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? Atlas Consumer Law can Help!
If you are considering bankruptcy as a way to regain your financial freedom, secure the representation of a top-rated Chicago bankruptcy attorney from Atlas Consumer Law Our award-winning firm provides comprehensive solutions for all of your bankruptcy, foreclosure, and creditor harassment matters.
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