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Bankruptcy

: Bankruptcy Law Network

After You File Bankruptcy, What Happens If A Creditor Contacts You?

By Susanne Robicsek, North Carolina Bankruptcy Attorn

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What happens if a creditor contacts someone after bankruptcy? Under the bankruptcy laws, creditors can’t take any action to collect a debt once a case has been filed. If a bankruptcy case is still open, then the creditor is violating the automatic stay in the active case, and may be santioned for doing so. If the case was closed and the debt discharged, then they are violating the discharge injuntion and may be santioned for that as well.

Most of the violations I see in my clients’ cases are minor infractions such as a single bill or collection call from a creditor. For my clients who receive a simple bill after their case is filed, I may first send a letter asking the creditor to stop all further collection attempts. I find a letter often halts all actions by the creditor and that is the ultimate goal for my clients. Furthermore, my court frowns upon lawsuitsfiledin response to a single bill. However if creditor act in a more agressive, overt, repetitiveor recklessmanner, they may be met with a lawsuit instead.

If a debtor has a more serious violation or the creditor has been warned already, a more aggressive approach may be warranted. Lawsuits, sanctions and motions are usually filed against creditors in order to stop further collection efforts and/or to punish them so they stop that particular behavior in the future. Sometimes creditors violate the stay a second time, even after a judge sanctioned them for an earlier violation. It is important that debtors and their attorneys keep careful track of what the creditors say and do, and also whether or not they knew that the client was in bankruptcy.

Should further action be necessary, attorneys can discuss a variety of optionsfor any attorneyfees the client may face, depending on the particular circumstances of the case. Sometimes the attorneywill require that the client agree to pay for the suit but if possible we like to try to collect the attorney fees from the creditor, which is certainly made easier by having a strong case against them.

If you filed for bankruptcy and a creditor is contacting you about payment then you should speak to your attorney to evaluate whether or not you have a case to bring against the creditor, but most importantly how to make the creditor stop any future collection efforts.

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Full post as published by Bankruptcy Law Network on December 13, 2010 (boomark / email).

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