So you’ve decided to consult with a bankruptcy attorney and get the ball rolling on your Chapter 7 case. You know that a legal filing is supposed to stop your bankruptcy creditors from calling and sending letters, but how does that happen?
How do your creditors find out that you filed for Chapter 7? And what can you do if they continue to harass you for money?
Do You Have to Contact Creditors When Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
If you dread talking to your creditors, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you don’t have to call them to let them know that you have filed for Chapter 7. You don’t have to take their calls either. In fact, they’re obligated to find out on their own.
As soon as you file your bankruptcy paperwork, the court issues an automatic stay. This order is mailed to your creditors, notifying them of your Chapter 7 filing. The automatic stay advises your creditors that all efforts to collect debt must stop immediately.
What if Bankruptcy Creditors Call after the Automatic Stay Is Issued?
Creditors usually respond appropriately to the automatic stay, and most Chapter 7 filers see debt collection calls and letters stop by the following week. However, mistakes can happen.
So what do you do if you get a collection call after filing for Chapter 7? Giving the creditor your filing date and bankruptcy case number should be enough, as most creditors understand they can face penalties for violating the automatic stay.
Make sure to tell your bankruptcy attorney about the collection attempt as well. Keeping track of violations is important, and your attorney may want to send a letter telling the creditor to halt their collection actions.
What if Your Bankruptcy Creditors Are Aggressive?
Sometimes a creditor doesn’t respond to the automatic stay. Instead, the company continues to hassle you with collection calls and letters. In rare cases, the behavior of bankruptcy creditors continues to be aggressive and threatening.
If that happens to you, advise your bankruptcy attorney immediately. A lawsuit, motion or sanction can be filed to stop the debt collection efforts and discourage future aggressive behavior. Depending upon the circumstances, your creditor may be compelled to pay your attorney’s fees for these additional legal actions.
Are you ready to stop the harassing calls and letters from creditors? Schedule a free consultation with the experienced attorneys at Lewis Adams & Associates, serving clients throughout the greater Salt Lake City area. Call our West Jordan, Utah, office today to discuss your bankruptcy case.