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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

Does the Automatic Stay During Bankruptcy Apply to Child Support?

September 15th, 2020 at 9:48 am

TX bankrupcy lawyer, Texas bankruptcy attorneyWhen you file for protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the bankruptcy court will automatically issue a stay that stops all collection activities by creditors. The automatic stay is a court order that prevents creditors from calling you, sending you letters, and otherwise pushing you to pay what you owe them. The stay is meant to be a form of relief that gives you the chance to get organized as you approach your bankruptcy proceedings. If you are subject to a child support order, however, it is important to understand that the automatic stay will not help you with that particular obligation.

How the Automatic Stay Works

Whether you are filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy code recognizes that you will need time and space to sort out your thoughts and to prepare for the proceedings without creditors bothering you at all hours of the day. The automatic stay is meant to give you that time and space. The stay also serves as the proverbial “line in the sand” as well, meaning that once the stay is issued, collection efforts cannot resume until the bankruptcy proceedings are complete or the creditor obtains the express permission of the bankruptcy court to contact you again. In the meantime, you will not be at risk of foreclosure, eviction, wage garnishments, or even having your utilities shut off.

Child Support Is an Exception

If you currently pay child support, the automatic stay will not help your required payments nor will it prevent collection activities if you are behind on your support obligation. The automatic stay is intended to give you relief, but not at the expense of your child’s best interests. You must continue making your child support payments during the bankruptcy proceedings, or you could be subject to collection efforts by state agencies or the court.

It is also important to note that child support obligations—including obligations for back support—are not eligible to be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Regardless of what happens to your other debt, you will still be required to pay your current support amount, as well as any delinquent amounts.

Your child support obligations will not be discharged in 13 bankruptcy either. Child support and other types of “domestic support obligations” are considered high-priority debts, which means they will be at the top of the list of debts to be paid according to your reorganization plan. However, if you keep up with the terms of your plan, the state cannot take action against you during the repayment period, which usually lasts between three and five years.

Speak With a New Braunfels Bankruptcy Attorney

If you have questions about how filing for bankruptcy might be able to help you catch up on your child support obligations, contact an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy lawyer at The Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee today. We will help you find the answers you need as you look to get back your feet financially. Call 210-342-3400 for a free consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/child-support-and-alimony-in-bankruptcy-4154002

https://civil.sog.unc.edu/bankruptcy-and-the-application-of-the-automatic-stay-to-family-law-cases/

Can You Incur More Debt During a Chapter 13 Repayment Plan?

December 27th, 2019 at 12:38 am

debtIf you have gotten a bankruptcy, the one thing you do not want to do is to incur more debt; being unable to pay your debt is the reason you filed for bankruptcy, right? Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plans usually last anywhere from three to five years, meaning you must be financially responsible during that time period or you could risk having your case dismissed and being responsible for repaying your debts in full. While it is a good rule of thumb to avoid taking on any further debts during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, sometimes taking on more debt is unavoidable and is a necessity. Incurring new debt during your Chapter 13 repayment period is possible, but there is a certain way you must go about it.

Reasons for Incurring New Debt

Sometimes, life can be unpredictable. Even though you were probably not planning on taking on any new debts during your Chapter 13 repayment period, things can happen and can put you in a situation where there is no other option. Generally, incurring new debt during a Chapter 13 repayment period is frowned upon and is only permitted when the debt is for something that is considered a necessity. Common reasons for incurring debt during a repayment plan include:

  • Refinancing a mortgage on your current home
  • Purchasing a new home or a new vehicle
  • Financing equipment needed for necessities, such as a new water heater or furnace

Filing a Motion to Incur Debt

Before you take on any new debt, you must speak with your bankruptcy trustee about filing a motion to incur debt. If you were to take on new debt without notifying the court or your trustee, you could risk having your bankruptcy case dismissed, leaving you in an arguably worse financial situation than before. To file a motion to incur debt with the court, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Proof of income for at least the past 60 days
  • An updated list of your monthly expenses
  • Information about the loan and the financing company, including how much the loan is for, the interest rate of the loan, the length of the repayment period and how much the estimated monthly payment would be

The court will examine your motion and make a determination on whether or not the debt is necessary, whether or not you will be financially able to make the monthly payments and whether or not the new debt will interfere with your ongoing bankruptcy repayment plan.

Contact a San Antonio, TX Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney For Assistance

Making the decision to file for bankruptcy can be a difficult one, but it can ultimately end up being the best financial decision you make for yourself. If you are currently in a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you likely know that there are limitations to what you can do with your money. If you need to incur debt during your repayment period, you need help from a Schertz, TX Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we can help you correctly file a motion with the bankruptcy court to allow you to take on more debt during your repayment period. Call our office today at 210-342-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.carsdirect.com/auto-loans/what-s-an-authorization-to-incur-debt-with-a-chapter-13

https://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/chapter-13-bankruptcy-basics

 

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210-342-3400

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