Filing for bankruptcy can put an end to a lot of debt collection tactics that can cause you a lot of grief. As soon as you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is issued that puts an end to all debt collection practices. That will let you take a sigh of relief, and you can focus on moving forward and dealing with your debt once and for all.
Despite the automatic stay, and even despite a final bankruptcy discharge, some creditors will still illegally pursue you. If that happens, your Gilbert bankruptcy attorney can deal with those creditors or even help you take action against them. Here are just some of the illegal debt collection practices that your bankruptcy lawyer can help with:
Calling at Unreasonable Hours
Not only should creditors not be calling you at all after you have discharged your bankruptcy (or just filed for it), but they should not be calling at unreasonable hours. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits creditors from calling you at unreasonable hours, such as very early in the morning or very late at night.
If you are getting these calls, talk to a bankruptcy lawyer serving Gilbert about how to make them stop and about what other steps you can take.
Harassing Phone Calls
Creditors may do more than call you at bad hours. They may also call you over and over again, or they may say rude or aggressive things when they call. It is illegal for creditors to do any of these things. They cannot harass you by calling you constantly or by being aggressive.
If creditors harass you like this, you should notify them that you know your rights and that you intend to report them. Then you should work with an attorney to put an end to the calls.
Creditors are not allowed to threaten you. They can’t threaten to send someone to your house, to take your belongings, to tell your friends about your debt, to send you to jail, or anything else. They can notify you about the legal action they can take, but they cannot threaten you with the intention to bully or intimidate you.
The automatic stay that goes into effect when you file for bankruptcy should put an end to any contact from creditors. If it continues, or if creditors threaten you at any time, call an bankruptcy attorney in Gilbert and learn how you can take action against the offending creditors.
Sharing Information about Your Debt with Others
Your creditors are not allowed to share information about your debt with others. Creditors are not allowed to call your workplace, for example, and tell your boss or your co-workers that you owe money or that they are trying to contact you to collect on a debt. Nor are they allowed to threaten to do so.
If you find out that your creditors have been talking to your family, friends, co-workers or others about you or your debt, contact an attorney. This is illegal.
Trying to Collect on Discharged Debts
Once your bankruptcy is discharged, your debts are discharged with it. Creditors can no longer try to collect on those debts. The only time you will continue to pay on your debt after bankruptcy is if you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and you have a secured debt, such as a mortgage or an auto loan. Other unsecured debts will be discharged with the bankruptcy.
If a creditor is continuing to collect on a debt that has been discharged in bankruptcy, they are doing so illegally. Contact your bankruptcy attorney right away to pursue your legal options for putting an end to this behavior.
Creditors do not have the right to act however they like when trying to collect a debt. Bankruptcy law has particular guidelines for how creditors can behave after you have filed for bankruptcy and after the bankruptcy has been discharged. If you believe that creditors are violating these rules, talk to your bankruptcy lawyer about it and about what you can do about it.
Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers are committed to protecting your legal rights while also helping you get the maximum debt relief possible through bankruptcy law. We guide our clients through the bankruptcy process, giving them thorough information so that they understand all of their rights and options. We can help you file for bankruptcy, usher the case through the legal process as quickly as possible, and then protect you from creditor harassment. Call us in Gilbert today to learn more about how bankruptcy may be able to help you.