Know Your Rights

Collecting on Your Debt After Filing for Bankruptcy

Most consumers file for bankruptcy because the amount of debt they have amassed is more than they are capable of paying off.  Issues such as a loss of employment, health problems, or work injuries can cause debts to pile up.  Accruing debt causes financial stress, especially when being hounded by creditors and debt collectors wanting money that you do not have.  Filing for bankruptcy puts a stop to this conduct and allows consumers a fresh start essentially prohibiting creditors and collectors from taking action against them.

When you file for bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Court grants an automatic stay.  This means that all collection activities must cease any collection attempts including telephone calls, letters and garnishments.  Any creditor who attempts to collect on your debt during this time will be in violation of the law.  Regardless of the legal ramifications, collectors often times ignore or are ignorant of the law and continue their collection efforts-which is still no excuse.  Make sure to notify the creditor or collector that you have filed for bankruptcy and they are in violation of the law and must cease all collection efforts.  The bankruptcy code and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") is clear that an automatic stay absolutely bars a collection agency from continuing its collection efforts during this period.

If a creditor insists that it has not received notice from the court that you have filed for bankruptcy, offer to provide the paperwork to the creditor.  If the creditor still refuses to cease its collection efforts, provide the collector with the name and contact information of your attorney.

Going through a bankruptcy filing is traumatic enough for a consumer and the added pressure of collectors calling attempting to collect on debt that you cannot afford is unnecessary and in violation of the law.  Knowing your rights will protect you from the unscrupulous treatment of debt collectors. 

All creditors and collectors have a duty to use reasonable means of determining whether or not you have filed for bankruptcy before attempting to collect on your debt.  If you have filed for bankruptcy and are still being harassed contact SmithMarco P.C to discuss your situation in greater detail and to see how we can be of assistance to you.

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