How to collect when a person owes you money?

UPDATED: Apr 19, 2011

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How to collect when a person owes you money?

Person purchased merchandise on my credit card. They have paid most of the debt but stopped paying. How dow I collect? What are my legal options? Can I get the merchandise back?

Asked on April 19, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) To collect, you need to sue the person; unfortunately, there is no one who will take action for you, so it's on you to look after your own interests. You could represent yoursef and sue in small claims court, fi the amount is not worth retaining an attorney; your local court (either in person, or on their website) should have forms and instructions for how to do this. For evidence, besides your own testimony, you'd need any proof of the obligation or debt (such as a written agreement to repay; invoices or credit card statements showing the amounts; etc.)

2) Recovering monetary compenation (called "damages") for any unpaid amounts is the most likely and appropriate remedy for a situation like this.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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