One of the benefits of filing for bankruptcy is the protection of the automatic
stay. During the bankruptcy process, creditors are forbidden from carrying
out any sort of collection activities against you, including harassing
phone calls, mail communications, legal action, or wage garnishments.
If, after your filing, creditors continue in their collection efforts,
they are in violation of the automatic stay. In this case, there are certain
actions that you can take to get them to stop.
Inform the creditor of your bankruptcy. In this situation, creditors are usually unaware of your case (through
either negligence or error) and will correct their violation.
Report the harassment to the bankruptcy court. If the collector still has not corrected the violation, you can notify
the court. The court can then place a sanction against the collector for
willfully failing to correct the problem, or for ignoring the court order
and acting anyway.
File a lawsuit. Collectors who do not respond to corrective action from the bankruptcy
court can be sued. Collectors who continue to violate the automatic stay
may also be in violation of other federal and state laws, including:
- The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act
- State unfair trade practice laws
- State fair debt collection practices laws
- Telephone Communication Protection Act
Keep in mind that there are some exceptions to the automatic stay. Criminal
cases, certain eviction cases, and some child support actions are exempt
from any protections provided by bankruptcy. Furthermore, the automatic
stay does not apply to any new debt accrued after your case was filed.
Struggling with Debt? Sulaiman Law Group, LTD can Help!
If you are considering bankruptcy as a way to regain your financial freedom,
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creditor harassment matters.
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