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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

Federal Rules Debt Collectors Must Follow

November 27th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

debt collectors in San Antonio, Texas bankruptcy lawyerWhen a person owes a defaulted amount on an account, such as a credit card or prior utility bill, the company who the original debt is owed to will often “charge off” that debt after a certain period of time has gone by. Someone who is struggling with overwhelming debt may have multiple accounts which have been declared charge offs by the original creditor.

There are certain guidelines a creditor must follow before they can charge off an account. If the account is an installment loan (such as an auto loan or mortgage), then the delinquency must be at least 120 days past due. If the account is a revolving credit account (such as a credit card), then the delinquency must be at least 180 days past due.

At this point, the creditor has three options for debt collection for the account. The company can continue to pursue collection themselves; they can hire a third-party collection agency to continue collection activity; or they can sell the debt to a debt buying company. Debt buying companies purchase debt portfolio from creditors and any funds then collected on the debt belong to the debt buyer.

Regardless of what option a creditor decides on, there are federal rules that have been established that a debt collector must follow. These rules were established under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and include:

  • A debt collector must sent a written notice within five days of the first initial telephone contact which validates the amount of the debt owed;
  • Debt collection may only take place between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.;
  • A debt collector may not contact a person at their workplace if they have been told either orally or in writing not to do so;
  • A debt collector must stop contacting a person if the person sends a certified letter to the debt collection telling them to stop all contact. The only exception to that contact would be the debt collector acknowledging the no-contact letter and/or contacting the person to let them know they will be filing a lawsuit or other activity;
  • If a person is represented by an attorney, then the debt collector must contact the attorney and not the person who owes the debt; or
  • Debt collectors may not harass, make threats, or make false statements in order to intimidate or scare a person into paying the debt.

If bankruptcy seems like a viable option for your financial situation, contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee. San Antonio, Texas bankruptcy lawyer, Mr. McGhee has helped clients over the past 20 years regain control of their financial lives. Call the law firm at 210-342-3400.

What Are Debt Collectors Allowed to Do?

June 27th, 2014 at 7:00 am

bankruptcy attorney, certified letter, contact debtors, debt collection, debt collectors, San Antonio bankruptcy lawyer, Texas bankruptcy attDebt collectors are only allowed to do so much when trying to acquire money owed from their debtors. And while there are times when debt collectors will go beyond what they are legally permitted to do, having an understanding of what is permitted can help to be determine whether or not a collector has gone too far.

Method of Contact

According to the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC), various creditors use independent debt collection agencies to acquire money owed. With that said, debt collectors are permitted to contact debtors via phone, mail, in-person, telegram, or fax. But, they should not contact debtors prior to 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., unless given consent from the debtor. Also, debt collectors should not contact debtors at work, especially if the collector knows the employer does not approve of these contacts.

If you are in debt, and are working with a bankruptcy attorney, a debt collector must contact the attorney about your debt and not you. Debt collectors can contact third parties, but only to find out where you live, what your phone number is, and where you work. They are not permitted to contact third parties more than once.

Within five days of contact, you must be provided with notice regarding how much money you owe, to whom you owe the money, and what you must do if you believe you do not owe any money.

How to Stop Contact

You can stop debt collectors from contacting you by sending in a certified letter to the creditor. The letter must tell the creditor to stop contacting you. This will not get rid of the debt that you owe, but it will end the contact from the creditor and their collectors. Also, make sure you keep a copy of the letter for your records. The only form of contact the creditor can make following the letter is to let the debtor know the letter was received.

If you or a loved one has been contacted by a debt collector, contact a Texas bankruptcy attorney who can help you deal with the situation.

Call today for a FREE Consultation

210-342-3400

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