30 May What Can I Do If I Still Get Bills And Harassing Calls After I File My Bankruptcy?
If you continue to get bills and phone calls from creditors AFTER you filed your bankruptcy petition, be sure to bring it to the attention of your bankruptcy lawyer.
I always tell my bankruptcy clients that the bills will stop coming and the phone will stop ringing with collection calls shortly after they file their bankruptcy petition. So Iâ€™m not surprised when my clients think I donâ€™t know what Iâ€™m talking about if the calls and letters keep coming. They especially question my ability when the creditor tells them that they canï¿½t discharge their debt, and that their lawyer has steered them wrong.
As you might imagine, this really ticks me off. I actually do know what I am talking about, at least in regard to how bankruptcy will work for my clients. The truth is that the creditors are legally prohibited from contacting my clients after the bankruptcy is filed. But sometimes they do it anyway.
I used to send the offending creditor a nice letter saying something like â€œplease stop sending my client any more letters or phone callsâ€. Often, this approach didnâ€™t work.And besides, the creditors know full well that they canâ€™t contact my clients after the bankruptcy is filed. So why do they do it?â€¦Because they make money.
I have sometimes learned long after the fact, that a creditor contacted my client after they filed bankruptcy, told them they still had to pay, and the client went ahead and paid the creditor. They didnï¿½t call me to ask about it, they just paid the creditor. This is why I get so mad at creditors who just disregard the rules and violate the ï¿½automatic stayï¿½ that is imposed by the court the minute the bankruptcy is filed.
I no longer send out my â€œniceâ€ letter. Now, I sue them in bankruptcy court for violating the automatic stay. I make a motion for violation of the automatic stay. In the motion I request that the Court order the offending creditor to pay damages to my client and legal fees to me for having to bring the motion. The offending creditors often respond to my motion. They say something like ï¿½well, no harm, no foul ï¿½ the debtor didnï¿½t pay us, so whatâ€™s the big deal?ï¿½
It is a big deal. Their action is a violation of the Bankruptcy law, and prevents the debtor from getting the â€œfresh startâ€ that he or she is entitled to.
I love being able to help individuals and families get the burden of debt off their shoulders, save their homes, cars and marriages. I especially love forcing creditors who violate the automatic stay to pay real money to my clients. This month alone, I have sent checks to 10 clients totaling thousands of dollars. You would think that having to pay for their transgressions would stop the creditors from violating the automatic stay. Think again.
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