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What Does a Debt Collection Attorney Do?

A debt collection attorney can represent you if you're a creditor or a debtor. A lawyer can help come up with strategies either to get back money that you've loaned out or to protect yourself from overeager creditors. Your attorney can handle paperwork for you or represent you in court.

How Do I Know If I Need a Debt Collection Attorney?

If you're in debt, some signs that you may need a debt collection attorney are:
  • Creditors frequently calling your home or workplace
  • An inability to pay back loans at the present time
  • Threat of lawsuit from a creditor
  • Being treated unfairly by collectors
You may also want to consider a debt settlement attorney who can help reduce or eliminate loans in order to avoid debt collectors.

If you need repayment for a debt and the debtor isn't paying up, a debt collection attorney can help figure out your best course of action to get your money back. You may also want to consider a creditors rights attorney, who works solely for creditors to help them regain their money.

How Much Does a Debt Collection Attorney Cost?

Attorneys use different methods of billing, so there's no straight answer to this. Many debt collection attorneys charge an hourly rate. Other charge based on a contingency, meaning you will not have to pay anything up front but your lawyer will take a percentage if you win your case. If you don't win, your lawyer won't receive any payment. If your lawyer decides to charge in this way, you're likely on the creditor side because you have more to gain than if you were on the debtor side. Discuss how your lawyer bills up front, so that you can both agree on a fee you're comfortable with.

What Should I Expect When Working with a Debt Collection Attorney?

If you are a creditor, an attorney can help you put a plan in place to gain back the money you loaned out. Should you go to court, the timeframe and the amount you get will depend on the judge's ruling. If you're able to settle outside of court, you and the debtor will be able to negotiate terms.

As a debtor you face the same outcomes, but instead of receiving any money, you can expect to pay back the amount you borrowed or possibly less if your attorney is able to negotiate the amount down.

In any case, the matter should be resolved in the end and neither side should have to bother the other again. A debt collection attorney is the best defense from being taken advantage of, so if you feel that you can't handle either a creditor or a debtor on your own, an attorney will be able to help you.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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