Are you dealing with creditor harassment even after bankruptcy? Some bill collectors just don’t quit, do they? Even after you have taken the difficult step of declaring bankruptcy to get a fresh start, some creditors and debt collectors keep calling you, writing you, and even continuing to sue you for debts that were included in your bankruptcy. Our creditor harassment attorneys can help.
Can a Creditor Use Harassing and Abusive Debt Collection Tactics After Bankruptcy?
When a new bankruptcy case is filed, an automatic stay of collection activity is in effect. When a bankruptcy discharge is issued, a permanent stay of collection activity is in effect. Each stay prevents most creditors and debt collectors from taking any actions against you to collect a debt. That prohibition includes sending you letters or text messages, calling you, continuing to sue you, shutting off your utility service, garnishing your wages or bank account, reporting wrong information on your credit about a debt, etc.
But sometimes, the automatic stay provisions of 11 U.S.C. §326 and the discharge injunction provisions of 11 U.S.C. §524 are not honored by the creditors or debt collectors. That’s why you need a creditor harassment lawyer fighting for you.
Understand what bill collectors can and cannot do
Not every collection effort is abusive, unfair, or unlawful. And certainly, some people posing as debt collectors just to scam you out of money will never honor the bankruptcy laws. However, that does not mean that bill collectors always follow the rules. In pursuit of the almighty dollar, some creditors and collection agencies cross the line and violate the rights of consumers in bankruptcy.
You need to know what bill collectors can and cannot do. If a debt collector is violating your rights under the bankruptcy laws, we can help you secure your fresh start and sue them for actual damages, attorney fees, emotional distress, and/or punitive damages.
What Can You Do if a Creditor or Debt Collector Is Continuing To Collect a Debt From You After You File for Bankruptcy?
Even if you declare bankruptcy on your debts, you deserve to be treated with the respect afforded to you by the bankruptcy laws. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous bill collectors cross the line and violate the rights of consumers in bankruptcy. They believe you will not take action against them. Instead, they’re hoping you will succumb to unlawful threats and other forms of illegal activity.
The bankruptcy laws, however, are on your side. If a creditor with knowledge of your bankruptcy filing takes a willful action to collect on a debt that would be subject to a discharge in bankruptcy, call our law office. These methods may violate bankruptcy laws, as well as other consumer protections such as the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act (OCSPA). Our bankruptcy and debt collection abuse attorneys fight for your rights and can recover for you.
Steps To Take if a Creditor Is Using Harassing or Abusive Debt Collection Practices After Bankruptcy
If you believe that a creditor is unlawfully trying to collect a debt from you after your bankruptcy is filed or discharged, preserve as much evidence as possible. Most times, debt collectors and creditors who violate the bankruptcy laws’ protections don’t just use one method to try to get you to pay. They call, write, text, and use credit reporting to put pressure on you to pay even though you are not legally required do so. If that occurs, you will want to take action and have the following evidence ready for your attorney, including:
- Any written correspondence you receive, including billing statements, debt collection letters, lawsuits, garnishment notices, etc.
- A recent credit report; this can be obtained for free at www.annualcreditreport.com
- Screen shots of any text messages you received
- Call logs from your phone showing incoming or outgoing calls from the offending creditor or debt collector
- Any other documentation that you would consider to be related to unlawful debt collection attempts.
Should I Just Ignore a Creditor Who Is Using Harassing or Abusive Debt Collection Practices After Bankruptcy?
No, do not ignore this behavior. If they are doing it to one person who filed for bankruptcy, they may be doing it to others. And just because they have stopped abusing or harassing you, it does not mean that they may not start again.
Also, some creditors will try to work around the bankruptcy laws. They cease to collect themselves, but refer the account to a debt collector who was not a part of the bankruptcy. This is illegal and can be stopped with the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy abuse prevention attorney like the ones at the Minnillo Law Group.
If you filed your bankruptcy in Cincinnati, Ohio or Northern Kentucky and a creditor or debt collector is refusing to honor the bankruptcy laws, call us for a free consultation at 513-723-1600.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.