Consumer Practice

Understanding Your Rights When a Collection Agency Seeks Payment of a Seattle Collections Debt

Are you being threatened by a collection agency for a Seattle collections debt you owe? Then you’ll want to review this article, prepared by our law firm, Seattle’s Resolve Legal. We’ve advised many consumers in the Greater Seattle area who are burdened with a Seattle collections debt.

What is a collection agency?
A business seeking payment from individuals owing Seattle collections debt. Most collection agencies operate as agents of creditors, collecting debts for a fee or percentage of whats owed.

What can a collection agency do if I owe a Seattle collections debt?

  • Send you demand letters and make phone calls demanding payment
  • Report your debt to credit bureaus
  • Recommend that the creditor hiring the agency sue you

What is the likelihood I’ll be sued?
Collection agencies seeking payment of Seattle collections debt often exaggerate the possibility of a lawsuit, to pressure you to pay up. But if the debt is large enough (say $2,000) and it appears you have assets that the creditor can seize to pay all or a substantial part of your debt, a lawsuit is a distinct possibility.

What is collection agency prohibited from doing if I owe a Seattle collections debt?

  • Seize your assets, including bank accounts and paychecks, without a judgment from a lawsuit entitling the agency to take this step
  • Make any public announcement or disclosure about your Seattle collections debt (except to credit bureaus)
  • Have you fired from your job
  • Engage in physical violence or threaten it

Does the law regulate collection agencies?
The Fair Debt Collections Practice Act protects consumers from unethical debt collectors. An attorney experienced in Seattle collections debt matters can explain these protections to you in detail.

Should I hire an attorney?
Hire an attorney whenever you’re in serious financial trouble, including being pursued by collection agencies for a Seattle collections debt. Once a collection agency knows you’re represented by an attorney, it must stop contacting you. Also, experienced attorneys at a law firm like Resolve Legal can analyze your Seattle collections debt and overall financial situation to determine if you’re a candidate for bankruptcy or other form of legal assistance.