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How Should I Handle Creditor Harassment After a Bankruptcy Filing?

October 15th, 2020 at 8:39 pm

TX bankrutpcy attorney, Texas bankruptcy lawyerWhen you file for bankruptcy, you are granted an automatic stay on most of your debts. Essentially, this means your creditors cannot contact you or attempt to collect the debt. What happens, though, if the creditor keeps calling and harassing you through the mail, at your work, or at your home? Rest assured: you can enforce the protections that bankruptcy offers.

When Contact Is a Genuine Oversight

All creditors know (or should know) that a bankruptcy filing means they must cease all contact with you, as the debtor. As such, most who violate this rule have simply done so due to an oversight. Perhaps they did not remove your name from the system properly, or they have not received the paperwork yet that notifies them of your filing. In any case, it is important that you not overreact or panic during the initial contact from a creditor. Instead, simply inform them that you have filed for bankruptcy and politely refer them to your attorney.

If the contact was made by phone, document the date and time of the call, the agent’s name and extension number (if applicable), and the creditor’s name and phone number. If the contact was by mail, copy or scan the mailing (after you have written a response that indicates your bankruptcy filing and your attorney’s number). This information gives you proof of contact and ensures you can take action if the contact continues or escalates.

When Your Notice Is Ignored

If you have already notified a creditor of your bankruptcy filing and have referred them to your attorney, and they still call or otherwise attempt to contact you, it is time to take the next step. Again, you should document the contact, but this time, forward the information to your attorney. Let your lawyer know that you have already notified the creditor of your filing and that you have provided them with the attorney’s number. From there, your attorney will likely contact the creditor and let them know they are in violation of the stay order.

If the creditor continues to contact you, even after you have spoken with your attorney, do not lose your temper. Instead, let your lawyer know the dates and times of the phone calls or letters. If necessary, he or she can summon the creditor to court. At the very least, the creditor may be reprimanded and instructed by the judge not to contact you. Some may also be subject to fines and/or punitive damages. Your attorney can walk you through the process and your options.

Contact a Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision. Creditor harassment after you file does not make it any easier. Thankfully, you can have the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee on your side. Dedicated to protecting your best interest, our experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney can take quick and effective action to stop creditor harassment. Because we care about your future, we even provide guidance on how to make the most of your new start. Get the quality representation you deserve. Call 210-342-3400 and schedule your free consultation with us today.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherelliott/2018/07/18/how-to-protect-yourself-from-debt-collectors-and-debt-collection-scams/

https://www.thebalance.com/when-creditors-do-not-stop-calling-after-bankruptcy-4156787

Creditor Harassment after Bankruptcy

May 31st, 2019 at 6:26 pm

TX bankruptcy attorneyMaking the decision to file for bankruptcy is not an easy one. For the most part, bankruptcy is entered as a last resort when no other options have worked to help you get out of debt. Once you enter into the bankruptcy process, your creditors — or the people you owe money to — are no longer permitted by law to continue to try to collect on your debt. This does not stop some creditors — some continue to try to collect on debts. More often than not, when a creditor contacts you after you have filed for bankruptcy, it is a simple mistake. In some situations, creditors may continue a second or third time to collect on your debt — this is when you may be able to take legal action against your creditor for illegal harassment.

The Automatic Stay

The moment you file your bankruptcy case, something called the automatic stay goes into effect. The automatic stay is a federal injunction that prohibits creditors, collection agencies and government entities from attempting to collect on most debts. The automatic stay prevents creditors from:

  • Calling you;
  • Sending you letters, texts or emails;
  • Seeking a judgment against you;
  • Foreclosing on your home;
  • Garnishing your wages; or
  • Repossessing your property.

When you file for bankruptcy, you are required to list all entities that you are indebted to. When you file for bankruptcy, the court clerk will send a notice of bankruptcy to all of your listed creditors within 24 to 48 hours. Once your creditors receive that notice, they are officially required to suspend collection activities.

What You Can Do

If you are still being harassed about your debts after you have filed for bankruptcy or your debts have been discharged, there are things you can and should do.

 

  • Inform your debt collector of the bankruptcy. In most cases, collection attempts are made before the creditor is aware that you filed for bankruptcy. Though the court clerk is required to send the notice of bankruptcy 24 to 48 hours after you file, the notice is typically sent through the mail, which can take up to 10 days in some cases. Before you take more drastic measures, inform the debt collector that you have filed for bankruptcy and ask them not to call you anymore.
  • Keep notes about collection attempts. If your creditor attempts to contact you in any way, try to keep notes about their collection efforts. If they call you, write down the time and date of the call, the representative’s name and contact information and what they say to you. If you receive letters in the mail, keep the letters. These records may be used as evidence in a lawsuit against your creditor if necessary.
  • Hire a bankruptcy attorney. In most cases, after you inform your creditor that you have filed for bankruptcy, they will not contact you again. If you have a creditor who will not stop harassing you about your debt, you may need to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. A lawyer who is experienced in bankruptcy law will be able to help you file a lawsuit against a creditor who will not stop collection activities.

Contact a New Braunfels, TX Bankruptcy Lawyer for Help With

According to the United States Bankruptcy Code, you have the right to take legal action against creditors who repeatedly attempt to collect on debts during the automatic stay or after your debts are discharged. If you are being harassed by creditors, the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee are ready to help. Our knowledgeable Kerrville bankruptcy attorneys will make sure your rights are protected and will take legal action against your creditors, if necessary. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 210-342-3400.

 

Sources:

https://wallethub.com/edu/d/automatic-stay/25548/

https://www.thebalance.com/when-creditors-do-not-stop-calling-after-bankruptcy-4156787

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/can-a-debt-collector-try-to-collect-on-a-debt-that-was-discharged-in-bankruptcy-en-1425/

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210-342-3400

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