You can recover damages if creditors harass you after you file your bankruptcy case

28 May You can recover damages if creditors harass you after you file your bankruptcy case

One of the most important benefits of your bankruptcy case is the automatic stay.  In plain English, this is a great big stop sign to your creditors.  Once your bankruptcy is filed, they have to stop bothering you.  No more calls at home.  No more calls at work.  No more harassing mail. Not even a bill. Not even a collection agency.  No threats.  No intimidation.  No more wage garnishment.  None of that.  Your lawyer should tell creditors to stop, in writing, in addition to the notice that the creditors will certainly get through the courts.

If the creditors do anything to bother you after that, they are wilfully violating the automatic stay.  That’s important.  In such a case, your lawyer can go to court, make them stop and get often large damages against the creditor – called punitive damages because the creditor wilfully violated the automatic stay.  These damages are intended to punish the creditor for its wrongful act and to deter it from doing so in the future.

Many creditors seem to be ignoring the automatic stay these days, thinking that they will collect more by their efforts than they will lose in damages for having done so.

So if this happens to you, in the famous words of the consumer advocate David Horowitz, Fight Back!!  Call one of the dedicated and effective lawyers here on the Bankruptcy Law Network, many of whom are leading automatic stay litigation experts.  They can help you and put this madness to an end.

Lakelaw represents people in bankruptcy and in automatic stay litigation in Illinois and Wisconsin.

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Jay S. Fleischman is a bankruptcy lawyer with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He can often be found on Google+ and Twitter, where he shares information about consumer protection issues and personal finance.
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