What Should I Do About Creditors Calling After Bankruptcy?
One of the many benefits of filing for bankruptcy is that it can provide relief from the stress of debt. The pressure of worrying about losing your home, your car, and other property that means so much to you can be overwhelming.
Sometimes, the calls from creditors are the worst part of struggling to meet your financial obligations. It can feel like harassment. When you file bankruptcy, an automatic stay is issued in your case, which requires debt collectors to stop their collection efforts, including debt collection calls. But, you might wonder, “What do I do if a debt collector keeps calling me?” after filing bankruptcy. Here’s what you need to know about this issue.
Why Are Creditors Still Contacting Me?
You might still receive phone calls, letters, and emails from creditors after filing for bankruptcy. Often, there’s a simple explanation. The bankruptcy court’s notice to your creditors hasn’t been fully processed yet. Once you inform these creditors of your filing, the calls should stop.
Although unusual there are occasionally unscrupulous debt collectors who persist in collections post-filing. This is not common. If this is happens and you have an attorney, you should contact them.
How Do I Stop Creditors from Calling Me?
Sometimes, you can get debt collectors to stop calling by informing them that you’ve filed for bankruptcy.
Creditors should know that once you file for bankruptcy:
- It’s illegal for your creditors to continue attempting to collect the debt while the automatic stay is in effect.
- You may be able to take legal action against your creditors if you have filed bankruptcy and creditors are still calling.
- Your creditors might be forced to pay your attorney’s fees.
- You might be entitled to compensation if they violated the law.
What Should I Do When a Debt Collector Calls Me?
When debt collectors call looking for payment, inform them that you’ve filed for bankruptcy. You can give them your case number and the date you filed.
It’s also a good idea to write down the following for your records:
- Name of the creditor
- Date and time the creditor called
- Name or employee number of the person with whom you spoke
Once your bankruptcy is complete, your creditor should receive a discharge order from the bankruptcy court. This order legally releases you from paying many debts and prohibits your creditors from any form of collection action. That includes both taking legal action and their calls.
Creditors Who Ignore the Discharge Order Are Violating Federal Law
Federal laws govern bankruptcy filings. Once a bankruptcy case is filed, the bankruptcy court sends a notice of the filing to all creditors.
Once your debt is discharged, the bankruptcy court will prepare a bankruptcy discharge order. If a creditor holding a discharged claim contacts you after receiving notice of the discharge, it may be committing a discharge violation that can subject it to penalties, including for contempt of the court’s order.
Keep in mind that certain secured creditors may have legitimate reasons to communicate with you and are not violating the discharge injunction in so doing. Also, creditors holding claims that are not discharged are permitted to communicate with you as well. This could include creditors holding student loan claims or tax claims.
If your creditors still contact you after you’ve filed for bankruptcy, even after you inform them of your bankruptcy, call your attorney. If you do not have an attorney and are seeking representation, consider calling the North Carolina bankruptcy attorneys at the Sasser Law Firm.
Contact a North Carolina Bankruptcy Lawyer for Help
In more than 9,000 cases over the last two decades, the bankruptcy attorneys at The Sasser Law firm in North Carolina have capably handled personal and business bankruptcies for our clients. If you file bankruptcy, we will help ensure that your creditors do not violate the stay or discharge injunctions.
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For more than 20 years, the Sasser Law Firm has been helping individuals and business owners sort through financial hardships to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our North Carolina bankruptcy attorneys are all board-certified specialists, which means we have passed a complex exam, undergone a thorough peer review, and continue to earn legal education credits in this ever-evolving area of law.