Once anyone files bankruptcy, the automatic stay goes into effect. The automatic stay is a powerful, essential tool of federal bankruptcy law that prohibits most collection efforts of most creditors. Its’ sole effect is to stop debt collection activity. However, creditors, for whatever reason, may not abide by the requirements of the automatic stay and, instead, continue to harass bankruptcy debtors who, fortunately, are not without recourse.
Thus, creditors cannot contact bankruptcy debtors after they have filed a bankruptcy case. The stay protects bankruptcy debtors from harassing communication, including phone calls, letters, and emails, as well as legal collection efforts like filing a lawsuit or garnishing wages or a bank account.
Although creditors should immediately cease all collection efforts after anyone files for bankruptcy protection. this fails to happen much too frequently, and bankruptcy debtors may continue to be harassed by some of their creditors.
The attorneys and staff at the Morrison Law Group pride themselves on helping anyone who is experiencing creditor harassment. Whether they are current clients who are still being harassed by creditors despite an active bankruptcy or past clients who are being contacted despite having received a discharge, we can help give your life the necessary stability so you may do the things necessary to take care of and support your family.
Unless a creditor receives approval from the court to contact a debtor, and this means lifting or removing the automatic stay, creditor collection activity after the filing of a bankruptcy case is prohibited by federal law. Sometimes, a creditor’s records are simply out-of-date resulting in unauthorized contact, other times, creditors may simply disregard the law and continue to try and collect, despite a valid bankruptcy in effect.
It is important for active bankruptcy debtors to be proactive and immediately take action when creditors make illegal contact. Debtors should never assume that unlawful contact will stop and contact their bankruptcy attorney for immediate assistance. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can ensure that a creditor receives notice of a bankruptcy filing or even commence legal action when creditors repeatedly ignore the automatic stay.
If you receive any collection calls after filing a bankruptcy case there are some ways to end them, these include:
- Provide notice of the bankruptcy filing. Provide the caller with the bankruptcy case number, case filing date, and chapter (7 or 13) under which the case was filed. Also, provide the name of your attorney and ask that all contact, whether by phone, written correspondence, or electronic transmission, be directed to him or her.
- Keep a record of every harassing communication. Take notes during every harassing call. Keep a record of the dates and times a creditor continues to make contact. Make a note of anything important that they say. This may serve as evidence if a lawsuit is filed.
- Contact your bankruptcy attorney. Any time a creditor contacts you, immediately contact your bankruptcy attorney. Share any relevant information about the contact.
- Sue creditors. If the harassment fails to stop, an adversary proceeding or other lawsuit may be brought against the offending creditor.
One of the Morrison Law Group’s qualified and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys can answer anyone’s questions about bankruptcy. The Morrison Law Group can also help if you just want to talk about Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy options. Call 801.456.9933 today to schedule a FREE consultation. We have locations in Ogden, Logan, Sandy, and St. George to serve the residents of the counties of Weber, Cache, Salt Lake, Utah, Morgan, Davis, Washington, and surrounding areas.