What Should I Do About Creditors Calling After Bankruptcy?

What Should I Do About Creditors Calling After Bankruptcy?

The most common form of bankruptcy in America is chapter 7, typically used in cases of overwhelming debt caused by medical bills, credit card accounts, and personal loans and lines of credit.

Though the criteria is strict and can take 4-6 months to complete, chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide a fresh start to folks with no other options. When you file for bankruptcy relief, there is an automatic stay that prevents creditors from continuing, or beginning, the process of collecting the debt. The creditors are made aware of the automatic stay by receiving notice of your bankruptcy from the bankruptcy court. It is intended to prevent harassing phone calls, emails, letters, etc.

If, after the automatic stay kicks in, creditors and debt collectors continue to contact you – either because they are unaware of the automatic stay or simply choose to ignore it in the hopes they can scare you into paying – you should contact your bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. The attorney can ensure that all systems are properly updated to ensure all pertinent parties are aware of the automatic stay, as well as pursue legal action against those who simply choose to ignore it.

Not Everyone Follows the Rules

The news is riddled with stories about creditor harassment, either from the primary holder of the debt or the collection agency they have hired. Companies with little to no morals or sense of ethical behavior will ignore the automatic stay and continue to contact the individual, often threatening them with legal action – fines, imprisonment, the loss of their children – if they don’t pay that which they claim is owed, although the automatic stay is in effect. When notified of the filing, and the subsequent discharge order, they will falsely claim that these do not apply to them and payment is still required. Oftentimes, the company calling will use vulgar language – and sometimes threats of violence – to try to scare the individual into paying.

The thought of receiving these calls can be so terrifying to some that they choose not to pursue bankruptcy. Unscrupulous, dishonest creditors and debt collectors count on this fear so that they can continue to try and collect the money they’re owed, regardless of your ability to pay.

What You Can Do

If you find yourself the victim of these types of calls, emails, or letters, there are steps you can take. First, if you feel you are in danger from the threats you’ve received, keep as accurate a record as possible and notify the police as soon as possible. Those making the threatening calls or sending the threatening emails can be charged with harassment or terroristic threats.

To stop calls from creditors or collection agencies, you may need to let your bankruptcy attorney know what is going on. This may be require the updating of the automatic stay in appropriate databases or restraining orders against harassing collectors, or through other means available to the attorney.

You Are Not Alone

The most important thing to remember in this situation is that you are not alone. Ohio bankruptcy law is not a world that should be faced alone. A qualified bankruptcy attorney is essential to a successful bankruptcy process.

Our Northeast Ohio Bankruptcy Attorneys proudly serve the Akron, Canton, Wooster, and New Philadelphia communities. Give us a call at 234-678-0626 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation to see what is best for your individual situation.

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