You just got the mail and there’s a letter from a debt collection lawyer. You know you owe a creditor money, but are you being sued because you can’t pay it back? Not necessarily. The following are some things you should know before you panic about that letter.
Lawyers Can Act as Debt Collectors
You’re not being sued every time you receive a letter from a lawyer. There are several situations in which lawyers can act as debt collectors, but if the lawyer takes on that role, it’s the only role he or she can perform in the case. When someone receives a letter from a lawyer, it can be frightening, so there are rules the lawyer must follow in order to act as a debt collector. For example, the letter must be very clear that the lawyer is only helping to collect the debt and that the individual is not being sued.
The reason creditors do this is because it looks more official and might push a debtor into repayment when lawyers are involved. Keep in mind that many times, the attorney hasn’t even looked the case over. Many attorneys simply act as debt collectors and sign the documents that creditors send without forming opinions about the situation.
You Should Contact Your Attorney
The first thing you should do after receiving a debt collection letter from a lawyer is read through it. After you understand more of what the letter is about, you should contact your own lawyer to discuss it. A bankruptcy lawyer, like one from The Law Offices of Neil Crane, might ask you some questions that will help him or her understand your situation. The lawyer might wonder whether the letter is printed on a law firm’s letterhead and if it’s signed by an actual attorney. Your lawyer might also ask if the letter gives that specific information about collecting a debt or if the other attorney has actually reviewed the case.
Keep in mind that it is unethical for an attorney to threaten and harass you. If your letter contains information that falls within that category, your lawyer can fight for your rights against the other lawyer and the creditor.
Getting a Lawyer’s Help Today
Being in substantial debt can carry with it some unknowns and scary situations. If you received a letter from a debt collections attorney, you might not understand what is happening. Contacting your own lawyer can help you through the situation. Contact a bankruptcy lawyer today.