection cases.
Alternatively, many debt collection lawyers advertise their services online. By performing an internet search, you can browse their websites and read about the services they offer before deciding who to contact. Additionally, you can also read feedback and recommendations from others who have hired a lawyer.
Some lawyers offer a free initial consultation, meaning you could opt to meet with several lawyers before you decide which one to hire.