Have you experienced creditor harassment after your bankruptcy case was filed? Such creditor harassment is clearly illegal and improper under the bankruptcy code. In this article, Indianapolis Chapter 7 Attorney John Bymaster discusses what you need to understand about stopping post-bankruptcy harassment.
When a bankruptcy case is filed, and invisible protective force called the automatic stay stops all future creditor collection and communication. This “invisible shield” called the automatic stay protects you during the entire bankruptcy process.
Near the end of the bankruptcy process, the debtor receives the discharge of their debts. This discharge permanently eliminates the debts that were listed on the bankruptcy petition and prohibits any future communication or collection attempts on those debts. Therefore, it is absolutely illegal for creditors to harass you after you file your bankruptcy.
Creditors, either purposefully or by accident, sometimes contact or attempt to collect on debts after the Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed. Every time a creditor contacts you or attempt any form of collection after your bankruptcy is filed, a sanction of $500 or more could be held against the creditor.
However, a common method for dealing with such creditors is to demand then to cease any form of collection and to reassert and redeliver the notice of bankruptcy. If the creditor only makes one or two attempts to collect and then ceases after the reassertion of the notice of bankruptcy, most debtors do not seek any form of damages against the creditor.
For especially vicious post-bankruptcy creditor harassment, and adversary suit demanding damages against the creditor can be filed within the original bankruptcy case. This adversary suit does not require a filing fee. The bankruptcy court is especially willing to protect debtors who are being improperly harassed by creditors after the bankruptcy cases file. Although bankruptcy courts do not want to see cases where the harassment was minor, the bankruptcy judges are especially interested in enforcing bankruptcy protection on vicious and clearly inappropriate collection situations in order to maintain the integrity of the bankruptcy system.
If you are being harassed by credit or after you file bankruptcy, you don’t have to take it. Your bankruptcy attorney can assert your filing against the creditor to get them to stop. Even better (or worse), your attorney or their harassment co-counsel can easily bring an adversary suit against especially egregious post-bankruptcy creditor harassment. Don’t let creditors push you around after bankruptcy: assert your bankruptcy rights to be fully protected.